Literary Precedents for Ghost Story

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On the dust jacket of Ghost Story Straub is quoted as explaining that the novel "refers back to the classic American novels and stories of the genre by Henry James and Nathaniel Hawthorne ... I was moved by a desire to look into, examine, and play with the genre — to take these "classic' elements as far as they could go."

Straub's direct references to James and Hawthorne help to establish this sense of tradition. The names of the two law partners, Sears James and Ricky Hawthorne, are the most obvious of these references; after Sears's death, a new partner joins the firm, and Ricky tells his wife, "Pity his name isn't Poe."

Less obviously, a third member of the Chowder Society, Dr. John Jaffrey, takes his name from Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, a character in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (1851).

Also, the Chowder Society tale...

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This section contains 227 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ghost Story Short Guide
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Ghost Story from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.