One-minute review: In praise of
“A papered chamber in a fine old farm-house, a mile from any other dwelling, and dipped to the eves in foliage—surrounded by mountains, old woods and Indian ponds—this, surely, is the place to write of Hawthorne.”
“…had it recommended to me by a tasteful friend, as a rare, quiet book, perhaps too deserving of popularity to be popular.”
“…but it was for me [Hawthorne] to give them rest. Rest, in a life of troubles. What better could be done for anybody….”
“All over him,
“But it is the least part of genius that attracts admiration. Where
“For it is not the brain that can test such a man: it is only the heart.”
“Besides, this absolute and unconditional adoration of Shakespeare has grown to be a part of our Anglo-Saxon superstitions.”
“It is not so much paucity as superabundance of material that seems to incapacitate modern authors.”
“But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.”
“—a seeker, not a finder….”
“…fortune has more to do with fame than merit.”
Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson.
What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.