Nathaniel Hawthorne died more than hundred years ago, a despondant and frustrated man. Today, says Mr. Kazin, his work stands as a school classic whose meaning for our time has yet to be established. This essay on Hawthorne and his "profound imaginative world" is drawn from an introduction to Mr. Kazin's Selected Short Stories Of Nathaniel Hawthorne
"What counts is that the critic should be really involved with a work; that he should follow the track of his curiosity into it just as long and as passionately as may be necessary."
Author, critic, and Professor of American Studies at Amherst College, Alfred Kazin has drawn this refreshing comparison of the two famous sages of Concord, both of whom were contributors to the Atlantic in its early years. Each man lives for us today in his journals, and it is in these self-revelations that Mr. Kazin looks for the greatness of each.