Hawthorne's The Artist of the Beautiful, Pollack's Stitches in Time, and Jung's The Spirit Man, Art and Literature

Hawthorne's The Artist of the Beautiful, Pollack's Stitches in Time, and Jung's The Spirit Man, Art and Literature

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Artist of the Beautiful, Barbara Pollack's Stitches in Time, and Car Jung's The Spirit Man, Art and Literature


The artist has been a mystery to many of us: unexplainably driven in his work; seemingly unconcerned with any other aspects of his life; often oblivious to the world around him. The artists in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Artist of the Beautiful," Barbara Pollack's "Stitches in time," and Carl Jung's "The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature" represent some or all of these characteristics. I decided to base this paper on these readings because I found the ideas presented in them interesting and worth exploring.

Jung writes a very interesting piece that examines the artist's source of creativity. He dismisses Freud's claims that art stems from the personal experience of the artist. Jung believes that the true essence of art grows from the "rising above the personal and speaking from the mind and heart of the artist to the mind and heart of mankind (para 156)."

Hawthorne also expresses this idea through his protagonist Owen Warland. Warland overcomes his feelings of frustration and rejection from society to complete his creation and express his ideas. Through his "beautiful" (his creation) he is finally able to show what occupies his mind and heart. Warland's audience - Robert Danforth, Danforth's wife Annie, their little son and Annie's father Peter Hovenden - is amazed

Warland has finally completed his "beautiful." The reader experiences similar amazement with "Stitches in Time:" it is amazing how women who have little or no formal education, who spend most of their day farming, toiling and caring for families, can create such magnificent quilts from scrap material.

Quilting fo...


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...sts and the "artsy" types, which aligns with the views of many people, has generally been persons who have some sort of problem with themselves, their family and/or their sexuality. Jung notes that the artist cannot have time to develop his human side for he must focus on his artistic side for "these are nothing but the regrettable results of his being an artist, a man upon whom a heavier burden is laid than ordinary mortals. A special ability demands a greater expenditure of energy, which must necessarily leave a deficit on some other side of life (paral 58)."

All three pieces portray artists who are driven to create, be it to fulfill their destinies or simply for pleasure. I believe the artist, like the women of Gee's Bend, should not separate himself from the world around him but immerse himself in the wonder that is life and draw from it the energy to create.

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