Saturday, July 09, 2005

"The Hollow of the Three Hills" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

One of the author's earlier stories, set in the primitive highlands of New England, is hereby presented to you. A mischievous crone conjures up visions from the life of a sorrowing young women. Read by Jonathan Strong.

One of Nathaniel Hawthorne's ancestors had presided over the Salem Witch Trials, so it's no wonder he was enthralled by tales of Puritans pure and not-so-pure and the nature of good and evil. Hawthorne always called his often highly symbolic (so your high school English teacher will tell you) stories "tales" and collected them in several volumes between such novels as The Marble Faun and The Blithedale Romance (no need to mention the even more famous ones here). But Hawthorne wasn't all gloom and doom and black-cloaked colonialists. There must be a good example here somewhere--hmm... We love this aside from Wikipedia, from which we crib so many of our facts about authors: "Edgar Allan Poe wrote important, though largely unflattering, reviews of both Twice-Told Tales and Mosses from an Old Manse." We'll get to you, Mr. Poe...

When he is not busy with his own novels, Jonathan Strong is often to be found lost somewhere in the extensive works of Englishmen Gilbert and Sullivan, whether together or singly. He has redrafted the lost G&S opera, Thespis, which has been produced twice, as well as several other concoctions from the duo which time has left us incomplete. Opera and bel canto have been reoccurring elements throughout his dozen or so novels, so his interests are perhaps not so surprising to his readers.

3 comments:

Kristie said...

Thank you for this nugget! I am a Hawthorne fan, and it was great fun to listen to this on my drive to work this morning.

Scoot said...

You're very welcome; we need to read more Hawthorne on this end, having been scared off him in high school. The stories we've read by him so far we've grown to love.

The thought that our efforts here make anyone's daily commute just a bit more pleasurable satisfies us no end. Keep listening when you can!

Damon LaBarbera said...

Hmmm, as for optimistic Hawthorne stories how about---long delay--maybe "Artist of the Beautiful?" Kind of joyous in its own somber way....

Damon LaBarbera