No serious study of psychoanalysis in the work of Hawthorne can sidestep the work of Frederick Crews in The Sins of the Fathers: Hawthorne’s Psychological Themes (1966), in which Crews explores the Oedipal complex at work in Hawthorne’s oeuvre, or the work of David Greven in The Fragility of Manhood: Hawthorne, Freud, and the Politics of Gender (2014), in which Greven considers the impact of Freudian and Lacanian literary theory on the construction of masculinity in Hawthorne through the myth of Narcissus rather than Oedipus. But David Diamond, a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist in clinical practice and professor of psychiatry, not only acknowledges the work of Crews, Greven, and others who have attempted to read Hawthorne through Freud, he challenges the conclusions at which they arrive. Crews himself challenged the thesis he advanced in The Sins of the Fathers, eventually retracting it, but not before it was widely disseminated. And...
Psychoanalytic Readings of Hawthorne’s Romances: Narratives of Unconscious Crisis and Transformation
Ariel Clark Silver is the author of The Book of Esther and the Typology of Female Transfigu-ration in American Literature (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) and a contributor to the volume it inspired, Esther in America (Maggid, 2020). Her work on Margaret Fuller and May Alcott Nieriker is included in The Forgotten Alcott (Routledge, 2022). She serves as president-elect of the Hawthorne Society.
Ariel Clark Silver; Psychoanalytic Readings of Hawthorne’s Romances: Narratives of Unconscious Crisis and Transformation. Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 1 December 2021; 47 (2): 291–295. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/nathhawtrevi.47.2.0291
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