Description : Although many readers are aware of John Updike's Rabbit tetralogy, fewer have paid close attention to his other multivolume work, "The Scarlet Letter trilogy." In Updike's Version, James Schiff provides the first full-length critical analysis of Updike's trilogy since the publication of its final volume in 1988. He demonstrates how Hawthorne's classic novel of adulterous love and divided selves has become an American myth, and how Updike, in his trilogy, has sought to expand, update, and satirize that myth. The three volumes that make up the trilogy, A Month of Sundays (1975), Roger's Version (1986), and S. (1988), engage in a dialogue with Hawthorne's novel, commenting upon and altering the original story. To understand the nature of this dialogue, Schiff employs a methodolgy specifically suited to Updike's mythical method, in which special attention is given to reader expectation, parody, point of view, and principles of fragmentation and condensation. Updike's Version covers new ground in Updike's studies, revealing how the intertextual dialogue between Updike and Hawthorne is far more complex and extensive than has yet been acknowledged. Providing close and detailed readings of the novels, Updike's Version will be of major importance to students and scholars of John Updike, Nathaniel Hawthorne's canonical American text, and American literature in general.
Description : Hawthorne’s story of the disgraced Hester Prynne (who must wear a scarlet “A” as the mark of her adultery), of her illegitimate child, Pearl, and of the righteous minister Arthur Dimmesdale continues to resonate with modern readers. Set in mid-seventeenth-century Boston, this powerful tale of passion, Puritanism, and revenge is one of the foremost classics of American literature. This Broadview edition contains a selection of historical documents that include Hawthorne’s writings on Puritanism, the historical sources of the story, and contemporary reviews of the novel. New to the second edition are an updated critical introduction and bibliography and, in the appendices, additional writings by Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Henry James, and William Dean Howells.