Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Rewards of Writing

Posted by admin on Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nathaniel Hawthorne Money quote saying that getting paid is the final of three dividends of writing – from a letter written in 1851.
 
The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash Quote
 

“The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

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In this quote, Nathaniel Hawthorne seems to be providing a tongue-in-cheek perspective on the motivations and rewards of literary work. By listing the “sensible ends” of literature as “the pleasurable toil of writing”, “the gratification of one’s family and friends”, and “lastly, the solid cash”, Hawthorne implies that while the creative process and bringing joy or enrichment to loved ones are truly meaningful goals, financial compensation is still an important practical factor for authors.

The quote conveys Hawthorne’s somewhat sardonic view that as much as literature aims to uplift or edify, the ability to earn a living from one’s writing is also a sensible professional objective. Overall, Hawthorne appears to be acknowledging the interplay between artistic, personal and monetary motivations that drive literary endeavors, with an undercurrent of humor in ranking profit last but acknowledging its necessary role all the same.

Birthday: July 4, 1804 – Death: May 19, 1864

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