Set during the Civil War , the novel traces the development of a young recruit, Henry Fleming, through fear, illusion, panic, and cowardice, to a quiet, humble heroism. This remarkable account of the emotions of a soldier under fire is all the more amazing since Crane had never been in battle. On the strength of the novel he served as a foreign correspondent in Cuba and in Greece. Around Crane married Cora Taylor, who ran a brothel in Florida.
His marriage, coupled with his unorthodox personality, aroused scandalous rumors, including those that he was a drug addict and a satanist. Because of this slander Crane spent his last years abroad; he died of tuberculosis in Germany at the age of Crane was a superb literary stylist who emphasized irony and paradox and made innovative use of imagery and symbolism.
Thus, although realistic, his novels are highly individual. Crane also wrote superb short stories and poems. His two books of epigrammatic free verse , The Black Rider and War Is Kind , anticipated several strains of 20th-century poetry.
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See his works, ed. Bowers 10 vol.
Wertheim and P. Sorrentino 2 vol. Berryman , repr. Stallman , L.
Davis , and P. Sorrentino ; studies by M. Holton , R. Weatherford, ed. Bergon , D.
Halliburton , and C. Benfey ; bibliography by R. Stallman Crane, Stephen — US writer, poet, and war correspondent. Nationality: American. Born: Newark, New Jersey , 1 November Family: Lived with Cora Taylor from Died: 5 June Stallman, as Sullivan County Tales and Sketches, Stallman and E. Crane: A Critical Bibliography by R. Dooley, Wolford, ; Crane by James B. Davis, When he died in at the age of 28 from tuberculosis aggravated by his strenuous life as a freelance journalist, he had written six novels, two books of poems, six collections of stories and sketches, and several volumes of miscellaneous journalism.
A relativist, ironist, and impressionist, he was the most gifted writer of his generation, and the most original, admired by generations of readers for his acute psychological insights, his bold experiments with new fictional forms, and his witty impressionistic style. Crane's stories cover an unusually wide range of subjects and settings. He wrote of the savagery of New York slum life, of the horrors of war on imagined battlefields in Virginia and on real ones in Greece and Cuba, of the terror and despair of shipwreck, of the comedy, pathos, and cruelty of childlife in small-town America, and of the blighting powers of social superstition and community prejudice.
Yet for all this variety there is a remarkable unity in his writings, partly because of the pronounced and consistent interpenetration of theme in his work, partly because of the power of his integrating imagination.
Complete Short Stories and Sketches of Stephen Crane by Crane Stephen Gullason Thomas a
His way of seeing things was shaped by the cultural, social, and intellectual conflicts of the s, s, and s, when the new sciences and advanced theological scholarship were sharply challenging the authority of orthodox religion and whatever faith was left in the expansive ideas of the old Romantic idealism. By the early s, when Crane wrote his first stories, Emerson's notion of a god-like, self-reliant hero who enjoys an original relation to a benevolent and purposeful nature was to many no longer convincing.
In Crane's perspective humans appear as diminished, standing helpless before the implacable forces of nature, raging against the hostile—or worse, indifferent—gods they hold responsible for their plight. Bink's Holiday," and others. Many of the tropes, images, and motifs associated with the theme are ingeniously adapted from story to story, further emphasizing the connections between them and enhancing the power of imagination that informs them.
The essential traits of Crane's diminished hero appear in his earliest journalistic writings, satirical descriptions of complacent vacationers at resorts along the Jersey Coast. In an ironic phrase here, a mocking image there, he exposed their vanity by placing them in the context of a vast and indifferent nature: the narcissistic "summer girl" appears on the beach as "a bit of interesting tinsel flashing near the sombre-hued ocean"; the pompous founder of the town is certain that his beach enhances the value of the Lord's adjacent sea.
The hero of several Sullivan County stories, Crane's first professional fiction, suffers similar delusions. He is "the little man" many of Crane's characters are anonymous, or nearly so , a swaggering outdoorsman who anxiously explores the rugged Sullivan County landscape for signs of a benevolent and sympathetic nature. What his anxiety-driven fancy discovers is not reassurance but maddening ambiguity: the "black mouth" of a cave gapes at him; a hill, mysteriously sentient, glowers threateningly; yet on occasion, when the sun gleams "merrily" on a little lake, and the soughing pines sing hymns of love, the landscape is a pastoral idyll, a marvel of harmony and divine good will.
Laboring under the stress of these fantasies, the "little man" has moods that swing wildly between rage and despair and strutting self-assurance. This characterization of this hero and the tropes and imagery of an ambiguous nature are the essential elements of many of Crane's stories, including his masterpieces The Red Badge of Courage and "The Open Boat.
Unlike Henry, the correspondent eventually dispels his neurotic fantasies—the only character in Crane's fiction who does so—and comes to understand that nature is neither for nor against him—neither cruel "nor benefi-cent, or treacherous, nor wise," but "indifferent, flatly indifferent. In these stories the theme is central, constituting in effect the entire plot; in others it appears obliquely and incidentally. The "coxcomb" hero, the Swede, an Eastern visitor to the Nebraska frontier town of Fort Romper, takes refuge from a raging blizzard in a local hotel.
Their feelings are mixed: they want to destroy the enemy and at the same time, they desperately want to protect each other. Will they succ I am sure that it would have been more correct for me to have alighted upon St. Paul's and described no emotion until I was overcome by the Thames Embankment and the Houses of Parliament. But as a matter of fact I did not see them for some days, and Two men sat by the sea waves. He was poking holes in the sand with a discontented cane.
The Complete Short Stories and Sketches Of Stephen Crane by Crane, Stephen
The companion was watching the waves play. He seemed overcome with perspiring discomfort as a man who is resol The doctor assented. They wouldn't dare leave New York at her mercy. Trescott, after a pause, "the neighbors will be pleased. When they see her they'll immediately lock up their children for safet The girl was in the front room on the second floor, peering through the blinds. It was the "best room. The edges of it had been dyed with alternate stripes of red and green. Upon the wooden mantel there The sky-line was a ragged enclosure of gray cliffs and hemlocks and pines.
If one had been miraculously set down in this gulch one could have imagined easily that the nearest human habitation was hundreds of miles away, if it were not for an old half Dog-lovers will especially enjoy scenes featuring Billie's Irish Setter, Stanley. Although it was not one of the author's o In addition to this remarkable work, Crane also wrote many short stories about the Civil War, among oth In he tried to slip into Cuba to observe the guerrilla insurgency.
Later that same year he traveled to Europe to report the Greco-Turkish war.
The reports he wrote in these instances are uneven, but at their best they are vivid and thoughtful journalism. Most important, Crane drew upon these experiences for some of his most successful short stories, most notably "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" , "The Blue Hotel" , and "Death and the Child" Although his strenuous travel adventures may have shortened his life, they also provided him with the material for some of his most probing fictions. The story derives directly from his experience in a dinghy adrift at sea for thirty hours after the sinking of the Commodore, a steamship illegally bound for Cuba shortly before the Spanish-American War.
In exploring the developing consciousness of the narrator, his growing awareness of nature, and his deepening relationships to other human beings, the story measures the vastness of human loneliness and defines a brotherhood of those who have encountered the sea. After his ordeal at sea, Crane was nursed back to health by Cora Taylor, the proprietor of a house of assignation in Jacksonville, Florida, whom he had met shortly before the ill-fated Commodore left port.
They traveled together to Greece and then to England, where, early in , they moved into an ancient manor house in Sussex, with the writers Henry James and Joseph Conrad for neighbors. Brede House was an extravagant distraction for Crane; nevertheless, during his period there he produced a substantial amount of work, including poems, stories, a novel Active Service , and part of a historical romance The O'Ruddy. Much of this work shows his continuing fascination with the behavior of individuals under the pressure of extreme situations. Crane seems to have first learned he was tubercular when he tried to enlist in the army in to go to Cuba.
It appears he did little to regain his health. When he became very ill in April , Cora took him in desperation to a sanitorium in the Black Forest in Germany, where he died on June 5. Gullason, ed. Site Orientation. Access Author Profile Pages by:.