This essay was a keynote presentation at the 2019 International Hawthorne and Poe Conference in Kyoto, Japan. Comparing and contrasting these celebrated contemporaries in broad yet telling ways, the essay considers in depth the esthetic principles and “dimensions” of the two. As Colacurcio argues, Poe was, firstly, a poet, his religion always the “religion of Beauty.” For Hawthorne, a skeptic and a moral historian, literature and creative enterprises were rather “a rare form of play.” But both shared “a serious concern for the fate of esthetic pleasure.”

You do not currently have access to this content.