PT 3: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Birth of Sci-Fi


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In part 3 of our 4 part series we explore "Rappaccini's Daughter," one of Hawthorne's most famous short stories.
Whether we understand it or not, our American culture is heavily shaped by Science Fiction. It is arguably the closest we get to a literary genre. It's power is so immense that our views of things like the lone-billionaire scientist (think Musk) and the doting old intellectual (think Bernie) still follow us around today.
When we look to scientists to solve all of our ecological, biological, earthly "problems" we are acknowledging the impact of sci-fi. Science today resembles a religion of old with its leaders and secretive language and gatekeepers.
This of course is most assuredly NOT science. It is, instead, the by-product of the evolution of science in a literary artform.
In this four part series we are exploring the original conception of this genre. How it was envisioned and some of the original solutions to this primary character: the scientist. What can a scientist know? When should we take scientists at their word? Should we relegate the entire realm of knowledge to the specialists of today?
Explore these ideas as well as the personal moral values in Hawthorne's romantic sci-fi stories in part 3 of our 4 part series.

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