Essays and Appreciations in Honor of Michael J. Colacurcio’s 50 Years of Teaching
Edited By Carol M. Bensick
The Vanitas of Holocaust Painting: Audrey Flack’s World War II
When I took Michael Colacurcio’s graduate seminar on Hawthorne at Cornell University in 1969, I discovered, to my surprise—dismay might better describe my response at the time—that we would be spending ten weeks of the semester on the Puritans and the rest of the semester on Hawthorne. Needless to say, I learned a lot about the Puritans. I also, as it turns out, learned a lot about Hawthorne. But I learned something else and even more valuable as well. This lesson has stood me in good stead not only in my own work on Hawthorne but, as importantly, and thereafter, in all of my other academic projects. To invoke Henry James in his commentary on Hawthorne: “it takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature.”1
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