The Marble Faun

Have I ever told you guys how much I hate Nathaniel Hawthorne?

I hate Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I don’t know why. I’ve never really been able to figure it out. I’ve tried to read The Scarlet Letter several times and have not once been able to get through the whole thing.

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Because The Marble Faun is on the Boxall’s list (along with a few other Hawthornes), I knew I’d have to get to it eventually…but I wasn’t looking forward to it. So, when it came due on my TBR, I figured I might as well get it out of the way.

It wasn’t AS torturous as I expected it to be…better than TSL, but still not great. Kind of wonky, actually. Very much not what I expected from an author I had previously only known in connection to a Puritan shame novel.

The Marble Faun is essentially a book of painting and sculpture descriptions, mixed in with gothic mystery and darkness. At first there is quite a lot of garden frolicking, that made me think of Fantasia or Midsummer Night’s Dream. But then, it starts to turn quite dark, and though I haven’t seen it, I started to make a connection to Pan’s Labyrinth.

And then, all of the sudden, there Pan was. The faun himself was quite a big part of the story, along with quite a dark, deep mysterious place that read an awful lot like the scenes I’ve seen (ha) from Guillermo de Toro’s vision. Now, I couldn’t find any relationship online between the movie and Hawthorne’s book, but I am certainly going to watch GDT’s film this weekend and see if what I have in my head is as interesting as I picture!

Has anyone read and seen both? I’d be curious if I’m the only one making the connection.

As far as the book goes, it wasn’t bad. The prose is typical Hawthorne, just very long and tedious (maybe that’s why I don’t care for him?) so it was hard to stay focused for long, but the lore was interesting. I certainly want to read more about Pan. Miriam was a little annoying though–very egotistical.

I can now say I’ve successfully completed a Hawthorne book. With one under my belt, maybe I can complete some others without scorning…though probably not.

 

Fulfill’s Boxall #84

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