Revealing episodes in the life of the elusive writer, as told by acquaintances. This book collects reminiscences by contemporaries, friends, and associates of Stephen Crane that illuminate the life of this often misunderstood and misrepresented writer. Although Crane is widely regarded as a major American author, conclusions about his life, work, and thought remain obscure due to the difficulties in separating fact from fiction. His first biographer recorded mostly vague impressions and, to mythologize his subject, invented a multitude of the episodes and letters used in his account of Crane’s life. Subsequent biographies were either cursory summations or compendiums of verifiable facts. Crane himself was both reclusive and mercurial, protective of his inner life while projecting a variety of personae to suit others.
A flamboyant personality and close friend of writers such as William Dean Howells, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad, Crane made telling impressions on his contemporaries. They often constitute the best assessments of Crane’s own personality and work. The 75 reminiscences gathered here offer a much-needed account of Crane’s life from a variety of viewpoints, as well as important information about the contributors themselves.