As on the back:
"The daydreams which edge toward nightmare; toward out desire to be pursued, cast out demolished, damned" is how R.P. Blackmur describes the "mode" of the eighteen stories in this Signet Classic collection. By means of weird yet inescapably convincing fables Hawthorne explores the corroding desires of superior men and women.
Thwarted in their pursuit of perfection, endeavoring to escape the reality of their existence, they fall prey to a sudden lust for the Ideal and are unwittingly compelled to commit evils in the name of pride.
Of the author's insights into the Puritan's simultaneous need for fulfillment and self-destruction, D.H Lawrence wrote, "That blue-eyed darling Nathaniel knew disagreeable things in his inner soul. He was careful to send them out in disguise." Edgar Allen Poe, said of his writing that, "Every word TELLS, and there is not a word which does not tell."