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The Haunted Mind (From "Twice Told Tales")   By: (1804-1864)

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s "The Haunted Mind" is a collection of thought-provoking essays that delve into the profound aspects of the human mind. Known for his ability to explore the depths of human consciousness, Hawthorne presents a captivating narrative that challenges the reader's perception of reality.

In these tales, Hawthorne weaves a tapestry of psychological exploration, guiding readers through the enigmatic corridors of the mind. Each story explores a different facet of human nature, presenting characters who grapple with their own haunted thoughts and emotions. Whether it is the haunting presence of a long-forgotten memory or the relentless pursuit of a sinister idea, Hawthorne's characters are confronted with haunting experiences that push the boundaries of their sanity.

One of the standout stories in this collection is "The Procession of Life," in which Hawthorne delves into the complex interplay between life and death. Through vivid imagery and eloquent prose, Hawthorne elucidates the inherent duality of human existence and the ever-present specter of mortality. The story masterfully captures the disquieting essence of life's transience, leaving readers with a deep sense of introspection.

Another notable tale is "The Chambered Nautilus," a mesmerizing metaphorical exploration of personal growth and evolution. Hawthorne uses the chambered nautilus, a creature that continually sheds its shell as it grows, as a symbol of the human journey towards self-discovery. Through beautiful symbolism, he encourages readers to embrace change, to shed their metaphorical shells and embrace the unknown in search of personal growth.

Throughout "The Haunted Mind," Hawthorne's prose displays an exquisite blend of eerie atmosphere and introspective musings, evoking a sense of unease and tantalizing the reader's imagination. The author's distinctive style, marked by its rich symbolism and philosophical undertones, infuses this collection with an air of poetic beauty.

While some readers may find the introspective nature of the stories to be overwhelming at times, those who relish metaphysical examination will undoubtedly find themselves captivated by Hawthorne's exploration of the human psyche. The haunting nature of each narrative resonates deeply, leaving a lasting impression on the reader's own mind.

"The Haunted Mind" is not a collection for readers seeking a conventional horror anthology, but rather for those who appreciate a more psychological and cerebral approach. Hawthorne's ability to illuminate the hidden recesses of the mind is unparalleled, making this collection a memorable and thought-provoking journey into the depths of the human experience.

First Page:



By Nathaniel Hawthorne

What a singular moment is the first one, when you have hardly begun to recollect yourself after starting from midnight slumber! By unclosing your eyes so suddenly, you seem to have surprised the personages of your dream in full convocation round your bed, and catch one broad glance at them before they can flit into obscurity. Or, to vary the metaphor, you find yourself, for a single instant, wide awake in that realm of illusions, whither sleep has been the passport, and behold its ghostly inhabitants and wondrous scenery, with a perception of their strangeness, such as you never attain while the dream is undisturbed. The distant sound of a church clock is borne faintly on the wind. You question with yourself, half seriously, whether it has stolen to your waking ear from some gray tower, that stood within the precincts of your dream. While yet in suspense, another clock flings its heavy clang over the slumbering town, with so full and distinct a sound, and such a long murmur in the neighboring air, that you are certain it must proceed from the steeple at the nearest corner. You count the strokes one two, and there they cease, with a booming sound, like the gathering of a third stroke within the bell... Continue reading book >>

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