Nathaniel Hawthorne’s status as an artist rests as much on
The Scarlet Letter as on his short fictions. It is both telling and appropriate that academic research in the short story should be dated to Mary Rohrberger’s study
Hawthorne and the Modern Short Story, published in 1966. The present volume adds to this discourse with contributions by Paulina Ambroży, Katarzyna Kuczma, Joseph Kuhn, David Malcolm, Marek Paryż, Janusz Semrau, Paweł Stachura, and Marek Wilczyński. Represented here are some of the most widely-known stories, such as «My Kinsman, Major Molineux», «Wakefield», «Roger Malvin’s Burial», «Ethan Brand», «The Great Stone Face», and some of the less widely-known ones, such as «Legends of the Province-House», «The Haunted Mind», «The Threefold Destiny», «Foot-prints on the Sea-shore». The individual essays discuss Hawthorne’s texts in quasi-generic terms, through some persistent American themes and motifs, as well as for their aesthetic, philosophical, and existential meanings. The readings draw ideological and theoretical support from the thought of Emerson, Hegel, Trilling, de Certeau, Freud, Heidegger, Lacan, and Derrida.