Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hawthorne's Style

From Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
Assuredly, Zenobia could not have intended it;-the fault must have been entirely in my imagination. But these last words, together with something in her manner, irresistibly brought up a picture of that fine, perfectly developed figure, in Eve's earliest garment.
By these delicate phrases, the narrator says he couldn't help thinking of Zenobia naked. And that she was hot.

And the word "assuredly" seems likely to be ironic in context. The careful reader will suspect that Zenobia did intend for him to picture her without clothing.

Hawthorne had skill enough,
but in those days it was tough,
due to bare-skin-phobia
to write of buxom Zenobia
imagined in the buff.

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