The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik
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October 9, 2011


In that first cold winter in Lenox, Hawthorne settled down to writing The House of the Seven Gables. He had begun work on it in August; by October he had even chosen a title. In November, however, he complained of making only slow progress. 'I write diligently, but not so rapidly as I had hoped,' he informed Fields on November 3. 'I find the book requires more care and thought than the 'Scarlet Letter' -- also I have to wait oftener for a mood. The Scarlet Letter being all in one tone, I had only to get my pitch, and could then go on interminably.' A month later, he was stalled again, but this time for a different reason. 'I have been in a Slough of Despond for some days past,' he wrote Fields on December 9, 'having written so fiercely that I came to a stand still. There are points where a writer gets bewildered, and cannot form any judgment of what he has done, or what to do next.'
from Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times, by James R. Mellow

There are times when a reader gets bewildered, too {e.g., reading Chapter 13 when you are tired}, but I'm glad he persevered. I'm moving forward, too, sans despond.  More on Friday, from me and many others!

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