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The House of the Seven Gables (Anglais) Broché – 27 août 1981

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Broché, 27 août 1981
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Half-way down a by-street of one of our New England towns, stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon-street; the house is the old Pyncheon-house; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon-elm. On my occasional visits to the town aforesaid, I seldom failed to turn down Pyncheon-street, for the sake of passing through the shadow of these two antiquities; the great elm-tree and the weather-beaten edifice.

The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance, bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also of the long lapse of mortal life, and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within. Were these to be worthily recounted, they would form a narrative of no small interest and instruction, and possessing, moreover, a certain remarkable unity, which might almost seem the result of artistic arrangement. But the story would include a chain of events extending over the better part of two centuries, and, written out with reasonable amplitude, would fill a bigger folio volume, or a longer series of duodecimos, than could prudently be appropriated to the annals of all New England during a similar period. It consequently becomes imperative to make short work with most of the traditionary lore of which the old Pyncheon-house, otherwise known as the House of the Seven Gables, has been the theme. With a brief sketch, therefore, of the circumstances amid which the foundation of the house was laid, and a rapid glimpse at its quaint exterior, as it grew black in the prevalent east wind pointing, too, here and there, at some spot of more verdant mossiness on its roof and walls, we shall commence the real action of our tale at an epoch not very remote from the present day. Still, there will be a connection with the long past; a reference to forgotten events and personages, and to manners, feelings, and opinions, almost or wholly obsolete; which, if adequately translated to the reader, would serve to illustrate how much of old material goes to make up the freshest novelty of human life. Hence, too, might be drawn a weighty lesson from the little-regarded truth, that the act of the passing generation is the germ which may and must produce good or evil fruit, in a far-distant time; that, together with the seed of the merely temporary crop, which mortals term expediency, they inevitably sow the acorns of a more enduring growth, which may darkly overshadow their posterity.

The House of the Seven Gables, antique as it now looks, was not the first habitation erected by civilized man on precisely the same spot of ground. Pyncheon-street formerly bore the humbler appellation of Maule's Lane, from the name of the original occupant of the soil, before whose cottage-door it was a cow-path.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 368 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics; Édition : Reprint (1 novembre 1990)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0140390057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140390056
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,9 x 2,1 x 19,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 159.869 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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HALF-WAY down a by-street of one of our New England towns, stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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1 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par pouille jordan le 23 octobre 2000
Format: Broché
Cette maison ,jadis la fierté de la famille est devenue véritablement un enfer pour ceux qui voudraient vivre en paix.Ainsi les personnages du roman ,à la fois mysterieux et passionants à l'image de la petite phoebe,si pure, tendent tous vers la sagesse,la plenitude sans jamais y parvenir vraiment .Dieu en avait decidé autrement.
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75 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Beautiful Work of Art 5 février 2002
Par Elizabeth Hendry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
It's very obvious from reading all of these reader reviews that The House of the Seven Gables is not for everyone. But, I urge you to determine if it is for you. If it is, you certainly don't want to miss it. This novel was not written with today's readers in mind. You cannot call it quick-paced, by any stretch of the imagination. The novel is however, a wonderful work of art. Every sentence, every word is carefully crafted, carefully chosen. This novel is meant to be read slowly, to be savored. The novel tells a fairly simple story--the story of the house, and its perhaps doomed family of inhabitants. Many years after a curse by a supposed warlock--there are only 4 members of the doomed family surviving. Is the house haunted? Maybe. Hawthorne is so clever--every time he tells us about a supposed ghost or haunting, he gives us a more "reasonable" explanation. Were they ghosts swirling around the house one evening, or was it just the wind. Is the family doomed? Maybe, but then there is young Pheobe who seems anything but. The House of Seven Gables is far superior to any contemporary gothic you can read. It is novel writing at its best. The characters have depth, the story is engaging, and even, at times, funny. But, you have to be ready for a novel written well over a hundred years ago. If you are, you are in for a treat.
114 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Hawthorne's Supernatural Thriller, 19th Century Style 18 mai 2003
Par Jeffrey Leach - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Nathaniel Hawthorne is probably one of the most despised figures in the American literary canon, at least in the minds of the millions of school children forced to read "The Scarlet Letter." I will go so far as to admit I never finished that novel. I took one look through the book and laughed at the ridiculous idea of reading such a convoluted looking story. That was at age seventeen. Now, many years later I am able to go back and actually read some of these daunting novels. What is surprising is that they are not daunting at all, just written in an ornate style from a different age. The plots often deal with the same issues and concerns modern people fret about. For those uninterested in relationships and human dramas, there are also great old stories with supernatural elements, which is where this book comes in. This edition of the book includes an introduction by Mary Oliver and several commentaries on the work by Edwin Percy Whipple, Henry T. Tuckerman, F.O. Matthiessen, and Herman Melville. The Melville commentary is actually a letter the author of "Moby Dick" sent to Hawthorne where he concludes with a demand that Hawthorne "walk down one of these mornings and see me." Pretty neat.
In "The House of the Seven Gables," the author tells his reader the story is a romance. What he means by this terminology is not a cheap paperback that involves swooning hearts with Fabio on the cover, but "a legend prolonging itself, from an epoch now gray in the distance, down into our own broad daylight." Hawthorne's specific goal is to show that the bad behavior of one generation devolves on future descendents. He accomplishes this by examining the Pyncheon family, a clan founded on America's shores by the stern Puritan Colonel Pyncheon, who used his considerable influence to inveigle prime real estate from one Matthew Maule in the 17th century. Pyncheon carried out this task by using the Salem witchcraft scare to secure Maule's execution. In his last moments, Maule laid a curse on the good Colonel and all of his descendents, telling him that God would give them blood to drink as a punishment for this evil injustice. Shortly after the Colonel builds his house with seven gables on Maule's property, he dies in a way that makes Maule's curse seem to be a reality. Rather than trace this terrible evil down through the ages in minute detail, Hawthorne only touches on a few important points before beginning his story in the middle of the 19th century.
The Pyncheon family is slowly moldering into extinction when Hawthorne introduces us to poor old Hepzibah Pyncheon. She lives alone in the ancient estate, reduced to near starvation because her brother Clifford is in prison and Jaffrey Pyncheon, a rich judge who lives in his own manor in the country, refuses to offer her assistance. The only way to survive for Hepzibah is to open a penny store in an old part of the decaying house. Just when things reach a nadir, another Pyncheon turns up to save the day. This is Phoebe, a vivacious young lady who lives in the country. This fetching lass is a blessing for Hepzibah; she runs the penny store, helps to lift the gloomy atmosphere in the house, and when Clifford returns from his long imprisonment, Phoebe entertains the doddering man with her multitude of charms. She even strikes up an acquaintance with Holgrave, a young boarder in the house. Things start to look up when yet another tragedy strikes the Pyncheon family, leading to the momentary evacuation of the ancestral estate by Hepzibah and Clifford before Hawthorne settles all accounts in an ending that is both quick and highly implausible.
The reputation this book has with many people is not good. They disparage the lengthy digressions, the massive amount of time Hawthorne takes to explore Hepzibah's dilemma over opening the penny store, the sentences that go on and on without seeming to make any point whatsoever, and the organization of the book as a whole. There is some foundation in these charges. The chapters describing the penny store do seem interminable, especially when viewed in the context of the story as a whole. As for the descriptions of Hepzibah's scowling countenance and Clifford's puny mental state, we get the idea well before Hawthorne quits harping on them. Yes, there are flaws in "The House of the Seven Gables."
However, I personally enjoyed the deeply rich 19th century prose. Hawthorne's command of the English language is impressive and, at times, as precise as a cruise missile. One need only read the chapter about Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon's unfortunate incident in the house to grasp the beauty of this author's style. As for the digressions, if people have a problem with chapters such as "Alice Pyncheon" and the introductory material setting down the history of the doomed family, it is really their loss. It is when Hawthorne writes about supernatural elements that he really managed to grab me. If this counts as a lengthy digression from the story, I will take more, please!
If I had to assign a Hawthorne novel to a group of slack jawed high school students, I would give them this one in place of "The Scarlet Letter." At least with "The House of the Seven Gables," someone might enjoy the eerie curse that united the Maules with the Pyncheons for two centuries. A letter sewn on clothing cannot stack up against ghosts, a disembodied hand, and mysterious deaths. The kids will still grumble, but not as much when they realize there are less "thees" and "thous" tossed around in this novel.
79 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In response to the negative reviews... 10 février 2000
Par John Salerno - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I must say that the negative reviews that I have read about Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables are sorely off the mark. The prevalent sentiments are that the plot is dull (or almost absent), the characters are flat, and the description is overwrought. But you who say this are simply missing the point, as well as taking Hawthorne's work out of context. You have to understand that this novel was written during a very transitional period in literature. Writers had shifted from the Enlightenment to Romanticism (the period in which Hawthorne writes), and as Hawthorne writes his novels, another movement is being made to Realism. Realism is what we are used to in modern fiction. It contains real characters and real events. But Hawthorne had not yet fully employed these new ideas, and he still hung on to the Romantic sentiments. Therefore, he was much more interested in ideas rather than character development (a modern technique). Hawthorne chooses to convey ideas, emotions, morals, etc. rather than fully developed the characters like they would be in a novel today.
As for no plot, you have to keep in mind that Hawthorne still looks to the old tradition (not to mention his guilt of his heritage), so he uses his writing as a way to teach moral lessons, not necessarily to describe a highly detailed story and plot.
Finally, I can't deny that there is plenty of narrative description, but most of it serves a great purpose, and for the parts that you think do not belong, just read and enjoy them for their poetic beauty and technical merit.
Hawthorne is a fantastic writer, but to acknowledge this, the reader must not take his work out of its context.
29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Read this again 20 août 2007
Par Linda Pagliuco - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Sometimes it seems a mistake to force high school students to read 19th century literature. It does take patience to adjust to the "old fashioned" prose, but it's worth the effort. House of Seven Gables is an eerie ghost story based upon actual historical events. Hawthorne knew Salem and its history inside and out, and he also knew how to create a haunting atmosphere and a story that stays in the mind forever. He's one of the few authors who conveys a sense of Puritan fatalism and repression without resorting to gothic romance cliches. This is an excellent piece of literature, and if you haven't given it a chance by rereading it as an adult, you're missing a great experience.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A mixed review from this Hawthorne fan 25 juin 2004
Par abt1950 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
What can you say about Nathaniel Hawthorne's "House of the Seven Gables" that hasn't been said before? It's dark; it's Gothic; much of it is depressing; and the language is dense 19th century prose. Those who read primarily for plot will find it slow going, and those who look for likeable characters may be largely disappointed. In other words, for modern readers, this book may be a tough sell. Personally, I found it a little dull and a letdown after having recently reread (and enjoyed) "The Scarlet Letter."
Nonetheless, "The House of the Seven Gables" has its pleasures. Hawthorne, the scion of an old Massachusetts Puritan family, injects an unusual sense of historical depth into his writings. This is certainly true of "The House of the Seven Gables," which explores the idea of character flaws, evil and retribution passed down from generation to generation in a single family. Of course not everyone in the family is guilty, but the sins of a few taint the lives of all. As in much of Hawthorne's work, the supernatural, sometimes implied and sometimes explicit, plays a role in the workings of the plot. Even the daguerrotypist--nothing but an early photographer to us--must have given the 19th century reader a frisson because of his combination of mesmeric powers and miraculous ability to produce telling images out of pure light.
Hawthorne is a master of description, an expert at using his words to create images that convey far more than simple visuals. Even when the plot seemed stale and the characters wooden, the author's use of the language made it worth continuing. Hawthorne's descriptions of a little boy's love of animal-shaped cookies, of the garden with Maule's bitter well, and of the dead Jaffrey unmoving in his chair, to mention just a few, made the book well worth reading. "The House of the Seven Gables" may or may not be Hawthorne's best work (that's always a matter of opinion--try some of his short stories too), but it is an interesting book nonetheless
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