The Complete Short Stories and Sketches of Stephen Crane

      Stephen Crane / History & Fiction
The Complete Short Stories and Sketches of Stephen Crane

For the first time all 112 of Stephen Crane’s short stories and sketches—including several that have not been included in any previous collection and two that are now in print for the first time—have been brought together in one volume.

Critics call Stephen Crane, who is best known for his Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage, the first “modern” American writer. Crane was only twenty-eight when he died, but his work had a profound influence on American letters. He helped to kill sentimentality in American writing, giving this country’s fiction renewed strength and dignity as an art form. Crane is considered the American counterpart of such European Nationalists as Zola, Tolstoy, and Flaubert. He refused to bow to the conventions of the day or to popular taste, but wrote about life as he saw it in the closing years of the nineteenth century. And “honest vision of life” was the foundation stone of his artistic aims, and so he sought first-hand experiences and personal involvement in his themes. He lived the life of “The Open Boat” before he wrote the story. His stories of war and conflict, such as “A Mystery of Heroism” and “Virtue in War,” reflect his experiences as a war correspondent.

Crane strove for originality in his writing; “his style—tense, darting, abrupt, ironic—blends perfectly with an impressionistic technique to give emotional, psychological, and symbolic significance to a series of astutely observed and richly colored episodes.”  The stories and sketches that were a product of his one-man literary revolution are as “modern” today as ever.

This collection includes an authoritative introduction by the editor, in which he evaluates the artistic significance of Crane’s work. The stories ad sketches are presented in chronological order and have been carefully edited to ensure that they are in their original form.

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    The Red Badge of Courage

      Stephen Crane / History & Fiction
The Red Badge of Courage

During an unnamed battle, 18-year-old private Henry Fleming survives what he considers to be a lost cause by escaping into a nearby wood, deserting his battalion. He finds a group of injured men in which one of the group, the "Tattered Soldier", asks Henry, who's often referred to as "The Youth", where he's wounded.

Henry, embarrassed that he's whole, wanders thru the forest. He ultimately decides that running was the best thing, & that he's a small part of the army responsible for saving himself. When he learns that his battalion had won the battle, Henry feels guilty.

As a result, he returns to his battalion & is injured when a cannon operator hits him in the head because he wouldn't let go of his arm. When he returns to camp, the other soldiers believe he was harmed by a bullet grazing him in battle.

The next morning he goes into battle for a 3rd time. While looking for a stream from which to attain water, he discovers from the commanding officer that his regiment has a lackluster reputation. The officer speaks casually about sacrificing Henry's regiment because they're nothing more than "mule drivers" & "mud diggers".

With no regiments to spare, the general orders his men forward. In the final battle, Henry becomes one of the best fighters in his battalion as well as the flag bearer, finally proving his courage as a man.

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    The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

      Stephen Crane / History & Fiction
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of the American Civil War, features a young recruit who overcomes initial fears to become a hero on the battlefield. The book made Crane an international success. Although he was born after the war and had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, the novel is considered an example of Realism.

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    Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Other New York Writings

      Stephen Crane / History & Fiction
Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Other New York Writings

This harrowing tale of a young girl in the slums is a searing portrayal of turn-of-the-century New York, and Stephen Crane's most innovative work. Published in 1893, when the author was just twenty-one, it broke new ground with its vivid characters, its brutal naturalism, and its empathic rendering of the lives of the poor. It remains both powerful, severe, and harshly comic (in Alfred Kazin's words) and a masterpiece of modern American prose.

This edition includes Maggie and George's Mother, Crane's other Bowery tales, and the most comprehensive available selection of Crane's New York journalism. All texts in this volume are presented in their definitive versions.

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    The Third Violet

      Stephen Crane / Romance & Love
The Third Violet

A novella exploring the divides between urban and rural, artist and non-artist, cultural elite and scrapers-by. In doing so, it shows interesting alignments between these, as well as the forces that make an individual on one side of a divide simultaneously envy and loathe someone on the other side of it. Crane has an impressive ability to make characters that the reader both hates and wants to defend.
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