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Prose and Poetry: Maggie: A Girl of the Streets / The Red Badge of Courage / Stories, Sketches, Journalism, The Black Riders / War Is Kind

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This Library of America volume shows why Stephen Crane has come to be recognized as one of the most innovative and diversely talented writers of his generation, even though he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight. This comprehensive collection includes all his most accomplished and best-known works: five novels, short stories, journalism, war correspondence, and This Library of America volume shows why Stephen Crane has come to be recognized as one of the most innovative and diversely talented writers of his generation, even though he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight. This comprehensive collection includes all his most accomplished and best-known works: five novels, short stories, journalism, war correspondence, and his two completed books of poetry. Here are the classic novels he published in a span of five years: The Red Badge of Courage (1895), about a young and confused Union soldier under fire for the first time; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), a vivid portrait of slum life and a young girl’s fall; George’s Mother (1896), about New York’s Bowery and its effect on a young workingman fresh from the country; The Third Violet (1897), the story of a bohemian artist’s country romance; and The Monster (1899), a novella about sacrifice and rescue, guilt and isolation. Among his short stories are such masterpieces as “The Open Boat,” “The Blue Hotel,” and “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.” His prose is at the same time dense and lean, suited to his description of the elusive forces that impinge upon his characters, and suited also to his desire not to circumscribe them with traditional moral and interpretive definition. Included here as well are the Whilomville stories of children and childhood in small-town America and the Sullivan County sketches of turn-of-the-twentieth-century rural life. As a journalist, Crane covered the Spanish-American War and the Greco-Turkish War, traveled through Mexico and the West, and reported on the seamier sides of New York City life; the best of his dispatches are gathered here. Also featured are both of Crane’s collections of epigrammatic free verse—The Black Riders (1895) and War is Kind (1899)—and selections from his uncollected poems. His poetry shows strong affinities to Emily Dickinson, while also anticipating the Imagist movement later in the twentieth century. This is the most substantial gathering of Crane’s work ever made available in one volume; it is an enduring testimony to his heroic achievement.


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This Library of America volume shows why Stephen Crane has come to be recognized as one of the most innovative and diversely talented writers of his generation, even though he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight. This comprehensive collection includes all his most accomplished and best-known works: five novels, short stories, journalism, war correspondence, and This Library of America volume shows why Stephen Crane has come to be recognized as one of the most innovative and diversely talented writers of his generation, even though he died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight. This comprehensive collection includes all his most accomplished and best-known works: five novels, short stories, journalism, war correspondence, and his two completed books of poetry. Here are the classic novels he published in a span of five years: The Red Badge of Courage (1895), about a young and confused Union soldier under fire for the first time; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893), a vivid portrait of slum life and a young girl’s fall; George’s Mother (1896), about New York’s Bowery and its effect on a young workingman fresh from the country; The Third Violet (1897), the story of a bohemian artist’s country romance; and The Monster (1899), a novella about sacrifice and rescue, guilt and isolation. Among his short stories are such masterpieces as “The Open Boat,” “The Blue Hotel,” and “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.” His prose is at the same time dense and lean, suited to his description of the elusive forces that impinge upon his characters, and suited also to his desire not to circumscribe them with traditional moral and interpretive definition. Included here as well are the Whilomville stories of children and childhood in small-town America and the Sullivan County sketches of turn-of-the-twentieth-century rural life. As a journalist, Crane covered the Spanish-American War and the Greco-Turkish War, traveled through Mexico and the West, and reported on the seamier sides of New York City life; the best of his dispatches are gathered here. Also featured are both of Crane’s collections of epigrammatic free verse—The Black Riders (1895) and War is Kind (1899)—and selections from his uncollected poems. His poetry shows strong affinities to Emily Dickinson, while also anticipating the Imagist movement later in the twentieth century. This is the most substantial gathering of Crane’s work ever made available in one volume; it is an enduring testimony to his heroic achievement.

30 review for Prose and Poetry: Maggie: A Girl of the Streets / The Red Badge of Courage / Stories, Sketches, Journalism, The Black Riders / War Is Kind

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joje

    I own this collection and the stars are for his poetry and Badge, mostly the second. I can't judge all, since not all has been read, but "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" is a masterpiece and some of his wild little poems made it into my HS poetry book. I will get to the rest when time allows and other books quit pushing in between. "Tell brave deeds of war." Then they recounted tales,-- "There were stern stands "And bitter runs for glory." Ah, I think there were braver deeds.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Keith

    Stephen Crane was a prolific writer completing five novellas, hundreds of short stories and newspaper articles and two books of poetry before dying at age 28 of tuberculosis. During his brief life he suffered disease, a sunken boat, poverty and war. He is lauded as one of the first Americans to write in a naturalistic style. He also presented life as a stark struggle to survive – not only in the wilds of the west, not only in combat, but also in the heart of American cities. Poverty, disease, hu Stephen Crane was a prolific writer completing five novellas, hundreds of short stories and newspaper articles and two books of poetry before dying at age 28 of tuberculosis. During his brief life he suffered disease, a sunken boat, poverty and war. He is lauded as one of the first Americans to write in a naturalistic style. He also presented life as a stark struggle to survive – not only in the wilds of the west, not only in combat, but also in the heart of American cities. Poverty, disease, hunger and violent death are never far from Crane’s view. I picked up this edition primarily for Crane’s poetry. I’d been exposed to it throughout my life, but I never read the complete set of either of his books. I was also interested in his prose, which I know very little about. Here are my reviews of the works I’ve read so far: Stories, Sketches and Journalism The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky *** – This is a wry story about the end of the wild west and the coming of civilization. The Blue Hotel *** – This is a dark tale about one man’s fear leading to a cascade of events that result in his death in a small Nebraska town during a blizzard. The Open Boat **** – This is one of those rare stories I read a long, long time ago, but it always stuck with me. It didn’t disappoint with this re-reading. It is a powerful story of man’s battle against nature and fate and death. It is certainly the best Crane work I’ve read so far. Poems The Black Riders and Other Lines *** – For more than a hundred years, Crane’s poems have earned consternation and mixed reviews (at best). No one would think to list him among the finest American poets (of the 19th or 20th century), yet it’s hard to deny that these writings have a unique power. They are confounding because they are at the same time juvenile and mystical, 19th and 20th century, familiar and formal. What is the reader to make of these? While re-reading these unique works, here’s how I’ve come to terms with them. I suggest forgetting Crane’s line breaks. These, in my opinion, are not done primarily as a poetic device or intent. These are to provide a shape – a smallness – to the text that prose would not allow. To put these in prose would have the words stretched out across the page in a long, flat shape. The reading would require traversing the entire page width – whatever length that is – and create a journey-like wandering back and forth across the page, suggesting – subtly – a logic and anticipation that you are getting somewhere. These works are not about destination. Shortening the lines (or squeezing the margins) keeps the works compact, more whole, shorter and more shaped, almost like an amulet on the page. (In this way, it is similar to a poem, but it is not driven by meter or accent.++) The eye does not wander; it can easily see the entire piece in one view, in one small space. Rather than the logical unfolding of an idea, each one is presented as an instant – a self-contained moment, or a single emotion. It is brief, compact and whole within itself. If we forget the line breaks and don’t look at these as poems, what are they? To me, they are parables. They are short fictitious stories that illustrate a moral attitude or a religious principle. (The forms vary among these works – I wouldn’t say all are parables, but the vast majority are.) Crane grew up in a strict, religious family. He knew well the parable format. The parable is often an allegory used to foster thought and discussion on a religious issue, to make the listener think through the topic and find a meaning. It conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison or analogy. This view provides context for the poems’ mystical, fairy tale quality. The speaker is often wandering and sees various people and things and has strange, esoteric conversations. The conversations are around morals, sins, god and fate. The statements are cryptic and hermetical. The explanation – if it is provided at all – is open ended and quizzical. (It should also be noted that most Western readers know the parables from Bibles written in multiple, narrow columns giving the visible impression of poetry.) The entire book lack a coherent or cohesive philosophy; they center around a skeptical, iconoclastic view on life. If there is a god, it is a personal god – a god who is mysterious and not much help. In fact, the god mirrors the man – what’s in the man is in the god and vice versa. The overriding concerns seems to be pity for mankind – the fostering of empathetic feelings for each other. Setting aside the traditional notions of poetry, Crane’s writings can then be enjoyed (or considered) for what they offer: a skeptical view in modern morals and values, and the individual’s place in the world. (07/16) ++ It must be admitted that Crane foreshadows the 20th century trend in which writing is called poetry solely because it looks like poetry on the page. Rhyme, rhythm, meter, etc., become irrelevant. War Is Kind, and Uncollected Poems *** – Unlike the Black Riders parables, these brief works contain what we would typically call poetry. In terms of format, perspective and style, these are much easier to classify and recognize as poetry. Overall, the poems are good. Crane’s language and imagery is more inventive than in the Black Riders collection. The title poem is very good. It would have been interesting to see how Crane’s poetry would have grown had he lived past age 28. (07/16) Note on the Library of America version: Like all Library of America books, this is a definitive copy of Crane’s writings. The structure, though, is a little odd. First, it does not explain its structure. It appears to be in chronological order by type: novel, short stories and poetry. In the short stories, some of Crane’s newspaper articles are mixed in. The notes in the back are scarce, and I don’t see any listing of when and where the short stories were first published. And is this a collection of all Cranes novels and stories? Or just a selection? It’s hard to say. That isn’t clear. It’s just a shame that they put together a definitive version like this, only to skimp in the introduction and notes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

    Actually, I read only "The Red Badge of Courage" which is included in this anthology. I am still thinking about the RBC. It is a good reminder of the trauma that the Civil War was and how it haunts us today. My first impressions of RBC are (1) how spare the prose is; (2) how unified in time and place the action is; (3) how odd some of Crane's usages are; (4) how deep is his knowledge of the mind as trained in concepts of sin and morality and patriotism of former days at least. (I am not sure what Actually, I read only "The Red Badge of Courage" which is included in this anthology. I am still thinking about the RBC. It is a good reminder of the trauma that the Civil War was and how it haunts us today. My first impressions of RBC are (1) how spare the prose is; (2) how unified in time and place the action is; (3) how odd some of Crane's usages are; (4) how deep is his knowledge of the mind as trained in concepts of sin and morality and patriotism of former days at least. (I am not sure what concepts are coming across these days.) The unity of the action, as noted above, makes it hard for me to find the art inasmuch as the reader is roped into one tight place anyway. But I note an interesting parallel in that the dying Jim (one of the few named characters) tells Henry to leave him be and shortly afterwards Henry tells the Tattered Man to leave him be. I found the scene of the departure from the Tattered Man to be very moving. It was cinematic: a few well-shot and unforgettable frames in long movie. What amazed me is that thoughts regarding the Tattered Man re-appear in the book's few last pages as they cast a cloud on Henry's hard won glory. I wonder if the Tattered Man and Henry's "relationship" with him are at the heart of RBC. Despite the violence and killing that surround everyone in the book, it is thoughts of the Tattered Man that occasion Mr. Crane's only use (I believe) of the word "sin". It is sad and hard to believe, actually, that Mr. C died before he was 29 years old! One can only wonder about what his writing as an older person would have been like --- the same question that comes up for me as to Mozart.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    "Do not weep, babe, for war is kind. Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches, Raged at his breast, gulped and died, Do not weep. War is kind." -"War is Kind" I got this collection mainly to take a look at Crane's poetry, although his short stories were also a point of interest for me. After reading The Red Badge of Courage, I wanted to like his other works, but I found that they mostly did not work for me. My last resort was to try out his short stories and poetry and found a little more t "Do not weep, babe, for war is kind. Because your father tumbles in the yellow trenches, Raged at his breast, gulped and died, Do not weep. War is kind." -"War is Kind" I got this collection mainly to take a look at Crane's poetry, although his short stories were also a point of interest for me. After reading The Red Badge of Courage, I wanted to like his other works, but I found that they mostly did not work for me. My last resort was to try out his short stories and poetry and found a little more to like, mostly in the poetry section. I still think that a lot of these works don't really work for me, but I actually love Crane's poetry and think that he should have done a lot more with that. Besides the poetry, however, I found myself getting bored with Crane's style. It just struck me as a little too confusing to really enjoy. This is really a crying shame, because Red Badge was actually a great work that I liked a lot. I just don't think it worked out for me. Wonderful poetry, though. "A man said to the Universe: 'Sir, I exist!' 'However,' replied the Universe, 'The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.' -"A Man Said to the Universe

  5. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I never read "The Red Badge of Courage" in school and thought I ought to catch up. I can understand now why so many students complain about it. The "impressionistic" style is difficult to follow, but I enjoyed it. Although, I think O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" a better glimpse into a soldier's experience of war (I assume). Also read "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets." Not bad, but there are better books about turn-of-the-century poverty.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Martin Bihl

    Maggie: A Girl of the Streets - finished 11.25.12 George's Mother - finished 04.16.13 The Third Violet - finished 04.18.14 The Monster - finished 01.04.15 Poetry - finished 01.03.16 Stories, Sketches & Journalism (Part 1) - finished 03.30.17 Stories, Sketches & Journalism (Part 2) - finished 07.07.19 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets - finished 11.25.12 George's Mother - finished 04.16.13 The Third Violet - finished 04.18.14 The Monster - finished 01.04.15 Poetry - finished 01.03.16 Stories, Sketches & Journalism (Part 1) - finished 03.30.17 Stories, Sketches & Journalism (Part 2) - finished 07.07.19

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bauer

    I'd read The Red Badge of Courage back in high school but was surprised at how good the short stories are. Great stuff.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Scheuer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lawrence E.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dani Alexis

  12. 4 out of 5

    H.y

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janet Gauthier

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Parks

  16. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  17. 4 out of 5

    Millie Puckett

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Lynch

  21. 4 out of 5

    V

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  23. 5 out of 5

    Raffaello Palandri

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  25. 4 out of 5

    Will Hickox

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dan Crawley

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julius

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt

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