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fanuzzir
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Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

Yes, it really does exist, and you can visit it. You can also read the strange novel by Hawthorne about life in Salem. Several readers have expressed an interest in this work, and I hope you'll join us.
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Laurel
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

Melville and Hawthorne were good companions, so I think I'll add Seven Gables to my present repertoire. It will be interesting to compare the House and the Whale. As I recall, a certain element of gloom hovers over each. I hope they won't be too overwhelming for me during these drizzly November days in the Pacific Northwest.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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LitWit20
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

I see that this new thread was just started for this book. How will it work? Should we just start reading and add our thoughts as we go along? Thanks!
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donyskiw
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

I know I have the Library of America Hawthorne edition (I've read The Scarlet Letter twice already) but I have to find it on my shelves. I'll look tonight.

Denise
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fanuzzir
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

Maybe we should divide the novel into three acts, and check in after we read the first third of it. It's a short work; that shouldn't take too long.
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Laurel
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables



fanuzzir wrote:
Maybe we should divide the novel into three acts, and check in after we read the first third of it. It's a short work; that shouldn't take too long.




Great idea! I'm going to listen to it on CDs this time through, though I also have a print edition to refer to. Back later!
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables: Act One

Are there some images, themes, metaphors we should look for in the first seven chapters of the book?
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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fanuzzir
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables: Act One



Laurel wrote:
Are there some images, themes, metaphors we should look for in the first seven chapters of the book?


If you did want to start with an image or metaphor, why not the house? Hawthorne loves dusty old places with lots of history in them.
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Laurel
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables: Act One


fanuzzir wrote:
If you did want to start with an image or metaphor, why not the house? Hawthorne loves dusty old places with lots of history in them.




And something seems to be fishy about a man being so willing to build his enemy's house. Is there a secret built into the house?
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: HOTSG : Fact and fictions

[ Edited ]

fanuzzir wrote:


Laurel wrote:
Are there some images, themes, metaphors we should look for in the first seven chapters of the book?


If you did want to start with an image or metaphor, why not the house? Hawthorne loves dusty old places with lots of history in them.





Hello from Over the Pond Everyone!

You seem to have started reading HOTSG at a good time as my Introduction says that Hawthorne wrote this to his publisher on the 1st October: 'I shan't have the new story ready by November for I am never good at anything in the literary way till after the first autumnal frost, which has somewhat such an effect on my imagination that it does on the foliage here about me - multiplying and brightening its hues.' (The book was ready by mid-January!)

The early frosts have come in the UK and I have been out this morning taking photographs of brightened hues, so I am in the right frame of mind to start reading this old American favourite with you:smileyhappy:

My Introduction also says that because Hawthorne liked to base his fictions upon fact, the HOTSG conforms to several old dwellings formerly extant in Salem [and] 'strenuous efforts have been made to fix upon some one of them as the veritable edifice of the romance....Notwithstanding persistent popular belief, the authenticity of all these buildings must positively be denied; although it is possible that isolated reminiscenes may have blended with the ideal image in the mind of the young Hawthorne.' And in his 1851 Preface to the book Hawthorne writes:

'[The author] trusts not to be considered as unpardonably offending by laying out a street that infringes upon nobody's private rights, and appropriating a lot of land which had no visible owner, and building a house of materials long in use for constructing castles in the air. The personages of the tale-though they give themselves out to be of ancient stability and considerable prominence-are really of the author's own making, or at all events, of his own mixing; their virtues can shed no lustre, nor their defects redound, in the remotest degree, to the discredit of the venerable town of which they profess to be inhabitants. He would be glad, therefore, if--especially in the quarter to which he alludes-the book may be read strictly as a Romance, having a great deal more to do with the clouds overhead than with any portion of the actual soil of the County of Essex.'

Nevertheless, I expect that like places in Bronte, Hardy or Shakespeare country in the UK, tourists flock to see HOTSG and there is much money to be made out of claiming a connection with one house or another. I see that one house is publicised on the internet:-

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10472.shtml

http://www.7gables.org/tour_gables.shtml

Have any readers here visited it and/or the Salem area, which is indeed rich in history. When I have visited places where authors have lived, I have often felt an almost electrical charge of energy which their 'presence' has left behind, or I fancied I did:smileyhappy:

Message Edited by Choisya on 11-09-200603:45 AM

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Choisya
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables



donyskiw wrote:
I know I have the Library of America Hawthorne edition (I've read The Scarlet Letter twice already) but I have to find it on my shelves. I'll look tonight.

Denise





There are several copies available online, which also makes it easy to do searches for quotations etc. (Sorry B&N but I can't afford to buy any books before Xmas:smileysad:)
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Choisya
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Re: HOTSG : Images, themes and metaphors



Laurel wrote:
Are there some images, themes, metaphors we should look for in the first seven chapters of the book?





I found it significant that the first sentence of the book included a description, along with the all-important house, of 'an elm tree of wide cirumference, rooted before the door'. In Germanic and Nordic mythology the elm tree is representative of Woman and Wisdom (the Ash of Man) and it made me wonder whether the overall theme of the book will be to do with a woman's influence, or the influence of women in society as a whole. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Hawthorne does not tell us whether this tree is Ulmus americana (white elm), Ulmus carpinifolia (European smooth elm) or Ulmus glabra (wych elm) but I suppose we may presume the latter because of Salem's association with witches.
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donyskiw
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

Thanks, Choisya. I did find my copy on my shelves. I like the idea of online searches but I never could get into reading electronically. I've lately been reading in my living room with one lamp lit and scented candles throughout the house (that way I can't see that I've been ignoring the housekeeping to catch up on my reading) curled up on my new couch (which my cat thinks I bought for him and not because my old ones were looking like they belonged on the front porch of a fraternity house) and enjoying wine and cheese instead of a balanced, nutritional meal (I guess if I got married again I'd go back to being a responsible adult).

Denise
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables



donyskiw wrote:
Thanks, Choisya. I did find my copy on my shelves. I like the idea of online searches but I never could get into reading electronically. I've lately been reading in my living room with one lamp lit and scented candles throughout the house (that way I can't see that I've been ignoring the housekeeping to catch up on my reading) curled up on my new couch (which my cat thinks I bought for him and not because my old ones were looking like they belonged on the front porch of a fraternity house) and enjoying wine and cheese instead of a balanced, nutritional meal (I guess if I got married again I'd go back to being a responsible adult).

Denise




Denise, sounds like the perfect way to read...I especially like the candles. I'll have to remember that.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

Are we starting this discussion now? Next week? I have to go replace my book and can't get to the bookstore until the weekend. I lost books in when I moved, and that one was of them.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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donyskiw
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables

One of the local Yankee Candle shops has me on their friends and family list! I hope my fire insurance agent doesn't find out!

Denise
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Laurel
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables



LizzieAnn wrote:
Are we starting this discussion now? Next week? I have to go replace my book and can't get to the bookstore until the weekend. I lost books in when I moved, and that one was of them.




Liz, why don't you let us know when you are well into the first seven chapters. Others can check in then to help us decide when to begin discussing the first seven chapters in earnest. Does tis sound like a good plan, Robert? I have finished listening to the first seven chapters but plan to do so again since, through no fault of the book, I fell asleep a few times. I just hope I don't dream about the house!
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Re: HOTSG : Fact and fictions


Choisya wrote:
I see that one house is publicised on the internet:-

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10472.shtml

http://www.7gables.org/tour_gables.shtml

Have any readers here visited it and/or the Salem area, which is indeed rich in history. When I have visited places where authors have lived, I have often felt an almost electrical charge of energy which their 'presence' has left behind, or I fancied I did:smileyhappy:

Message Edited by Choisya on 11-09-200603:45 AM






The second link has some interesting pages. Did you see the Seaside Garden?
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables



donyskiw wrote:
Thanks, Choisya. I did find my copy on my shelves. I like the idea of online searches but I never could get into reading electronically. I've lately been reading in my living room with one lamp lit and scented candles throughout the house (that way I can't see that I've been ignoring the housekeeping to catch up on my reading) curled up on my new couch (which my cat thinks I bought for him and not because my old ones were looking like they belonged on the front porch of a fraternity house) and enjoying wine and cheese instead of a balanced, nutritional meal (I guess if I got married again I'd go back to being a responsible adult).

Denise





Take advice from an old hand - don't get married again, stick with the couch, cats & wine! :smileyhappy:
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willowy
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Re: Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables


Laurel wrote:


LizzieAnn wrote:
Are we starting this discussion now? Next week? I have to go replace my book and can't get to the bookstore until the weekend. I lost books in when I moved, and that one was of them.




Liz, why don't you let us know when you are well into the first seven chapters. Others can check in then to help us decide when to begin discussing the first seven chapters in earnest. Does tis sound like a good plan, Robert? I have finished listening to the first seven chapters but plan to do so again since, through no fault of the book, I fell asleep a few times. I just hope I don't dream about the house!





I think that's a good idea Laurel, like Liz I haven't gotten to start on the book yet, I just finally bought it yesterday! They have these new classic editions at my local B&N that has all the authors works in one book, so this one has all of Hawthorne's major works in it and its monsterous. I'll have to use Denise's idea or curling up on the couch and reading just to support the weight of it while I read!
-----------Willowy----------
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