occuserpens (occuserpens) wrote,
occuserpens
occuserpens

Был ли Готорн неоконсерватором?

Keeping it simple, stupid, it is clear that modern religious right are quite ready to take Hawthorne's wonderful fable The Birthmark as a demonstration that "mad scientists" need strict "moral" that is, ideological control. Otherwise, by their logic, quest for perfection certainly will result in the most nighmarish results. For example, what if terrorists will acquire the magic potion and use it to kill innocent people? Etc, etc.

The problem with this is that, if we remember The Scarlet Letter, it becomes clear that Hawthorne was perfectly aware of what we know as symbol manipulation. Otherwise, why should the letter A mean both "Angel" and "Adulterous" - depending on the concrete circumstances? Symbols are powerful weapons in cultural warfare, and there is little doubt in my mind that the great writer who knew this all to well, would fiercely oppose cheap neoconservative demagoguery.

So, what about the meaning of the The Birthmark? One explanation is that Hawthorne's character was a gambler, a control freak with unstoppable lust for power and real talent of persuasion. As for the culture of experiment planning and basic safety considerations, demagogue Aylmer could not care less about all this. When, not how was his main and only concern, everything else was just a justification.

Apparently, Aylmer was burning to play with his potion ASAP no matter what. Perfecting Georgiana's looks? Well, that's typical rhetorical device: I want to do X to Y because it perfectly fits Y's own interests. Been there, heard this quite a number of times, dear friends from WSJ and the National Review!

/* Спасиб logophilka за идеë */
Tags: смыслеги
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