History of American Literature
The biography of John Smith, Washington Irving, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philip Freneau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman. General characteristics of American romanticism.
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His best productive years, from» The Innocents Abroad» to «Joan of Arc» (1896), speak for themselves. We may consider him first as a novelist and writer about the Mississippi River, as in «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer» (1876), «Life on the Mississippi» (1883), and «The Adventuresof Huckleberry Finn» (1884). These books are remarkable accounts of the society that bordered the Mississippi in the middle of the 19th century, and they catch almost ideally the life of the small-town American boy. For all their surface romanticism, they fundamentally realistic and often satirical portraitures. These are the travel - books; in addition to «The Innocent Abroad», by include «Roughing It» (1872). «A Tramp Abroad» (1880), and «Following the Equator» (1897). These are almost always vivid, however, and especially «TheInnocent Abroad», endowed with great potentialities of the comic.
When Mark Twai is deseribius an American milieu in this way, he is superb: but when he ventures into Europe and talks similarly about Europeans, He betrays his provincialism. In no respect is he more typically a frontiersman than in his remarkable contempt for the French.
A final group of Mark Twains works is usual category of the miscellanous comprising «The Prince and the Rauper» (1882), «A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court» (1889) and Joan of Arc» (1896). These have been popular, and deservedly so; they are most characteristic of their author, for with their humor and tenderness and sympathy they illustrate also an intolerance of the traditional and the royal.
He was at all times a sincere and devote missionary for democracy: he had also the typical American's fondness for the underdog in any and all situations. But as the creator of pictures of a vital era in American History, an era now departed, Mark Twai has the freshness and truth to life necessary to give him a place of high honor in world literature: as a creator of human types and as a reporter of society he has an inevitably kinship with Chaucer and Aristophanes; as a brooder on the shortcomings of man, he is one with Swift, Voltaire, and La Bruyere. And as the greetful portrayer and castigator of American society he is alone.
Mark Twain whose real name was Samuel Clemens; spend his childhood and youth in the small town of Hannibal, Missouri. Life was very hard at the time and had to lave school and look for work. He learned printing and worked as a printer. At 20 he became a skilful pilot on a boat travelling up and down the Mississippi. Then he spent a year with the goldseekers in the West. The many professions that he tried gave him a wide knowledge of life and people. Long years of work as a reported and journalist made him acquainted with the corrupt method of the American press and of the American government, which he later attacked so mercilessly in his works.
There is much fun and humor in most of Mark Twain's works.
American satirical and critical literature began with Mark Twain, said Cherrishevsky. Mark Twain, an honest democrat, satirized the American press («Running for Governor»), he exposed in biting satire, race discrimination and so - called American democracy («Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again»), Bribery and corruption in the highest political circles of the United States («The Gilded Age», 1873), the bourgeois «culture» of the dollar «the Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg» (1898). Mark Twain attracted the imperialist policy of the reactionary government with wrath and indignation, and raised his voice in defense of the natives of the Philippine Islands, who were subjected to the iron heel of American imperialism («A defense of general Funstone», 1902).
Imperialist exploitation of colonial peoples is «robbery, humiliation and slow, slow murder», said Mark Twain.
Two of his earlier works - «the Adventures of Tom Sowyer» 1876 and «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn» 1888 - are Beloved by children, as well as grown - ups, all over the world. Its became the joys and sorrows of childhood are depicted with such deep human understanding and sympathy that the children and grown - ups a like have the filling that it is their present and past that is being brought before them. But there is also sharp social criticism in the books. We see the narrow - mindedness, dullness and back - wordiness of petty bourgeois life in the American small town, and the cruel conditions under which the Negro slaves lived.
Mark Twain was greatly influenced by the Russian Revolution of 1905; but he didn't understand the great historical role of the working class. That is why pessimism may be found in some of his works.
However, in his works is expressed of the masses against capitalism and its evils. Mark Twain's works - broadly democratic, deeply human, openly anti - imperialistic and brilliantly satiric - are of the greatest importance today, when the fight of the progressive people for peace and happiness and against imperialism and fascism is becoming more and more intense.
«American satirical and critical literature began with Mark Twain», said Chernishevsky. Mark Twain, an honest democrat, satirized the American press («Running for Governor»), (Моя кардитура в губернатори). He exposed, in biting satire, race diserimation and he so-called American democracy («Goldsmitn's Friend Abroad Again»), 2) bribery and corruption in the highest political cireles of the United States (The Gilled Age» 1) Chares Warner the novel of was written in co-authorstup with 1873, the bourgeois «Culture» of the dollar The Man who Corrupted Hodleyberry (1898). Mark Twain altacked the imperialist policy of the reactionary government with wrath and indignation, and vaised his voice in defence of the nactives of the Philippine Islands (I'filipi:n ailandz) =Филлипины), who were subjected to the iron heel of American imperialism («A Defence of General Funston,» 1902). Imperialist exploitation of colonial peoples is robbery, humiliation and slow, slow murder, said Mark Twain. (Приключения Тома Сайёра). Two of his earlier works - «The Adventures of Tom Sowyer» (1876) and «The Adventures of Huckleberry finn» (1888) - are Beloved by children, as well as growp - ups, all over the world. It is because the joys and sovvows of childhood are depicted with such deep human understanding and sympanty that children and grown-ups alike have the feeling that it is their present and past that is benig brought before them. But there is also sharp social criticism in the books. We see the narrow - mindedness, dullness and backwardness of petty bourgeois lite in the American small town, and the cruel conditions under which the Negro slates lived.
Is there really any evidence that Mark Twain was «greatly influenced» by the 1905 revolution? That sounds bizarre.
Mark Twain was greatly influenced by the Russian Revolotion of 1905; but he did not understand the great historical rote of the working class. That is wily pessimism may be found in some of his works.
Howerer, in his works is eypressed the protest of the masses against capitalism and its evils. Mark Twoins worksbroadly democratic, deeply human, openly anti - imperialistic and brillianty satiric - are of the greatest importance today, when the fight of the progressive people for place and happiness and against imperialism and fascism is becoming more and more intense.
During 1857-1861 le was a pilot лоцман on a Mississippi steamboat, until the Civil war blockaded the river. Them Cobfederate volunteer.
In 1862 Samuel fried to find silver in Nevada them became a reported for the Territorial Enterprise. Started written falles under the pseudonym of Mark Twain.
From 1864 to 1866 the made a trip to Hawaii and delivered popular lectures in California and Nevada.
In 1867 he rublished the Celebrated Jumpiny Froy of Calaveras County and Other Tales. Two years later he wrote («Простаки за границей») = «The Iunocents Abroad or the New Piligrim's Progress» In 1872 Mark Twain's Nevada sketches «Roughing H» («Налегке» - «Огрубевшие») appear and the book is about gold seekers of Nevada.
He made a trip to Europe during 1878-1879. His stories «My Watch» («Мои часы») and «Journalism in Tennesses» («Журналистка в Теннессе») are best ones.
«The Prence and the Pauper» (1882) («________») was published in 1882 and «A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court» came into existence in 1889 («Янки из Коннектикута при двора короля Артура»).
«The Tragedy of Pudd'n head Wilson» («Простофиля Вильсон») saw the world in 1894.
Two years later Mark Twain created «Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc» («Личные воспоминания о жизни д'Арк»).
In 1892 there appeared «The American Claimaut» («Американский претендент»).
Hamlin Garland (1860-1940)
Garland was reared in circumstances that forced him to a firsthand recognition of the distance between the national image of the western lands as promise and fulfillment on the one hand much grimmer actually on the other. His father stubbornly clung to the idea to the idea of the of the fortune yet to be made on the border farm and faithful to the promissory note of America, emigrated from Maine to West Salem, Wisconsin when Garland was born. The fortune never materialized and the family moved to north-eastern Iowa, where Garland lived for 12years, attending the Cedar Valley Seminary.
Still seeking the family moved to Ordway, South Dakota; but instead of fortune the Garlands met with toil, dullness and the hostility of the nature. Wanting to teach and to escape his environment, Hamlin sold his Dakota claim at a small profit and became one of the «back-trailers from the middle border» in fleeing to Boston. His movement from the west to east was. Significant: although the national insisted that the land of the «folk» and democratic realization lay westward, and the east was effete, artificial and aristocratic, many nevertheless sought the very kind of life that the American was supposed to spurn. The split in perception, the double goals in Garland are not merely personal but typical of many American men of letters.
In Boston he lived alone and struggled to find a new life. He educated himself in the Boston public library and studied and taught in the Boston School of Oratory, all the while trying to write. He read Spencer, single-tax economics, the issues of realism and impression in fiction. In 1887he returned to the Midwest for a visit and saw with new perspective the treeless prairies the unremittingly brutalizing toil and the frontier's murderous effect on his parents. Enraged he returned east and began to contribute stories to B.O. Flower's influential «Arena». Eneouragedby Joseph Kirckland, Flower and William dean Howells, he attempted to create «veritism» in function a realism that wouldn't stop short with accepted subjects and attitudes but would also include the less pretty experiences that had led to his disenchantment. In 1891 he published «Main-travelled roads; in the heat of his experience, he had written all the stories in this volume between1887and 1889. often «Main - Travelled roads» (1910) was in turn, a collection made up out of «Prairie Folks» (1893) and «Wayside Courtships» (1897) these two consisted of stories written in the short, fruitfull period.
O. Henry (1867-1910)
O. Henry (1862-1910) was a prolific American short-story writer, a master of surprise endings, who wrote about the life of ordinary people in New York City. A twist of plot, which turns on an ironic or coincidental circumstance, is typical of O. Henry's stories.
William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was born in Greenboro, North Carolina. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother and aunt. William was an avid reader, but at the age of fifteen he left school, and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He moved to Houston, where he had a number of jobs, including that of bank clerk. After moving to Austin, Texas, in 1882, he married.
In 1884 he started a humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. In 1897 he was convicted of embezzling money, although there has been much debate over his actual guilt. In 1898 he entered a penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio.
While in prison O. Henry started to write short stories to earn money to support his daughter Margaret. His first work, «Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking» (1899), appeared in McClure's Magazine. After doing three years of the five years sentence, Porter emerged from the prison in 1901 and changed his name to O. Henry.
O. Henry moved to New York City in 1902 and from December 1903 to January 1906 he wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. Henry's first collection, Cabbages And Kings appeared in 1904. The second, The Four Million, was published two years later and included his well-known stories «The Gift of the Magi» and «The Furnished Room». The Trimmed Lamp (1907) included «The Last Leaf». Henry's best known work is perhaps the much anthologized «The Ransom of Red Chief», included in the collection Whirligigs (1910). The Heart Of The West (1907) presented tales of the Texas range. O. Henry published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime.
O. Henry's last years were shadowed by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems. He married Sara Lindsay Coleman in 1907, but the marriage was not happy, and they separated a year later. O. Henry died of cirrhosis of the liver on June 5, 1910, in New York. Three more collections, Sixes And Sevens (1911), Rolling Stones (1912) and Waifs And Strays (1917), appeared posthumously.
William Sidney Porter known by his pseudonym, O. Henry, was born in North Carolina. After a brief period of schooling he worked in a drugstore, then went to Texas, where after truing various professions he became a teller in a bank. When a loss of a thousand dollars was discovered, Porter, though he was innocent of the theft, fled to Central America: but on learning that his wife was on her death - bed, he returned home and was imprisoned for 3 years. After his release in 1902, he settled in New - York, writing short stories for magazines. They were published in the collections «The Four Million» 1906, «Heart of the West» 1907, «The Trimmed lamp» 1907, «The Gentle Grafted» 1908, «The Voice of the City» 1908, «Cabbages and Kings» 1904.
In this short stories O. Henry described amusing incidents of every day life in large cities on the ranches, and on the highways of America. For the most part he deliberately avoided important social themes, entertain his readers with humorous plots dependent coincidence and characterized by unexpected endings. A few of his stories touch upon serious themes. Taken as a whole, the work of O. Henry is bourgeois in its spirit. He wrote to console his readers, to cheer them up by telling them: «well, your life is hard, but then there is a possibility for a woman to marry a man - millionaire, for a man to marry a woman - millionaire, or to find something else».
O. Henry was born in 1867 in the family of a doctor in the town of Greensborough of the Northern Caroline. William became ill of tuberculosis when he was twenty years old; in wattempt at curing himself, he went to Texas. Travelling on to Texas he changed tens of professions - he was a cowboy, a druggist, a designer, a cashier, a journalist, an editor. O Henry wrote «Roads of Destiny», «Options» (1909)' «Strictly Business» (1910), «Whirlgigs». These collections were published as very interting in several magazines too. After his deuth his only novel «Cabbages and Kings» was published. He worked hard & much with literature.
O. Henry's stories, were published by the newspapers & magazines willingly, bringing them much frofit but to the writer they brought only fame. The publishers demanded him to write humouristic and funny stories with intriguing ending, standards, which the author stamped for Sunday newspapers. O. Henry dreamed about serious work.
For 10 years of his literary life he wrote more than six hundred stories, comical plays and humouristic poems.
In 1904 there appeared O. Henry's novel «Cabbages and Kings» it was followed by collections of short stories. «The Four Million» 1906, «The Trimmed Lamp» 1907, «Heart of the West» 1907 and others.
In «Cabbages and Kings» O. Henry created as he says «tragic», a comedy about the interrelations of the USA and its half - colony - the South America.
American dealers businessmen cynically interfere into political life of Latin American countries - such is the objective conclusion from «Cabbages and Kings». Satirically describing.
The Last Leaf
In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called «places.» These «places» make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two. An artist once discovered a valuable possibility in this street. Suppose a collector with a bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in traversing this route, suddenly meet himself coming back, without a cent having been paid on account!
So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art people soon came prowling, hunting for north windows and eighteenth-century gables and Dutch attics and low rents. Then they imported some pewter mugs and a chafing dish or two from Sixth Avenue, and became a «colony».
At the top of a squatty, three-story brick Sue and Johnsy had their studio. «Johnsy» was familiar for Joanna. One was from Maine; the other from California. They had met at the table d'hфte of an Eighth Street «Delmonico's» and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so congenial that the joint studio resulted.
That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Over on the east side this ravager strode boldly, smiting his victims by scores, but his feet trod slowly through the maze of the narrow and moss-grown «places».
Mr. Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old gentleman. A mite of a little woman with blood thinned by California zephyrs was hardly fair game for the red-fisted, short-breathed old duffer. But Johnsy he smote; and she lay, scarcely moving, on her painted iron bedstead, looking through the small Dutch window-panes at the blank side of the next brick house.
One morning the busy doctor invited Sue into the hallway with a shaggy, gray eyebrow.
«She has one chance in - let us say, ten,» he said, as he shook down the mercury in his clinical thermometer.» And that chance is for her to want to live. This way people have of lining-u on the side of the undertaker makes the entire pharmacopoeia look silly. Your little lady has made up her mind that she's not going to get well. Has she anything on her mind?»
«She - she wanted to paint the Bay of Naples some day» said Sue.
«Paint? - bosh! Has she anything on her mind worth thinking twice - a man for instance?»
«A man?» said Sue, with a jew's-harp twang in her voice. «Is a man worth - but, no, doctor; there is nothing of the kind».
«Well, it is the weakness, then,» said the doctor. «I will do all that science, so far as it may filter through my efforts, can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of medicines. If you will get her to ask one question about the new winter styles in cloak sleeves I will promise you a one-in-five chance for her, instead of one in ten.»
After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried a Japanese napkin to a pulp. Then she swaggered into Johnsy's room with her drawing board, whistling ragtime.
Johnsy lay, scarcely making a ripple under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. Sue stopped whistling, thinking she was asleep.
She arranged her board and began a pen-and-ink drawing to illustrate a magazine story. Young artists must pave their way to Art by drawing pictures for magazine stories that young authors write to pave their way to Literature.
As Sue was sketching a pair of elegant horseshow riding trousers and a monocle of the figure of the hero, an Idaho cowboy, she heard a low sound, several times repeated. She went quickly to the bedside.
Johnsy's eyes were open wide. She was looking out the window and counting - counting backward.
«Twelve,» she said, and little later «eleven»; and then «ten,» and «nine»; and then «eight» and «seven», almost together.
Sue look solicitously out of the window. What was there to count? There was only a bare, dreary yard to be seen, and the blank side of the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine, gnarled and decayed at the roots, climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of autumn had stricken its leaves from the vine until its skeleton branches clung, almost bare, to the crumbling bricks.
«What is it, dear?» asked Sue.
«Six,» said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. «They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only five left now.»
«Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie.»
«Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too. I've known that for three days. Didn't the doctor tell you?»
«Oh, I never heard of such nonsense,» complained Sue, with magnificent scorn. «What have old ivy leaves to do with your getting well? And you used to love that vine so, you naughty girl. Don't be a goosey. Why, the doctor told me this morning that your chances for getting well real soon were - let's see exactly what he said - he said the chances were ten to one! Why, that's almost as good a chance as we have in New York when we ride on the street cars or walk past a new building. Try to take some broth now, and let Sudie go back to her drawing, so she can sell the editor man with it, and buy port wine for her sick child, and pork chops for her greedy self.»
«You needn't get any more wine,» said Johnsy, keeping her eyes fixed out the window. «There goes another. No, I don't want any broth. That leaves just four. I want to see the last one fall before it gets dark. Then I'll go, too.»
«Johnsy, dear,» said Sue, bending over her, «will you promise me to keep your eyes closed, and not look out the window until I am done working? I must hand those drawings in by to-morrow. I need the light, or I would draw the shade down.»
«Couldn't you draw in the other room?» asked Johnsy, coldly.
«I'd rather be here by you,» said Sue. «Beside, I don't want you to keep looking at those silly ivy leaves.»
«Tell me as soon as you have finished,» said Johnsy, closing her eyes, and lying white and still as fallen statue, «because I want to see the last one fall. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of thinking. I want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leaves.»
«Try to sleep,» said Sue. «I must call Behrman up to be my model for the old hermit miner. I'll not be gone a minute. Don't try to move 'til I come back.»
Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor beneath them. He was past sixty and had a Michael Angelo's Moses beard curling down from the head of a satyr along with the body of an imp. Behrman was a failure in art. Forty years he had wielded the brush without getting near enough to touch the hem of his Mistress's robe. He had been always about to paint a masterpiece, but had never yet begun it. For several years he had painted nothing except now and then a daub in the line of commerce or advertising. He earned a little by serving as a model to those young artists in the colony who could not pay the price of a professional. He drank gin to excess, and still talked of his coming masterpiece. For the rest he was a fierce little old man, who scoffed terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as especial mastiff-in-waiting to protect the two young artists in the studio above.
Sue found Behrman smelling strongly of juniper berries in his dimly lighted den below. In one corner was a blank canvas on an easel that had been waiting there for twenty-five years to receive the first line of the masterpiece. She told him of Johnsy's fancy, and how she feared she would, indeed, light and fragile as a leaf herself, float away, when her slight hold upon the world grew weaker.
Old Behrman, with his red eyes plainly streaming, shouted his contempt and derision for such idiotic imaginings.
«Vass!» he cried. «Is dere people in de world mit der foolishness to die because leafs dey drop off from a confounded vine? I haf not heard of such a thing. No, I will not bose as a model for your fool hermit-dunderhead. Vy do you allow dot silly pusiness to come in der brain of her? Ach, dot poor leetle Miss Yohnsy.»
«She is very ill and weak,» said Sue, «and the fever has left her mind morbid and full of strange fancies. Very well, Mr. Behrman, if you do not care to pose for me, you needn't. But I think you are a horrid old - old flibbertigibbet.»
«You are just like a woman!» yelled Behrman. «Who said I will not bose? Go on. I come mit you. For half an hour I haf peen trying to say dot I am ready to bose. Gott! dis is not any blace in which one so goot as Miss Yohnsy shall lie sick. Some day I vill baint a masterpiece, and ve shall all go away. Gott! yes.»
Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down to the window-sill, and motioned Behrman into the other room. In there they peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they looked at each other for a moment without speaking. A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow. Behrman, in his old blue shirt, took his seat as the hermit miner on an upturned kettle for a rock.
When Sue awoke from an hour's sleep the next morning she found Johnsy with dull, wide-open eyes staring at the drawn green shade.
«Pull it up; I want to see,» she ordered, in a whisper.
Wearily Sue obeyed.
But, lo! after the beating rain and fierce gusts of wind that had endured through the livelong night, there yet stood out against the brick wall one ivy leaf. It was the last one on the vine. Still dark green near its stem, with its serrated edges tinted with the yellow of dissolution and decay, it hung bravely from the branch some twenty feet above the ground.
«It is the last one,» said Johnsy. «I thought it would surely fall during the night. I heard the wind. It will fall to-day, and I shall die at the same time.»
«Dear, dear!» said Sue, leaning her worn face down to the pillow, «think of me, if you won't think of yourself. What would I do?»
But Johnsy did not answer. The lonesomest thing in all the world is a soul when it is making ready to go on its mysterious, far journey. The fancy seemed to possess her more strongly as one by one the ties that bound her to friendship and to earth were loosed.
The day wore away, and even through the twilight they could see the lone ivy leaf clinging to its stem against the wall. And then, with the coming of the night the north wind was again loosed, while the rain still beat against the windows and pattered down from the low Dutch eaves.
When it was light enough Johnsy, the merciless, commanded that the shade be raised.
The ivy leaf was still there.
Johnsy lay for a long time looking at it. And then she called to Sue, who was stirring her chicken broth over the gas stove.
«I've been a bad girl, Sudie,» said Johnsy. «Something has made that last leaf stay there to show me how wicked I was. It is a sin to want to die. You may bring a me a little broth now, and some milk with a little port in it, and - no; bring me a hand-mirror first, and then pack some pillows about me, and I will sit up and watch you cook.»
And hour later she said:
«Sudie, some day I hope to paint the Bay of Naples.»
The doctor came in the afternoon, and Sue had an excuse to go into the hallway as he left.
«Even chances,» said the doctor, taking Sue's thin, shaking hand in his. «With good nursing you'll win.» And now I must see another case I have downstairs. Behrman, his name is - some kind of an artist, I believe. Pneumonia, too. He is an old, weak man, and the attack is acute. There is no hope for him; but he goes to the hospital to-day to be made more comfortable.»
The next day the doctor said to Sue: «She's out of danger. You won. Nutrition and care now - that's all.»
And that afternoon Sue came to the bed where Johnsy lay, contentedly knitting a very blue and very useless woollen shoulder scarf, and put one arm around her, pillows and all.
«I have something to tell you, white mouse,» she said. «Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia to-day in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn't imagine where he had been on such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and - look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn't you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it's Behrman's masterpiece - he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell».
Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
Stephen Crane showed his extraordinary gift for writing very early. He stuieded the Syracuse University only one semester. During the semester he hed already began to worc on his first novel, «Maggie: A Girl of the Striets». He announced: announced: «Your little brother knows that he is going on steadily to make his simple little place and he can't be stopped, he can't even be retarded. He is coming».
Crane was the last of 14 children born to a Methodist minister, Jonathon Townley Crane.
In 1894 he wrote «The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War and it would proveto be yis first finest literary achievement.
1879 the Cranes family settled in Port Jervis, New - York, In 1898 he covered the Greco-Turkish war and the Spanish-American war.
Crane's «Wilomville Stories» (1900) In 1897 he wrote his short storey: «The Blue Hotel» whoch was published in 1898. «The Open Boat» is based on his experiences of being shirwprecked while travelling to Cuba. «The Red Badge of Courage» was America first great war novel. In 1882, two years after the father, death Stephen was acting as a reporter of vacation news items for his brother Townley's news - service agency in the resort town of Asbury Park, New - Jersey. Crane's University days (1890-1891) were limited to two semesters - one of Lafayette College. And one at Syracuse University. But something of importance was going forward during this uninspired academic year: he wrote at least the first draft of «Maggie: a girl of the Streets» - an America's first wholly deterministic novel. Unable to find a publisher for his account of a tenement girls descent to prostitution and suicide. Crane borrowed money and in 1893 brought it out himself in yellow pepper wrappers under the pseudonym of «Johnson Smith». Financially the book was stillborn, but it did serve to bring the young writer to the attention of Garland and William Dean Howells.
It is not a little ironic that Crane subscribed to the notion that an artist had actually to touch a segment of life before he could recreate it imaginatively, for «The Red Badge of Courage», American's first great war novel, was written before Cranehad «smelled even the power of a shame battle». Books, pictures and veterans accounts of Civil War fighting, rather than any fighting itself, were the sources for his psychological study of a boy soldier's struggle with the enormous horrors, both with in and without, which war unleashes. As a reporter in New - York he had explored the bars and brothels and flophouses of the Bowerry. After the success of «The Red Bade of Courage», he covered the activities of the filibusters who were gunrunning from Florida to Cuba against Spain: in the course of this activity he suffered the shipwreck «The Open Boat». In 1897 he covered the Greco - Turkish War for two newspapers: the following year it was Spanish - American War. He died of tuberculosis in June of the following year. Although he didn't reach his 29th birthday. His early stories ware published in a collectioned «Last Words» (1901). Stepen Crane wrote articles «The King's Favour» (1891) and «A Foreign Policy in Three Glimpses». He published his book «The Monster». «Whilomville Stories» is a collection of stories about the children of a little American town. His books fills 12 volumes.
In addition to the titles mentioned above Crain's works include «The Little Regiment» (1896), «George's Mother» (1896), «The third Violet» (1897), «The Open Boat and other tales of Adventure» (1898), «Active Service» (1899), «The Wounds in the Rain» (1900), «Great Battles of the World» (1901), «Last Words» (1902), «The O'Ruddy, with Robert Barr» (1903).
Crane also wrote some poetry collected in two volumes - «The Black Riders» (1895) and «War Is Kind» (1899). These short, bitter poems reveal a man whose life had been filled with pain and hardship but who refused to shut his eyes to the grim truths he saw.
Frank Norris (1870-1902)
He began to write his novel «Vandover and the Brute» early but it was published later in Norris's life was short but full. The son of a successful businessman and actress, Norris was born in 1870 in Chicago. When he was 14 his family moved to Oakland. California from Chicago. 3 years later he was in Paris as an art student 1887-1889 devoting himself, however, more to literature than painting. In 1890 at his father's insistence, he returned home to become a student at the Berkley University of California, which he attended for 4 years without earning his degree. In 1894 he enrolled at Harvard as a special student in English. He completed «Miss. Teague» (1899), a relentless novel in the naturalistic manner of Zola. «Vandouver and the Brute» another daring piece of naturalism, was written about the same time, but it was not published until 1914, and then from an uncorrected draft of the novel. In 1903 his circle of articles was collected in «The Responsibilities of the Novelist».
University days behind him, Norris, took himself off to South Africa during the Boer war to write a serious of sketches; he was captured by the Boers, suffered an attack of fever, and was ordered to leave the country. Back home, he joined the staff of a San - Francisco magazine, then «Wave», to which he made frequent contributions. 1898, «Mc - Clures Magazine» sent him to Cuba to cover the Spanish - American War. The last few years of his life were spent in writing and, for a brief time, editorial reading for Doubleday, Page, the publishing company. In this latter activity, his work wasn't without significance: Norris got the company to publish Driser's «Sister Carrie». He died of post - operative complications resulting from an appendectomy.
Although Norris wasn't himself a great novelist, he had a grandiose concept of the role of the novelistic society. Of the three great «molders of public opinion and public morals» - the press, the pulpit, and the novel - Norris felt the last to be potentially the most powerful. In 1899 he wrote to a friend «the big American novel is going to come out of the West». This is the origin if his projected «Epic of the Wheat», a trilogy which was to tell the story of the production, distribution, and consumption of American wheat. «The Octopus» (1901) portrays the struggle of the California wheat growers against more powerful interests: «The Pit» is about the old Chicago Board of Trade: «The Wolf» was to have dealt with the relation of American wheat to starving countries with old there faults, «The Octopus» and «The Pit» loan as large in the history of the American economic novel as does «Mc Teague» in the history of American literary naturalism. His story «A Deal in Wheat» is written after «The Pit» is about the defeat of the common people.
Norris wrote the following works as well: «Moren of the Lady Latty» (1898), «Blix» (1899), «A Man's Woman» (1900), «The Responsibilities of the novelist» (1903), «A deal in wheat and other stories» (1903), «The Joyous Miracle» 1906, «The Third Circle» (1909).
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