"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

House of the Seven Gables

This is the third and final installation of the Lost Notes Era literature. The book spotlighted today is The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne is probably best known for his book The Scarlet Letter, and because I love that book, I decided to give this baby a whirl. It turns out that Hawthorne is also well-known for his lengthy discourses, and I'm not going to lie and say that this was an easy read. Interesting? Yes. ADD-friendly entertainment? No.

However, I firmly believe there is something substantial to be learned from every single book, so the following are a few pondering points and quotes:
  • Things seem to lose their substance the instant one grapples with them; tasks are easier to accomplish than they initially appear
  • The purpose behind following dead men's rules or laughing at dead men's jokes
  • First and Second Youth-hood; sadness behind seeing the First Youth go because it isn't fully missed and appreciated until it is already gone
  • "Is not the world sad enough in genuine earnest without making a pastime of mock sorrows?"
So, although somewhat slow, the optimistic message, not to mention the mystery in the plot, are redemptive qualities. I would read this book again.

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