Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Confessions and Criticisms   By: (1846-1934)

Book cover

First Page:

CONFESSIONS AND CRITICISMS

BY JULIAN HAWTHORNE

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. A PRELIMINARY CONFESSION II. NOVELS AND AGNOSTICISM III. AMERICANISM IN FICTION IV. LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN V. THE MORAL AIM IN FICTION VI. THE MAKER OF MANY BOOKS VII. MR. MALLOCK'S MISSING SCIENCE VIII. THEODORE WINTHROP'S WRITINGS IX. EMERSON AS AN AMERICAN X. MODERN MAGIC XI. AMERICAN WILD ANIMALS IN ART

CONFESSIONS AND CRITICISMS.

CHAPTER I.

A PRELIMINARY CONFESSION.

In 1869, when I was about twenty three years old, I sent a couple of sonnets to the revived Putnam's Magazine . At that period I had no intention of becoming a professional writer: I was studying civil engineering at the Polytechnic School in Dresden, Saxony. Years before, I had received parental warnings unnecessary, as I thought against writing for a living. During the next two years, however, when I was acting as hydrographic engineer in the New York Dock Department, I amused myself by writing a short story, called "Love and Counter Love," which was published in Harper's Weekly , and for which I was paid fifty dollars. "If fifty dollars can be so easily earned," I thought, "why not go on adding to my income in this way from time to time?" I was aided and abetted in the idea by the late Robert Carter, editor of Appletons' Journal ; and the latter periodical and Harper's Magazine had the burden, and I the benefit, of the result. When, in 1872, I was abruptly relieved from my duties in the Dock Department, I had the alternative of either taking my family down to Central America to watch me dig a canal, or of attempting to live by my pen. I bought twelve reams of large letter paper, and began my first work, "Bressant." I finished it in three weeks; but prudent counsellors advised me that it was too immoral to publish, except in French: so I recast it, as the phrase is, and, in its chastened state, sent it through the post to a Boston publisher. It was lost on the way, and has not yet been found. I was rather pleased than otherwise at this catastrophe; for I had in those days a strange delight in rewriting my productions: it was, perhaps, a more sensible practice than to print them. Accordingly, I rewrote and enlarged "Bressant" in Dresden (whither I returned with my family in 1872); but immorality aside I think the first version was the best of the three. On my way to Germany I passed through London, and there made the acquaintance of Henry S. King, the publisher, a charming but imprudent man, for he paid me one hundred pounds for the English copyright of my novel: and the moderate edition he printed is, I believe, still unexhausted. The book was received in a kindly manner by the press; but both in this country and in England some surprise and indignation were expressed that the son of his father should presume to be a novelist. This sentiment, whatever its bearing upon me, has undoubtedly been of service to my critics: it gives them something to write about. A disquisition upon the mantle of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and an analysis of the differences and similarities between him and his successor, generally fill so much of a notice as to enable the reviewer to dismiss the book itself very briefly. I often used to wish, when, years afterwards, I was myself a reviewer for the London Spectator , that I could light upon some son of his father who might similarly lighten my labors. Meanwhile, I was agreeably astonished at what I chose to consider the success of "Bressant," and set to work to surpass it in another romance, called (for some reason I have forgotten) "Idolatry." This unknown book was actually rewritten, in whole or in part, no less than seven times. Non sum qualis eram . For seven or eight years past I have seldom rewritten one of the many pages which circumstances have compelled me to inflict upon the world. But the discipline of "Idolatry" probably taught me how to clothe an idea in words... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books