Friday, February 21, 2003

I read a favorite Hawthorne story last night: "Wakefield." Odd tale about a man who takes a week-long vacation from his wife which turns into 20 years, eventhough he only moved to the next street over. He keeps telling himself all this time that he really ought to go back, but he just can't; instead, he watches his wife wondering where he's gone, watches her settle into an uncertain widowhood, wears disguises so he can pass her in the street and look in her face. He likes to watch, and becomes a little too addicted to looking at a home without him in it, looking at his domestic life in perspective, having what amounts to an out-of-body experience. His name is significant; he's like a Rip Van Winkle who never went to sleep.

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