Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; George's Mother

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; George's Mother

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; George's Mother

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets; George's Mother

Excerpt

It was on the Bowery, Stephen Crane said once, that he got his "artistic education," and he said again that the Bowery was the only interesting place in New York and that nobody had written anything "sincere" about it. He himself slept in Bowery shelters and sat in tramp's clothes in Union Square, listening to the talk of real hoboes, and he stood all night in a March blizzard watching men waiting in a bread-line. To experience sensations and convey them honestly was Stephen Crane's supreme ambition. But the author of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets was not the only American writer who, in the eighteen-nineties, was drawn to the slums. There were dozens who haunted the Bowery--Hutchins Hapgood was another of these --wishing to know "how the other half lives" or seeking Gorky's "creatures that once were man": they had both an interest in the types there and the nostalgie de la boue that filled the minds of the Bohemians of Paris and London. For the American imagination, the rise of the great cities had replaced the village and the farm.

To Stephen Crane, "sincerity," or honesty, the word he sometimes used, was the rare desideratum in American writing, and his own possession of . . .

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