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Sketches from Memory (From "Mosses from an Old Manse")   By: (1804-1864)

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Sketches from Memory is a collection of charming and poignant tales penned by the renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. As a part of his larger work Mosses from an Old Manse, this book takes readers on a journey through Hawthorne's vivid recollections, offering a glimpse into his innermost thoughts and reflections.

One of the standout aspects of Sketches from Memory is Hawthorne's ability to transport readers to a bygone era. With his eloquent prose and immaculate attention to detail, he paints a vivid picture of life in New England during the early 19th century. From the quaint landscapes to the peculiar characters, Hawthorne effortlessly captures the essence of a time long past.

The collection consists of several tales, each with its own distinctive charm. "The Old Apple Dealer" stands out as a beautifully melancholic portrait of aging and loss. Hawthorne's skillful portrayal of the apple dealer evokes a sense of sympathy and nostalgia, culminating in an ending that leaves readers with a bittersweet aftertaste.

Another memorable story from this collection is "Roger Malvin's Burial." This haunting tale explores themes of guilt, redemption, and the weight of one's conscience. Hawthorne's exploration of these profound subjects through his deeply human characters is both thought-provoking and emotionally stirring.

What makes Sketches from Memory truly remarkable is Hawthorne's ability to seamlessly intertwine imagination with reality. His stories often tread the line between the ordinary and the fantastical, blurring the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical realms. This unique blend of realism and fantasy infuses the tales with a touch of enchantment that lingers long after the final page.

Though some readers may find Hawthorne's writing style to be more elaborate and ornate compared to contemporary literature, it is precisely this richness of language that adds depth to his narratives. His command of language and ability to create vivid imagery showcases his unparalleled skill as a storyteller.

In conclusion, Sketches from Memory is a delightful collection of tales that showcases Nathaniel Hawthorne's profound insight into the human condition. With its evocative storytelling, vivid descriptions, and exploration of weighty themes, this book will captivate readers who appreciate literature with both depth and beauty. Hawthorne's ability to transport us to a different time and place is a testament to his enduring legacy as one of America's greatest authors.

First Page:

MOSSES FROM AN OLD MANSE

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

SKETCHES FROM MEMORY

THE NOTCH OF THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.

It was now the middle of September. We had come since sunrise from Bartlett, passing up through the valley of the Saco, which extends between mountainous walls, sometimes with a steep ascent, but often as level as a church aisle. All that day and two preceding ones we had been loitering towards the heart of the White Mountains, those old crystal hills, whose mysterious brilliancy had gleamed upon our distant wanderings before we thought of visiting them. Height after height had risen and towered one above another till the clouds began to hang below the peaks. Down their slopes were the red pathways of the slides, those avalanches of earth, stones, and trees, which descend into the hollows, leaving vestiges of their track hardly to be effaced by the vegetation of ages. We had mountains behind us and mountains on each side, and a group of mightier ones ahead. Still our road went up along the Saco, right towards the centre of that group, as if to climb above the clouds in its passage to the farther region.

In old times the settlers used to be astounded by the inroads of the Northern Indians, coming down upon them from this mountain rampart through some defile known only to themselves... Continue reading book >>




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