Video: Twice-Told Tales

The Great American Novel Webinar Series continues with a discussion of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories.

National Association of Scholars

What makes Twice-Told Tales a work of great American literature?

Numerous writers of the day, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe, and Orestes Brownson praised Hawthorne and the book as remarkable. Poe in particular lauded Hawthorne: "The style of Hawthorne is purity itself. His tone is singularly effective—wild, plaintive, thoughtful, and in full accordance with his themes.... we look upon him as one of the few men of indisputable genius to whom our country has as yet given birth." To what extent do you think Poe was correct? What is the importance of Hawthorne's use of short stories or "tales" to communicate his themes?

The webinar features Charles Baraw, associate professor of english at Southern Connecticut State University; Monika Elbert, professor of english at Montclair State University; and Brenda Wineapple, author of Hawthorne: A Life. The discussion is moderated by Samuel Coale, professor emeritus of english at Wheaton College.

View upcoming webinars here.

Image: By Charles Osgood -, Public Domain,

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