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  • Published: 28 July 1977
  • ISBN: 9780140150681
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $55.00

The Portable Stephen Crane



“A man is born into the world with his own pair of eyes, and he is not responsible for his vision—he is merely responsible for his quality of personal honesty.” In the course of his tragically abbreviated career, Stephen Crane (1871–1900) saw things that his contemporaries preferred to overlook—the low life of New York’s Irish slums; the tedium, brutality, and chaos that were the true conditions of the Civil War; the ambiguous contract that binds a terrified man to his killer and the damned to their human judges. He communicated what he saw with the same laconic factuality that characterized his journalism and, in the process, laid the foundations for the unblinking realism of Hemingway and Dos Passos.
 
The Portable Stephen Crane allows us to appreciate the full scope and power of this writer’s vision. It contains three complete novels—Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, George’s Mother, and Crane’s masterpiece, The Red Badge of Courage; nineteen short stories and sketches, including “The Blue Hotel” and “The Open Boat,” a barely fictionalized account of his own escape from shipwreck while covering the Cuban revolt against Spain; the previously unpublished essay “Above All Things”; letters and poems, plus a critical essay and notes by the noted Crane scholar Joseph Katz.

  • Published: 28 July 1977
  • ISBN: 9780140150681
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $55.00

About the author

Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane (1871–1900) was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of a Methodist minister and the daughter of a Methodist bishop. 'Stevie,' their fourteenth and last child, turned from his devout roots to a young manhood of pool, poker, and baseball. Following preparatory school at Claverack College, his formal, but hardly his real, education ended with one semester at Lafayette and one at Syracuse University.

Maggie, a Girl of the Streets appeared in 1893, part of it written at Syracuse, part in New York City's Bowery. Slum life and war attracted Crane imaginatively and then literally. The Red Badge of Courage (1895) made him famous before he ever saw any fighting. Active as a reporter in the West, Mexico, Greece, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, he eventually became involved romantically, and perhaps chivalrously, with Cora Howorth Stewart (Taylor), madame of the Hotel de Dream in Jacksonville, Florida.

Crane penultimately settled down with Cora Howorth Stewart (Taylor) in England in 1899, writing energetically to pay debts and alternately enjoying and feeling plagued by the company of visiting writers, among them Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and H. G. Wells.

He died on June 5, 1900, in Badenweiler, Germany, where he and Cora had sought relief for his tuberculosis. After his death Cora returned to her former profession in Jacksonville, opening a new house modelled, so the legend goes, along the lines of Brede Place, the medieval pile they had occupied in England.

Two volumes of poetry, The Black Riders and Other Lines (1895) and War Is Kind (1899); several volumes of later fiction, including some of his very best as well as some hasty and sentimental work; and an unfinished romance, The O'Ruddy (published in 1903 as completed by Robert Barr), form part of the ten-volume Works, edited by Fredson Bowers and published (1969–75) by the University Press of Virginia.

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