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It is a good lesson—though it may often be a hard one—for a man who has dreamed of literary fame ... to step aside out of the... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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It is a good lesson—though it may often be a hard one—for a man who has dreamed of literary fame ... to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of all significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
jcbarros
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 1:14:37 AM

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As the tango goes... "la fama es puro cuento" (fame is just a fairy tale). Eh?
MTC
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 1:59:50 AM
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Meanwhile, there I was, a Surveyor of the Revenue and, so far as I have been able to understand, as good a Surveyor as need be. A man of thought, fancy, and sensibility (had he ten times the Surveyor’s proportion of those qualities), may, at any time, be a man of affairs, if he will only choose to give himself the trouble. My fellow-officers, and the merchants and sea-captains with whom my official duties brought me into any manner of connection, viewed me in no other light, and probably knew me in no other character. None of them, I presume, had ever read a page of my inditing, or would have cared a fig the more for me if they had read them all; nor would it have mended the matter, in the least, had those same unprofitable pages been written with a pen like that of Burns or of Chaucer, each of whom was a Custom–House officer in his day, as well as I. It is a good lesson — though it may often be a hard one — for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world’s dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized and to find how utterly devoid of significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at. I know not that I especially needed the lesson, either in the way of warning or rebuke; but at any rate, I learned it thoroughly:

The Custom–House

Introductory to “The Scarlet Letter”

(http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hawthorne/nathaniel/h39s/introduction.html)

Very reminiscent of American poet Wallace Stevens' employment as a Harvard-educated lawyer/Vice President for the Hartford Ins. Co. His colleagues little knew of his florid, imaginative poetry so apparently out of character with his profession.

Thommy
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 5:56:53 AM

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If one really aims at fame this is not only a good but hard lesson
but it should be an inducement to get back into the inner (or narrow) circle.
dusty
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 6:14:55 AM

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I don't know, it sounds like Nate's been hanging out too much with the Ivy League Jot Squats, as certainly writing to appear correct, is pointless.

I don't think it would be such a waste of an Ivy League education if one of a writers underlying purpose, is to communicate Truth, other than that a man or a writer only has his character, integrity, and his word.

Authors these days need perhaps would feel better if they had a spine, never before have well off males of European descent had anything to fear or risk by taking responsibility for their words, yet the game is everything subtle, never a stoop to low to step down to, not a discipline or science that cannot be disrespected by false history and fallacy for something a petty as saving face or shirking responsibility.

I don't know, but I admire writers like Hawthorne and Melville, and just about every female author who wasn't afraid to say "screw you" to the man's world of lies.

If anyone had an excuse to justify fiction in their history or non-fiction, is anyone but, caucasian grammarian males, yes, you are right Nathaniel, quite right,bloody well right to say it, at , that

To be concerned of the fate of the world is not bad, but bearing false witness is to not be
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 7:42:41 AM
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Ultimate hardness happens when man long enough avoid any decisive action at all. Then the fate itself makes your own choices and as a rule they are even less comfortable than an unchosen ones. Let's go down/up a steps with a bang!
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 7:54:51 AM

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I think to justify the means to the end (within the realm of art--whether it be writing or painting etc.,) the artist writes or paints because he or she has to. One is driven, compelled by some inner force; or by, perhaps, a vision of what one feels and sees in one's heart and soul. One's reason or motive is not to attain fame or recognition, but to create what one is inspired to create. So, one's art--whatever that might be, in whatever realm, must be an end within itself.
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 8:48:55 AM
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It's a perfect spot! But as the Life is the Way, sole purpose is get there in time for most within its lifespan time.
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 2:20:56 PM
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Daemon wrote:
It is a good lesson—though it may often be a hard one—for a man who has dreamed of literary fame ... to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of all significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)


It is, in Hawthorne's case and to his credit, not just a good lesson but to accept it daily at the Custom House and thoroughly having learned it in spite of not even knowing
that he "especially needed the lesson", yet making it public--that is remarkable.
Absurdicuss
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 4:10:07 PM

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Miriam wrote:
One's reason or motive is not to attain fame or recognition, but to create what one is inspired to create. So, one's art--whatever that might be, in whatever realm, must be an end within itself.

A pure and satisfying motivation, and well written.


The objective as stated in Hawthorne's story being "literary fame" I suppose is an end in itself, (though fame is not art) compelling him to greater artistic achievement in the wake of his humbling realization.

Verbatim wrote:
not even knowing that he "especially needed the lesson", yet making it public--that is remarkable.


Yep, been there done that. Didn't know til I found out.

"Now" is the eternal present.
GreenBanana
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 5:39:40 PM

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Who wants to be well known anyway?

Make every post as if it was the first one in the thread.
MTC
Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 6:50:36 PM
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I'm nobody! Who are you?

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish -- you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Emily Dickinson

Verbatim
Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013 12:21:03 AM
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GreenBanana wrote:
Who wants to be well known anyway?


Some of us do want it, others do dream of it,
most of us pass on it the stakes not being worth it.
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