Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Great Short Works of Stephen Crane (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – July 6, 2004
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The collected short work of an American master, including The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.
Stephen Crane died at the age of 28 in Germany. In his short life, he produced stories that are among the most enduring in the history of American ficiton. The Red Badge of Courage manages to capture both the realistic grit and the grand hallucinations of soldiers at war. Maggie: A Girl on the Streets reflects the range of Crane's ability to invest the most tragic and ordinary lives with great insight.
James Colvert writes in the introduction to this volume: "Here we find once again the major elements of Crane's art: the egotism of the hero, the indifference of nature, the irony of the narrator ... Crane is concerned with the moral responsibility of the individual ... (and) moral capability depends upon the ability to see through the illusions wrought by pride and conceitâthe ability to see ourselves clearly and truly."
Great Short Works of Stephen Crane Includes : The Red Badge of Courage; Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; The Monster. Stories: An Experiment in Misery; A Mystery of Heroism; An Episode of War; The Upturned Face; The Open Boat; The Pace of Youth; The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky; The Blue Hotel.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 25%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Now, having added the reading of other major Stephen Crane novellas and short stories, I have a fuller understanding of what he was trying to do and why he was so influential despite his fairly small output due to his death at age 28. He burst onto the literary scene with "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets," a pathos- and anger-filled book about life in New York's Bowery. The story wouldn't fly today because it's a little too obvious and the characters are too black-and-white, and they don't struggle hard enough against their fate. But it was a literary sensation at its time, and it brought Crane many opportunities to write for newspapers while he worked on new fiction. (His newspaper articles, which are not part of this collection, are pretty great, by the way.)
Crane masterfully characterizes (and satirizes) a number of people in "Maggie," as well as in several short stories in this collection by using irony that would be recognizable in a sitcom today. The bravado of people who have no right to it seems to be a recurring theme for him, and he repeatedly shows people cut back down to size, whether American soldiers in Cuba, Easterners going out to the West, or a Bowery tough guy. On the other hand, the good person doesn't always win, as seen most prominently in Maggie's downfall.
"Red Badge," of course, is his most enduring work. There's some satire and male-bonding humor, but mostly it's a story of anger and humility. Henry, the protagonist, not only develops courage, but even more importantly, he contemplates his place in the universe and comes to an understanding. What's fascinating to me is that Crane doesn't take the easy way out in this tightly woven story. Henry flees, then fights reluctantly, and then fights with insane bravery, but doesn't praise himself. The Union troops win a minor skirmish, but before they can even enjoy their victory, the Confederate troops charge and overrun them. The troops slog through some engagements and are justifiably scared, but are vilified by commanders for their lack of bravery and effort. Meanwhile, it's beautiful weather throughout the battles, until the enemy is thwarted --- and then it starts raining when the troops are marching to their new location. And so on.
In conclusion, these are memorable stories and still readily accessible in theme, tone, and language.
The first story and the longest is "The Red Badge of Courage." Of all the stories, it may be best overall. The motivations of Henry Fleming and his fellow soldiers are really well drawn. They really don't want to be there, but feel they have to be heroes and at times they force themselves to be. But when the going gets tough in battle, many of them turn around and run. Crane portrays Henry as overhearing a general as saying to the effect that Henry's regiment was expeendable cannon fodder and this revelation very much grates on Henry's fellows.
The next story is "Maggie: A Girl of The Street." The story seems to be set in the late 19th century in an Irish tenament slum in New York. The account of the younger years of Maggie and her brother Jimmie ends with a scene of the two huddling in a corner of the flat as their parents lay sprawled out asleep on the floor, amidst broken furniture and dishes, after a drunken brawl with each other. It is such an environment like this that Maggie grows up. Jimmie grows up to be a truck driver and a brute. But Maggie is something of a flower amidst tenament squalor and catches the eye of Jimmie's friend Pete. Jimmy hears, from an old lady in his building who overheard a conversation between Pete and Maggie after one of their dates, that Maggie begged Pete to say that he loved her. Obviously this is a discrete intimation that Pete has taken Maggie's virginity. Well, this sets Johnnie and his barbaric mother into quite a rage and it goes downhill for Maggie there.
The biographical note at the back of the book, presumably written by the author of the fine introduction, James Colvert, says that Crane dosen't get into Maggie's mind. I think that's because she's extremely ignorant, with a mind numbed by a violent environment and lack of stimulation. The characters in this story engage in really thick Irish accents. I think the funniest dialogue is Pete's drunken conversation with his lady friends in the bar towards the end. Another comes from Jimmie and Maggie's mother Mary's lamentations to the effect that she didn't understand how Maggie could turn out so bad after being raised so well by her, Mary. I liked the description of the scenes in the cheap theaters where Pete takes Maggie. I don't understand what the next to last chapter with "the girl" walking the streets is about.
Other stories include "The Monster," an effective tragedy about a black servant named Henry Johnson of a white doctor in rural New England, who gets his face literally burned off and his brain damaged after trying to save the doctor's son in a fire. Both whites and blacks in the town are terribly afraid of Henry because his burned off face makes him look like a monster....After several incidents, after Henry escapes from his confinement at the house of a black family rage, the town turns against the doctor for keeping him in the community. One incident is him merely looking into the window of a birthday party and scaring out of her wits, one little girl. The little girl's father greatly exagerates the harm done to her and talks of having the doctor arrested. The other is when he appearts in the black neighborhood in the evening and stops by his old girlfriend Bella's house where her family is sitting on the front porch. Bella's fat old mother breaks her leg jumping over a fence at the sight of Henry. Bella herself is reduced to crawling in terror on the porch trying to escape as Henry in his amiable mental retardation babbles invitations to her to go to a dance with him. Henry moves into his old place above the farm of the doctor's house, making one of the neighbors move away. I thought the scene was really superb where the doctor's son Jimmy and his friends are competing with each other to see who can approach "the monster" as he sits solitarily in the barn.
"An experiment in misery," is an 11 page account of a night and next morning experience of two homeless men. "A mystery of heroism" a tale about a civil war soldier's attempt to get water in the middle of a field where bullets and shells are flying back and forth. "The Open Boat" is a very technically well done story of four men, survivors from shipwreck, trying to survive at sea in their dinghy. The dialogue is excellent. "The Pace of Youth" is very succinctly written, about two young employees of a small merry-go-round place, who are prevented from having any communication by the girl's father, the manager of the place. Their silent flirtation is quite believable and really engaging. What they do at the end is incredible, but well managed by Crane. It is a superb romance. In "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," I like the initial scenes where the young, naive couple, the groom being the sherrif of Yellow Sky, Texas, are viewed sardonically by the black porter and other passangers. "
The last story is "The Blue Hotel." It begins with the owner of a hotel in a small Nebraska town managing, fatefully, to convince three passangers on the train that has stoped there, to stay the night at his hotel. The travellers are refered to as "the Easterner," "the cowboy," and "the Swede." A major highlight is the fistfight between the owner's son Johnnie and the extremely demented Swede, officiated by the owner. Indeed Crane is very skilled at describing fights whether they be on civil war battlefields or in bars. The other fight in this story, is, of course, at its end but I won't tell about that.