Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
Leonardo DiCaprio's character quotes from Nathaniel Hawthorne in Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award-winning film The Departed.
Hawthorne was actually born Nathaniel Hathorne, but added a "w" to his last name to distance himself from some embarrassing relatives. (Source: A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Larry J. Reynold. Oxford University Press, 2001)
Hawthorne went to Bowdoin College and was classmates with both Franklin Pierce (who would eventually be U.S. President) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (who would eventually be a famous and quite awesome poet). We wonder who was valedictorian. (Source: A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Larry J. Reynold. Oxford University Press, 2001)
NYU has "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" on a list of literature and art related to the "medical humanities." In other words…they make medical students read it for educational reasons. (Source)
Hawthorne home in Concord, MA, called The Wayside, was previously owned by the Alcott family. Louise May Alcott, author of Little Women, grew up in the house. (Source)