The Poetry of Stephen Crane

The Poetry of Stephen Crane

The Poetry of Stephen Crane

The Poetry of Stephen Crane

Excerpt

The week after Stephen Crane died in June, 1900, at the age of twenty-eight, Cora Crane, with whom he had lived for the last three years of his life, jotted into a notebook her hope of writing his biography. Unsuccessful in her attempts in England to support herself as a writer, Cora soon returned to America. In her luggage were hundreds of pages of Crane's manuscripts, proof sheets, clippings, and literary correspondence, as well as his scrapbooks, editions of his works, and certain other books from his library. Cora never did write his life. At her death in 1910 she left the Stephen Crane papers to a friend in Jacksonville, Florida, and for forty-two years they remained in private hands, unavailable to either Thomas Beer or John Berryman, Crane's two biographers, or to any of his critics.

When in 1952 the Columbia University Libraries purchased these materials, the first problem was to determine what they were -- many manuscripts were unidentified -- and then to see what they might contribute to our interpretation of Crane's writings and to our understanding of his intense though narrow sensibility. There is much we do not know about this strangely powerful writer. Half a century after his death a . . .

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