But Hawthorne has one big advantage over other writers of his day that has propelled some readers through his books in rapid and frenzied anticipation: the picture that’s usually printed along with the author’s byline. I am combining expletives here from Lynn and Sioux in order to create one, slightly more socially acceptable expletive when I say: oh-my-greasy-gracious-holy-flying-lardfish.
Hawthorne was hot.
This, of course, was before the hair on his head migrated to his face in great, walrus-like excess as it seemed to have been wont to do in that era. I’m not knocking bald, either—I’m knocking those great, sweeping Fuller Brush push-brooms that sprouted out of their upper lips with disappointing regularity. The ones where I imagine they had to slide food up under the Great Wall of Chia like inserting mail into a letter slot, because how else would you get food past all that briar-rose-shrubbery without sucking some of it in? Bleah.
Here he is in his non-massively-mustachio-ed days. This portrait is akin to female English major porn, which is ironic when you consider how he wrote about all that shameful sinfulness. But he does remind us of one of the cardinal rules of writing: show, don’t tell.
Michael (on dating his coworker’s mother) in The Office: “The only time you should care about a woman’s age is if she is too young for you. And I am not robbing the cradle. If anything, I am robbing the grave.”