The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories

The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories

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by Nathaniel Hawthorne
     
 

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"The daydreams which edge toward nightmare; toward our desire to be pursued, cast out, demolished, damned" is how R.P. Blackmur describes the "mode" of the eighteen stories in the Signet Classic collection. By means of weird yet inescapably convincing fables Hawthorne explores the corroding desires of superior men and women. Thwarted in their pursuit of perfection,…  See more details below

Overview

"The daydreams which edge toward nightmare; toward our desire to be pursued, cast out, demolished, damned" is how R.P. Blackmur describes the "mode" of the eighteen stories in the Signet Classic collection. By means of weird yet inescapably convincing fables Hawthorne explores the corroding desires of superior men and women. Thwarted in their pursuit of perfection, endeavoring to escape the reality of their existence, they fall prey to a sudden lust for the ideal and are unwittingly compelled to commit evils in the name of pride. Of the author's insights into the Puritan's simultaneous need for fulfillment and self-destruction D. H. Lawrence wrote "That blue-eyed darling Nathaniel knew disagreeable disguise." Hawthorn's contemporary, Edgar Allan Poe, said of his writing that "Every word tells, and there is not a word which does not tell."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.”—Henry James

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451522139
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1963
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.78(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
7 - 8 Years

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From the Publisher
“He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.”—Henry James

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of proud New England seafarers. He lived in genteel poverty with his widowed mother and two young sisters in a house filled with Puritan ideals and family pride in a prosperous past. His boyhood was, in most respects, pleasant and normal. In 1825 he was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and he returned to Salem determined to become a writer of short stories. For the next twelve years he was plagued with unhappiness and self-doubts as he struggled to master his craft. He finally secured some small measure of success with the publication of his Twice-Told Tales (1837). His marriage to Sophia Peabody in 1842 was a happy one. The Scarlet Letter (1850), which brought him immediate recognition, was followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851). After serving four years as the American Consul in Liverpool, England, he traveled in Italy; he returned home to Massachusetts in 1860. Depressed, weary of writing, and failing in health, he died on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Ross C. Murfin, professor of English at and former provost of Southern Methodist University, has also taught at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and the University of Miami, where he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  He is the author of such books as Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence and the Burden of Belief and The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence: Texts and Contexts.  He is coauthor, with Supryia Ray, of The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms (second edition) and series editor of Bedford/St. Martin's popular Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
July 4, 1804
Date of Death:
May 19, 1864
Place of Birth:
Salem, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Plymouth, New Hampshire
Education:
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824

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Celestial Railroad and Other Stories 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You cant leave
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a difficult story to comprehend, after reading it several times(each time gain more understanding)it finally connected. Hawthorne wrote very imaginative and creative stories about how humans strive for moral and religious prefection, and the ensuing tragedy it brings alone in pursuit of that unattainable goal. This short story is within the same spirit but with an interesting twist thats sure to surprise it's reader.