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The Old Apple Dealer

from Mosses from an Old Manse

Cover image for


Language: English
Wordcount: 2,894 / 15 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 51
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 637 3372
Genre: Short Story

The lover of the moral picturesque may sometimes find what he, seeks in a character which is nevertheless of too negative a description to be seized upon and represented to the imaginative vision by word- painting. As an instance, I remember an old man who carries on a little trade of gingerbread and apples at the depot of one of our railroads. While awaiting the departure of the cars, my observation, flitting to and fro among the livelier characteristics of the scene, has often settled insensibly upon this almost hueless object. Thus, unconsciously to myself and unsuspected by him, I have studied the old apple-dealer until he has become a naturalized citizen of my inner world. How little would he imagine--poor, neglected, friendless, unappreciated, and with little that demands appreciation--that the mental eye of an utter stranger has so often reverted to his figure! Many a noble form, many a beautiful face, has flitted before me and vanished like a shadow. It is a strange witchcraft whereby this faded and featureless old apple-dealer has gained a settlement in my memory.



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Elin Barnes
Elin Barnes has done many different things in her life, like being a flight instructor, working for a criminal appeals lawyer and working for many big name technology companies in Silicon Valley (Microsoft, Google etc.). But the one thing that she never thought would actually happen is to write (and finish) a book. Her debut novel, Justification for Murder, has, in the meantime, earned rave reviews and grown into a series. As our author of the day, Barnes reveals why she picked Silicon Valley as the backdrop, her inspiration behind writing a biomedical thriller and how she went for ride-alongs with the San Jose Police Department.
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