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[Location:Literature/ Topic: The Artist and Alienation /Sub-Topic: “Drowne’s Wooden Image”/Introductory Page

An excerpt that describes the transformation that takes place in both Drowne and his carving as he works upon the block of wood.

A fine piece of timber, indeed, which Drowne was known to have reserved for some work of especial dignity, was seen to be gradually assuming shape. What shape it was destined ultimately to take, was a problem to his friends, and a point on which the carver preserved a rigid silence. But day after day, though Drowne was seldom noticed in the act of working upon it, this rude form began to be developed, until it became evident to all observers, that a female figure was growing into mimic life. At each new visit they beheld a larger pile of wooden chips, and a nearer approximation to something beautiful. It seemed as if the hamadryad of the oak had sheltered herself from the unimaginative world within the heart of her native tree, and that it was only necessary to remove the strange shapelessness that had incrusted her, and reveal the grace and loveliness of a divinity. Imperfect as the design, the attitude, the costume, and especially the face of the image, still remained, there was already an effect that drew the eye from the wooden cleverness of Drowne's earlier productions, and fixed it upon the tantalizing mystery of this new project.

Full text of "Drowne’s Wooden Image" from Mosses From an Old Manse




Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/11550/


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