Journal Article

THE VEIL OF ALLEGORY IN HAWTHORNE'S <i>THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE</i>

Brian M. Britt

in Literature and Theology

Volume 10, issue 1, pages 44-57
Published in print March 1996 | ISSN: 0269-1205
e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/10.1.44
THE VEIL OF ALLEGORY IN HAWTHORNE'S THE BLITHEDALE ROMANCE

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When Nathaniel Hawthorne fictionalized his Brook Farm experience in The Blithedak Romance, he named his narrator and central character Miles Coverdale, the first person to publish a complete English translation of the Bible. Hawthorne's novel and journals say almost nothing about translation, but they are filled with allegory and symbolism. This essay examines The Blithedale Romance m the light of Walter Benjamin's ideas of translation and allegory. Compering ideas of the world—socialism, feminism, occultism, aestheticism, and Puritanism—collide in the novel. The result is a fragmented narrative that distorts what it depicts—particularly the women characters—and a metanarrative on the limitations of storytelling as translation.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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