Double Life of Stephen Crane

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9780099384519: Double Life of Stephen Crane

The American novelist-journalist Stephen Crane was born in 1871, six years after the war he memorialized in his acclaimed "The Red Badge of Courage", and died of tuberculosis at the age of 28. Recounting Crane's brief life, this book identifies a curious pattern: Crane tried to live what he had already written. Barely 22 when he wrote his major work, he later became the leading war correspondent of his time - in order to see, he told Joseph Conrad, whether "The Red Badge of Courage" was "all right". He took as his common-law wife the madam of a Jacksonville brothel and made a life with her in England, where their circle of friends included Conrad, Henry James, Ford Madox Ford and H.G. Wells.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In an effort to clear away the mists surrounding Crane's short life (1871-1899) Benfey ( Emily Dickinson ) advances the interesting hypothesis that Crane's life was foreshadowed and dictated by his fiction. As a reporter Crane experienced the horrors of war (Spanish-American) only after he wrote The Red Badge of Courage ; years before a common-law marriage to a former madam, he wrote Maggie: A Girl of the Streets . Benfey supports his thesis with a detailed analysis of Crane's life and works including the often overlooked poetry ( The Black Riders ) and his less well-known novels and short stories. While he makes a contribution to the evolving scholarly criticism of Crane's writings, his conjectures concerning the writer's life, due to a lack of documentary evidence, remain speculative. Illustrated.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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