The Marble Faun Author:Nathanial Hawthorne Henry James wrote of The Marble Faun, "Hawthorne has done few things more beautiful than the picure of the unequal complicity of guilt between his immature and dimly-puzzled hero, with his clinging, unquestioning, unexactin devotion, and the dark, powerful, more widely-seeing feminine nature of Miriam...If the book contained nothing else notewor... more »thy but... the murder committed by Donatello under Miriam's eyes and the ecstatic wandering, afterward, of the guilty couple through the 'blood-stained streets of Rome,' it would still deserve to rank high among the imaginitive productions of our day."
The cosmopolitianism of this novel foreshadows one of th emost important themes in out literature-the 'international theme' which was to later dominate the work of Henry James. Of all Hawthorne's fiction, The Marble Faun clearly dispels the myth of Hawthorne's unwaivering Puritan morality. It projects the author's fascination with the eternal struggle between, in Murray Krieger's words, " the unfeeling virtue of moral serverity and the yielding grace of faulty humanity-the profound conflict between the limited claims of American moralism and of European aestheticism."« less