by David Moffat
A constant question from visitors in the Hawthorne Birth House, prompted by a line on a sign upstairs, is “Why did Hawthorne burn his wife’s letters?”
The incident to which they refer occurred in June of 1853, at the end of what was the most productive period of Hawthorne’s life. It followed the publication in three successive years of The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and The Blithedale Romance. As he prepared to travel to England to become consul to Liverpool, he destroyed his old correspondences. Nathaniel wrote in his diary, “I burned great heaps of old letters and other papers, a little while ago, preparatory to going to England. Among them were hundreds of Sophia’s maiden letters. The world has no more such, and now they are all dust and ashes. What a trustful guardian of secret matters fire is! What should we do without Fire and Death?” He recorded for posterity the destruction of posterity’s understanding of much of his life.
What would drive a writer to destroy records of his lived experience? Hawthorne’s destruction of the letters may have been a pragmatic move for his literary reputation, or it may have been the act of a private man worried about his private life becoming public. Either way, underlying his simple act are complex ideas about the nature of writing and history.
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What is a letter? At its simplest, it is a private communication between two people and a means of transmitting information from one place to another. The information can take many forms, ranging from personal to social to political importance. The recipient can change as well. A letter can be a private message, or it can be designed to communicate to a group. It can be a public in its intent, published openly. Others begin as private and become public, either intercepted or published with the aid of time.
A letter is time-sensitive, but also eternal. It is nowhere near as transitory as a spoken conversation. It can be saved, used as evidence in court, or carry its meaning far beyond the original recipient. Because of this lasting quality, letters are a staple of our understanding of history. Spoken conversation is lost immediately after its occurrence. A spoken statement in the time of Hawthorne existed just as sound waves received by the ears of those in close proximity. It was processed and made memory, often soon forgotten, and lost at the death of the memory holder if not transmitted to another medium.
What is a letter, physically? Paper, often, cellulose pulp, covered in symbols which provide meaning. Letters can be interpreted as long as the paper survives as the scheme of symbols is still understood. It is a conversation made permanent in the very act of its creation. In the recorded conversations of tape recorders and stenographers, preservation is secondary to the act of communication. The passive stability of a letter is the key to its survival. To not actively destroy it is to preserve its contents for the future.
The letter is typically mundane, but it can be earthshaking. Jacobean scholar Felix Pryor writes in the introduction of The Faber Book of Letters: “Most letters are boring.” He notes that the only surviving letter to Shakespeare is not personal or dramatic but from a relative trying to get money out of him. “It is also representative of most letters that have survived,” Pryor writes, “Old love letters have no practical values, but, alas, letters from solicitors do. Piety demands that we burn the one and preserve the other.”
What Pryor does not acknowledge is that to the historian, the mundane can be made fascinating with the passage of time. How much has been made of Shakespeare’s “second best bed” left to Anne Hathaway? What was a legal document has become the source of centuries of speculation. Our understanding of the Turner family who lived in The House of the Seven Gables is built from a few references in political, legal, and economic documents. When a molehill can be made a mountain long after the mountain is gone, a grain of sand matters.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody were both from Salem. In fact, they grew up on the same street: Union Street, a short street that cuts from Derby Street on the water to Essex Street, which ran into the center of town. Sophia was born at one end, on the corner of Essex Street, Hawthorne half-way down. By the time it came to courting, the Peabodys were living in a house on Charter Street, just a little down the street from Hawthorne’s room in his family’s house on Herbert Street, which runs parallel to Union.
Hawthorne had been for a short time courting Mary Silsbee, daughter of the former U.S. Senator, Nathaniel Silsbee, at their mansion on the Salem Common. Not much is known of their relationship, which ended shortly after it began in the late 1830s. Whatever way it ended, soon Hawthorne was linked to Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Sophia’s eldest sister.
The lack of detailed knowledge of this period stems from the very destruction that forms the centerpiece of this article. While it has been skillfully reconstructed from the ashes by Brenda Wineapple, Megan Marshall, and Patricia Dunlavy Valenti, there are still many gaps in our knowledge which may not be so had Hawthorne preserved the letters. As Wineapple writes, “It was a messy, three-sided affair, and Hawthorne understandably left no account of it.”
Megan Marshall details the course of their relationship: In November of 1837 Hawthorne paid his first visit to the Peabody household, and by spring of 1838, Sophia had joined in conversation. Sophia at that point was an aspiring artist but was bed-ridden due to migraines. As Sophia told Elizabeth, one night Hawthorne called on Elizabeth at the house on Charter Street, and Sophia ventured beyond her room and caught sight of his “celestial face.” Hawthorne “rose and looked at her- he did not realize how intently,” according to Elizabeth. Elizabeth decamped in April 1838 for Newton Corner, but her relationship with Hawthorne may have continued.
This early period, when Hawthorne was courting both sisters, Elizabeth and Sophia, may hold some key to Hawthorne’s desire to destroy the letters. Seeing as Elizabeth lived until 1894, long after the other two participants’ deaths, if the desire had been to shield some elements of it from her, perhaps the destruction was a success. Elizabeth denied any romantic involvement with Hawthorne for the rest of her life.
As Marshall writes, “Nathaniel’s attraction to Sophia may have been all the more powerful because it derived from the rivalry of the two sisters for his affection- he had won both, and it remained to him only to choose.” This was hardly material suitable for Victorian-era public figures. We know the letters of Nathaniel and Sophia were quite private from looking at the surviving examples kept by Sophia. In 1848, Hawthorne wrote Sophia about a dream he had in which she had taken another husband, and at the opportunity, Elizabeth had taken Hawthorne as her’s.
The period of their engagement, from 1839 until their marriage in 1842, and its secrecy give some hint to other possible motives. Referred to as their “premarital marriage” by T. Walter Herbert, he draws the conclusion that they “almost certainly did not consummate their marriage sexually before the wedding” but that their correspondence indicated a passionate romance. For example, in October of 1839, Hawthorne wrote to Sophia, “Sweetest wife, I fold you in my arms— can’t you feel my heart throbbing against yours?” As Marshall notes, in 1839 their relationship “was still limited to kisses and hugs stolen on walks in the countryside, in the parlors or boudoirs of close friends, and now, less guardedly, in the privacy of Hawthorne’s own rooms.” Their romance as it comes down to us is passionate but physically tame. Conceivably the missing letters could have contradicted that narrative. Or, if their relationship was as tame as portrayed, maybe there are other motives afoot.
Perhaps Hawthorne wanted the letters gone because they revealed his motives in wooing Elizabeth were more self-interested. Marshall speculates that perhaps Hawthorne used Elizabeth’s literary cachet to advance his own career. The lack of letters also lends undeserved plausibility to unverifiable theories about Hawthorne’s romantic connection to other figures. Those who have fallen under speculation include his sister Ebe, Herman Melville, and Margaret Fuller.
Another possibility is that the early period of their marriage was not as paradisiacal as the image they wanted projected to posterity. T. Walter Herbert, in his controversial book Dearest Beloved: The Hawthornes and the Making of the Middle Class Family, posits that Sophia and Hawthorne’s marriage was not as happy as it appeared to later observers. The literary critic David S. Reynolds characterized Herbert’s picture of the Hawthorne’s marriage as “a glittering edifice on shaky foundations.” Much is made of a letter from Nathaniel to Sophia in which he writes, “And now if my Dove were here, she and that naughty Sophie Hawthorne, how happy we all-three-two-one-(how many are there of us?)-how happy might we be!” For Herbert, this carries deep clues to the psycho-sexual underpinnings of the Hawthornes’ marriage: “Collapsed polarities thus lie at the core of Nathaniel’s love: the opposition of male and female sexual identity, and that of dominance and submission, are absorbed into even more radical fusion in which the distinction between himself and her are erased.” Their union, as seen by Herbert’s readings of their surviving letters, is summed up by Reynolds: “Sophia was an aggressive tyrant masquerading as a domestic angel. Nathaniel wanted to govern his gentle ‘Dove’ and, at the same time, to submit to his “naughty Sophie Hawthorne.” In other words, they were interlocking figures of tyranny and submission.” Such a marriage, were it the case, would be yet another reason to destroy such letters.
Whatever the cause of their destruction, the letters’ very non-existence obscures it forever.
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Hawthorne was no stranger to the destructive tendency. He burned his writings throughout his career. In the 1820s, he destroyed his Seven Tales and attempted (unsuccessfully) to have every copy of Fanshawe destroyed.
His earliest manuscripts he burned “without mercy or remorse, (and moreover, without subsequent regret),” as he notes in the preface to Twice Told Tales, in 1837. The destroyed manuscripts are made better by their destruction in his estimation: “on the score of brilliancy, [the destroyed works] enjoyed a fate vastly superior to that of their brotherhood, which succeeded in getting through the press.” Here is the idea that only in non-existence can perfection be found, and that which exists is marred by imperfection, a theme worked-on by Hawthorne in his story “The Birth-Mark.”
In “The Birth-Mark,” a scientist who has married a beautiful woman becomes obsessed with her single flaw, a birthmark on her cheek. His efforts to remove it lead to her death, and it is only then that she finally reaches perfection. There was a nineteenth-century obsession with the image of the “beautiful dead woman,” an image which occurs in numerous Gothic and Victorian works of literature. Hawthorne was aware that art which is unseen and moments which are unexamined, become a perfected vision which cannot be criticized.
In the American Notebooks, he notes in 1840 of his bedroom chamber in the house on Herbert Street, “Here I have written many tales, — many that have been burned to ashes, many that doubtless deserved the same fate.” He notes in a letter to his publishers in 1841, “I have burnt whole quires of manuscript stories, in past times-which, if I had them now, should be at your service.” Hawthorne likely destroyed his last journals as well.
Elizabeth Peabody kept a letter from Nathaniel Hawthorne, dated July 20, 1863, near the end of his life. It was in defense of Franklin Pierce on the grounds of his temperament. Peabody noted many years later that Hawthorne insisted on exchanging letters periodically “to be sure that they were destroyed.” This is a peak at the content of a letter that may otherwise have suffered a similar fate had Hawthorne lived longer.
Hawthorne was a voracious reader. As a young man he sent catalogues of the works he had read back home to his mother and his sister, Louisa. Later, he made great use of the collections of the Salem Athenaeum. He checked out 487 titles from the Athenaeum. In his readings he would have encountered many collections of published letters and epistolary novels, of which the eighteenth century was the greatest era, many of which carried over in popularity to the nineteenth. One of the novels he wrote back to his mother regarding in 1820-1 was Julie, or the New Heloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  an epistolary novel about the illicit love between a tutor and his pupil in the Swiss Alps. Such is not to say that a novel of a secret love had any real effect on his decision making three decades later, but rather that the epistolary mode and the publication of letters were familiar to Hawthorne.
A question for any author is whether he or she wrote for his or her contemporaries or for posterity. As with many, the audiences are not mutually exclusive. Hawthorne in college was charmed with fantasies of his future success: “How would you like someday to see a whole shelf full of books written by your son, with ‘Hawthorne’s works’ printed on their backs.” His ambition to be current and respected in his day would lead to him being immortalized in psychical form. The thought that he wrote with his mother in mind could have some bearing as well, at least in terms of early destructions, as Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hawthorne lived until 1849.
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Of the quality of those early letters, their daughter Rose gives a tantalizing account in the preface to her 1897 work, Memories of Hawthorne: It will be seen that this volume is really written by Sophia Hawthorne; whose letters from earliest girlhood are so expressed, and so profound in thought and loveliness, that some will of sterner quality than a daughter’s must cast them aside.Rose wrote of the letters she had received, going back to 1820, when her mother was just a girl, rather than those letters which have been lost. Still, there is a hint at the beauty that lay in the effusions of a romantic and transcendent heart coming to maturity. The highest principles of thought and action are constantly danced about and caressed by my mother in all her letters, as we imagine a Greek maiden paying cheerful homage to beautiful statues of the gods. Rose, in her description of her mothers’ letters, gives hint to their possible liability. Perhaps they were full of casual and private anecdotes about people who had risen in the world by 1853 and 1897. People like her aunt, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, recently deceased, but for decades a doyenne of Boston’s literary society, and Hawthorne’s college friends, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Franklin Pierce, and Horatio Bridge: The letters are full of sunshine, which is not even yet in the least dimmed; and there is a pleasant chatter of persons of whom we have heard widely in the most refined atmosphere this country knows.If that were the case, perhaps that is why only those letters “full of sunshine” and inclining towards the positive were the ones which survived. Not least of all, there are the reputations of Sophia and Nathaniel themselves, by 1853 quite visible in the public eye. Near the end of his life, Nathaniel Hawthorne requested of his daughter, Rose, that she destroy large swathes of his letters. My father began to express his wishes in regard to provision for our aunt in case of his death; to burn old letters; and to impart to my mother and Una all that he particularly desired to say to them, among other things his dislike of biographies, and that he forbade any such matter in connection with himself in any distance of the future. The proscription of biography is ironic, recorded in a biography of Hawthorne, but Rose sidesteps the morality of such an act by noting her long honoring of such a request overwhelmed by the need to honor such a man. Rose, who became a Catholic nun, bends towards hagiography in her justification in publishing his life, saying “Such a man must be thoroughly known, as great saints are always sooner or later known, though endeavoring to hide their victories of holiness and charity.”
Some of the earliest biographies in the western tradition are those of saints. The publishing urge when it comes to lives often takes two forms, the didactic and the hagiographic. Either form, but particularly the former, is anathema to the Romantic conception of genius, whose creation is propelled only by the afflatus, a sudden rush of inspiration, rather than any internal or external fact of being.
Hawthorne was no stranger to the worship of the author and the facts of literature. In Mosses from an Old Manse he included the story “A Virtuoso’s Collection,” in which the narrator steps into a museum to discover that it is curated by The Wandering Jew, who over the centuries has acquired an impressive collection of literary ephemera: Don Quixote’s horse, the cats of Horace Walpole, Sir Walter Scott, and Samuel Johnson, Byron’s pet bear, the horns of a stag poached by Shakespeare, a humble-bee presented by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The narrator is in awe of this collection, but Hawthorne has made the transcendent details of literature mundane and physical.
So was Hawthorne the auto-iconoclast, preventing his life from interfering with his work? Was he the mystifier of himself?
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In his preface to his 1961 Nathaniel Hawthorne: An Introduction and Interpretation, Arlin Turner gives a good overview of the problem of the author’s identity in regard to Hawthorne:
“Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of our authors, along with Edgar Allan Poe as perhaps the chief example, who have suffered the confusion of having their own lives and personalities read from their literary works. Thus the author of the story “The Minister’s Black Veil” was haunted by a sense of guilt, it has been supposed, if indeed he had not committed some awful sin.”
Turner goes on to challenge the developing view, which would be crystallized in Roland Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” several years later, that the author’s life should be irrelevant and the work read alone: “But such an approach puts the reader under a severe handicap, for Hawthorne’s fiction is greatly illuminated by an understanding of how his mind functioned. With an imaginative author, what is most important is not how things actually were, but how they seemed to him…”
The dichotomy established between the Dove and naughty Sophie, as seen in Hawthorne’s letter, is pertinent to many of Hawthorne’s women, such as Zenobia and Priscilla in The Blithedale Romance and Miriam and Hilda in The Marble Faun. This is just one example where the author’s personal life and thinking, gleamed from his letters, has bearing on the interpretation of his work.
Barthes’ “The Death of the Author” (a monument of post-structuralism) explores the transition in modernism towards the work independent of the author’s identity, shown in works by Mallarmé and Proust. To remove the Author is to transfer the power of interpretation to the reader. As Barthes writes, “To give an Author to a text is to impose upon that text a stop clause, to furnish it with a final signification, to close the writing.”
Hawthorne’s short story, “The Minister’s Black Veil,” has been a locus of criticism about the function of the author in Hawthorne’s work. The story is well known: one day, the minister of a small New England town appears before his congregation with his face veiled. He wears the veil until the end of his days, causing much consternation among his flock but leading many to reevaluate their own sins in the face of his public chastening. Wineapple see the titular minister as metaphor for the artist’s anonymity. Another contemporary interpretation is that the veil is a symbol for writing, “which gives meaning to experience but also prevents direct perception of it.”  The minister is both present and non-present in the veil. It is a product of his actions, but its interpretation exists independent of his biography, which is absent from the narrative of the story. The veil’s puzzling nature can be seen as Hawthorne’s exploration of the multi-faceted interpretation of literature. The veil as a literary object is a metonymy for literature itself.
However, leading away from the Barthesian interpretation of his actions is Hawthorne himself. In his preface to Twice Told Tales, he writes of how the author, years after writing, can become as disinterested a critic as any other source: “Their opinions on their own productions,” he wrote, “would often be more valuable and instructive than the works themselves.”
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Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, wrote much of the dichotomy of speech and writing. His 1967 book, Of Grammatology, helped establish the process of deconstruction (which questions the inferences of western philosophy by reversing the opposition of assumed dichotomies) by examining the valuation of speech over writing professed by thinkers such as Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Speech, Saussure’s argument went, was the more natural signifier, while writing refers only to other signs. To Derrida, writing is no better a sign than any other, as all signs in his estimation refer only to other signs.
Derrida’s theory encompasses what he terms “arche-writing,” the split between writing and what it describes is symptomatic of the larger breach between everything and our understanding of it. Australian philosopher Jack Reynolds sums up Derrida’s conception of this initial failure of the written word:
According to Derrida, all writing, in order to be what it is, must be able to function in the absence of every empirically determined addressee (M 375). Derrida also considers deferral to be typical of the written and this is to reinforce that the meaning of a certain text is never present, never entirely captured by a critic’s attempt to pin it down. The meaning of a text is constantly subject to the whims of the future, but when that so-called future is itself ‘present’ (if we try and circumscribe the future by reference to a specific date or event) its meaning is equally not realised, but subject to yet another future that can also never be present. The key to a text is never even present to the author themselves, for the written always defers its meaning.
The writer, in attempting to describe an experienced phenomenon, has only created another phenomenon to be described, rather than getting to any truth of the original experience. While the ideas of Derrida were not yet present in the era of Hawthorne, the sense of writing as representation of experience was central to Romanticism. The Romantic attempts to represent experience as faithfully as possible, while realizing that writing can never equal experience.
Hawthorne, in destroying the letters of Sophia, destroyed only a shade of an experience, on the signifier and not the signified. Depending on how far into the ideas of Derrida one wants to dip, perhaps even the signifier was never present to Hawthorne and Sophia. With no signifier, only the sign remains, the pure and natural sign, uncorrupted by the attempt at thought and literature.
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Wineapple described the pre-Liverpool destruction incident in Hawthorne: A Life: “He torched old letters and papers, as well as hundreds of letters Sophia had written him before they were married. It was a key gesture: covering his traces so as to reinvent the past.” She says of his earlier destruction, “Acutely aware of history, he wanted to control it.” There is an agency associated with shaping one’s own perception in the future. One of the most central of agencies is the control of narrative and how the self is perceived by others.
The sheer value of reminders of the past in the present (as evidenced by the high prices the letters of dead luminaries like Hawthorne draw at auction) gives a power in their destruction as well. It is a destructive urge in contrast to hagiography, rebellious against the Culture’s ascription of value. It is the urge that drove Robert Rauschenberg to erase a drawing by Willem de Kooning and call it art, the Buddhist monk to burn the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Yukio Mishima’s 1956 novel of the same name, Ai Weiwei to smash a Han dynasty urn and angry Floridian Maximo Caminero to smash a vase in Ai Weiwei’s exhibit in turn.
Henry James, ever the admirer of Hawthorne, wrote on a similar theme in his classic novella, The Aspern Papers, published in 1888. There, the precipitating spark had been that some letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley kept by his step-sister Claire Clairmont were destroyed at the time of her death in 1879. The novella concerns a writer who travels to Venice to see Juliana Bordereau, the lover of long-dead poet Jeffrey Aspern, over the rumor that she holds some of his old letters. He begins to court her niece, Miss Tita, in hopes of gaining access to the papers. Juliana falls ill and when she catches the narrator taking advantage of trying to find the papers, she exclaims “Ah, you publishing scoundrel!” and promptly dies. Miss Tita suggests that she will exchange the papers for a marriage proposal, to which the narrator is indecisive. When he finally decides that the marriage will be worth the papers, he discovers that in spite Miss Tita has burned them all, one by one.
This is the power of having a valuable commodity in a world where one is otherwise powerless. A Victorian woman whose marriage prospects hinge on the preservation of literary ephemera can reclaim some agency in their destruction. Evident too in James’ novella is the “chagrin” the narrator feels in losing the opportunity to understand Aspern better through his letters.
It can be frustrating to have a piece of the historical puzzle removed, especially by the subject themselves. It is as if the subject were being tracked across the wilderness and he or she has carefully covered their tracks.
History is a sieve and we the present are left with what has passed through to our time and escaped the trials of war, famine, fire, and the deterioration of time itself. That which passes through the sieve of history is our only sense of what went before us. An act like Hawthorne’s is a grasp for agency in the unyielding march of history. Whatever the motivation: privacy, decorum, reputation, a drive for perfection, auto-iconoclasm, a sense of preserving experience—
Thes act is a fait accompli. The letters’ contents are no more.
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In destroying his letters, Hawthorne saved some part of himself and kept it his own. He made his love something private to be shared only with his beloved. Any experience exists briefly. The moment passes and it becomes memory. Sometimes external evidence survives, continues the memory, and provides some shade of it to an observer. But a true memory is something organic which lasts only with the holder.
When Hawthorne died in 1864, only Sophia was left with those early memories until her death in 1871, when they were extinguished forever. For 145 years those moments have been out of living memory, and can only be retrieved with the blurriest of shades.
But love is something even more unique, something outside of even memory. It is a shade to ourselves when living, something we cannot look at straight even in the moment. As Hawthorne’s rough contemporary, Emily Dickson, wrote: “Pain has an element of blank.”
That is the romantic’s message, that emotion is our most human quality and not our intellect, and that emotion is the engine of the soul. Love, both present and non-present, is as chimerical as language. A letter exists or it does not exist. By destroying his letters, Hawthorne freed his love from the mundanity of history and kept is as a living, passionate present.
 Hawthorne, Nathaniel. American Notebooks. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2008. Electronic. p. 235.
 Wineapple, Brenda. Hawthorne: A Life. New York: Random House, 2004. Print. p. 120.
 Marshall, Megan. The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism. Boston and New York: Houghton & Mifflin Company, 2005. Print. p. 351-355.
 Wineapple (2004). p. 120.
 Pearson, Elizabeth Peabody on Hawthorne, p. 267.
 Marshall (2005). p. 361.
 Marshall (2004). p. 357.
 Marshall (2004). p. 568.
 Marshall (2004). p. 553.
 Herbert, T. Walter, Dearest Beloved: The Hawthornes and the Making of the Middle-Class Family. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. Electronic. p. 115.
 Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne XV: The Letters, 1813-1843. Eds. Thomas Woodson, L. Neal Smith, and Norman Holmes Pearson. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1985. Print. p. 359.
 Marshall (2004). p. 404-405.
 Marshall (2004). p. 356.
 Herbert (1991).
 Reynolds, David S. “Naughty Sophie Hawthorne.” The New York Times. 7 February 1993. Electronic. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/07/books/naughty-sophie-hawthorne.html
 Herbert (1991). p. 124.
 Reynolds (1993).
 Wineapple (2004). p. 63
 Wineapple (2004). p. 78.
 Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Twice Told Tales. New York: Modern Library, 2001. p. xxii.
 Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Mosses from an Old Manse. 1846. Electronic. https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Mosses_from_an_Old_Manse Edit 5 January 2013. Accessed 28 January 2016.
 Hawthorne (2008). p. 112.
 Woodson et al. (1985). XV. p. 600
 Wineapple (2004). p. 461.
 Woodson et al. (1985). XVIII. p. 589
 Wineapple (2004). p. 464.
 Leudtke, Luther S. Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Romance of the Orient. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989. Print. p. 35.
Woodson et al. (1985). XV p. 134.
 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Julie, or the New Heloise. Trans. William Kenrick. Electronic. The Internet Archive. https://archive.org/details/eloisaoraseries00gardgoog Accessed 1/26/2016.
 Turner (1961). p. 7.
 Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne. Memories of Hawthorne. Boston and New York: Houghton & Mifflin Company, 1897. Electronic. p. iii.
 Lathrop (1897). p. 7.
 Lathrop (1897). p. 1.
 Lathrop, (1897). p. 477.
 Lathrop (1897). p. 478.
 Hawthorne (1846).
 Turner, Arlin. Nathaniel Hawthorne: An Introduction and Interpretation. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1961. Print. p. v.
 Moriarty, Michael. Roland Barthes. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1991. Print.
 Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” Trans. Richard Howard.
 Ibid. p. 5.
 Wineapple (2004). p. 85.
 Newman, Lea Bertani Vozar. A Reader’s Guide to the Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1979. Print. p. 207.
 Hawthorne (2001). p. xxiii.
 Reynolds, Jack. “Jacques Derrida (1930-2004).” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
 Wineapple (2004). p. 268.
 Wineapple (2004). p. 62.
 Rauschenberg, Robert. Erased de Kooning Drawing 1953. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. Electronic Image. https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/98.298 Accessed 25 January 2016.
 Mishima, Yukio. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Trans. Ivan Morris. New York : Vintage, 1994. Print.
 Jones, Jonathan. “Who’s the vandal: Ai Weiwei or the man who smashed his Han urn?” The Guardian. 18 February 2014. Electronic. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/feb/18/ai-weiwei-han-urn-smash-miami-art. Accessed 25 January 2015.
 James, Henry. “Preface to Volume 12 of the New York edition.” The Novels and Tales of Henry James. New York: Scribner, 1908. Electronic. The Ladder: http://www.henryjames.org.uk/prefaces/home.html Updated 13 October 2013, Accessed 25 January 2016.
 James, Henry. The Aspern Papers. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2001. Print.
 Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Thomas H. Johnson. New York, Boston, and London: Back Bay Books, 1961. Print. p. 323-324.
This post was written by Ryan Conary