2000-2002 Queries

Crane Poem: “Unwind my riddle”QUESTION: I am looking for a Crane poem that begins and ends with “unwind my riddle.”
It seems to be a list of images from his more well known works.
Gary Applegate, appogrit@aol.comThese lines are from Crane’s epigraph to the story “The Clan of No Name.”–Donald VanouseThe complete story is available at http://www.boondocksnet.com/editions/crane/crane_wr_clan.html.  Here is the epigraph:
Unwind my riddle.
Cruel as hawks the hours fly;
Wounded men seldom come home to die;
The hard waves see an arm flung high;
Scorn hits strong because of a lie;
Yet there exists a mystic tie.
Unwind my riddle.

Crane Poem about “Other Roads”
NAME: mk wilson
QUESTION: I remember reading a poem that i think was by crane when i was a kid about a traveler coming upon 2 paths, one of them less traveled – he decides to
take the less traveled path, but upon closer look sees that it is thickly grown with weeds and thorns(?) – he finds the path more difficult to follow than 1stwith weeds and thorns(?) – he finds the path more difficult to follow than 1st anticipated, and decides to turn back – the poem ends with him saying “doubtless, there are other paths” do you know of it or where i might be able
to search for it – i am fairly new to web anything and don’t know much about searching yetthanks for your time and help

This poem appears in War is Kind.  

Here it is:

XIIIThe wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
“Ha,” he said,
“I see that none has passed here
In a long time.”
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
“Well,” he mumbled at last,
“Doubtless there are other roads.”11/27/00”

A Mystery of Heroism” Publication Date
When did Stephen Crane write “A Mystery of Heroism”?  Anthony PoirelThe story “A Mystery of Heroism” was published in 1895. It was published in a newspaper which had serialized The Red Badge the year before.  The story was included in the war stories of The Little Regiment in 1896.    –Donald Vanouse

Copyright Date for “A Gray Sleeve”
QUESTION: I need to find the copyright date of a Stephen Crane short  story called, ” A Gray Sleeve.” We’re planning to use it in a GED software program. I’ve tried the Library of Congress web site and several othersand  can’t find a listing. Can you help me?
Thank you!  Rhonda Davis
2/16/01″It is good of you to like “A Grey Sleeve,” Stephen Crane wrote to Nellie Crouse, a woman for whom he felt a strong infatuation.The story was published in 1896 in a collection of stories  on the Civil War: THE LITTLE REGIMENT.  The story had first appeared in several newspapers.Don Vanouse

Crane and Edward Townsend
I am trying to ascertain if Crane actually had any real relationship
with the novelist Edward Townsend (beyond “newspaper men”).  I apologize if there is an obvious and readily available resource on this.  I presently only have Stallman’s biography, who only mentions reviews comparing their works (1896) and a short reference to Townsend as “Crane’s friend” (206) who described an opium den in _Daughter of the Tenements_.  Crane himself calls Townsend his “good friend” in his well-known letter to Catherine Harris (Nov. 1896), but I can’t help but think he is  being facetious in this reference. Crane obviously does not believe that Townsend’s “opinion” is better than his.
Any clues would be greatly appreciated.
Randolph Handel, randy.handel@wscc.cc.tn.us
2/15/01During his early years as a journalist in New York City, Crane was personally acquainted with Edward Townsend, who was at that time a reporter for the New York Sun. They often met at gatherings of journalists at Shanley’s restaurant on Broadway. It would, therefore, be appropriate to characterize Townsend as a friend of Crane. Nevertheless, since the publication of Maggie and most of Crane’s slum stories preceded the publication of Chimmie Fadden and A Daughter of the Tenements, there is no question of any literary influence of Townsend on Crane. The often-quoted letter of Crane to Catherine Harris which mentions Townsend is demonstrably apocryphal. It was written by Thomas Beer and not by Stephen Crane.Stanley Wertheim, swertheim@nyc.rr.com

Early Crane Ghost Story
I am looking for a story written by Crane for the New York Press before 1895.  It was about a ghostly white lady who walked the beaches of New Jersey inquiring about the whereabouts of her lover’s body.  Those who do not reply to her question were doomed to die within a day’s time.  Her lover was a ship’s captain headed for Buenos Aires, and she had told him her wish was that he would never sail again. After a winter storm, her lover’s body washed to shore and he would, indeed, never sail again.  I don’t know the name of this story or where to find a copy of it.      Thank you. Carol Krakower

“The Ghostly Sphinx of Metedeconk” was probably written in 1891 or 1892 and was  published in the New York Press on 13 January 1895. Along with “Ghosts on the New Jersey Coast” (New York Press, 11 November 1894), it is one of two newspaper sketches based on stories dealing with legends of spectral manifestations on the New Jersey shore that Crane heard from local residents during his youth in Asbury Park. In the later sketch Crane recounts the legend of a specter of a young woman dressed in white who haunts a beach near Metedeconk, New Jersey, searching for the body of her lover, a ship’s captain who was drowned in 1815. Those who are unable to provide an answer to her question as to the location of the corpse are themselves found dead on the beach the next morning. The question the woman asks is rhetorical because she herself had seen his ship founder off the coast on its return from Buenos Aires and found his body washed up on the beach. There is a sentimental love story enclosed within this ghostly tale. The young woman had sulked on her lover’s departure and later regretted her offhand farewell. She is now on an eternal and futile quest to make amends. This sketch was reprinted in Volume 8, Tales, Sketches, and Reports,  of The University Press of Virginia’s edition of The Works of Stephen Crane.       —Stanley Wertheim

Crane Poems: “I saw a man pursuing the horizon”
I am searching for two Crane Poems.
One says something like, “I saw a man pursuing the horizon…”
The second says something like, “I stood upon a high place and saw many devils…”
These are both Crane poems, correct?
Where can I find the full version?
Dana Duvall dduvall@gracemfg.com

Yes. These are Crane poems, and they were first published in BLACK RIDERS AND OTHER LINES (1895).  Crane used no titles, but your references are to the first lines of poems # 9 and # 24.  They are available in vol X of the Univ. of Va. edition of SC and also both are found in THE PORTABLE SC edited by Joseph Katz.
–Donald Vanouse6/11/01

Crane in Daytona
QUESTION: I live in the house where stephen crane stayed after being shipwrecked in daytona….would like to know about getting some info and articles…              John SharpThere is a film tilted “Stephen Crane and the Commodore” which was produced in Daytona Beach, Florida (near where Crane came ashore after the Commodore sank). It dramatises the story of Crane’s adventure and relates it to the story “The Open Boat.” It’s sold at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in Ponce Inlet (referred to as the Mosquito Light/Inlet in the story), as well as the Southeast Museum in Daytona.It’s entertaining.Frank Bonjione 2-2-06

Possible Stephen Crane PoemI am looking for a poem that may or may not have been written by Stephen Crane.  It starts “I waited at the gate for long moments in time (?), and hearing your voice, crossed over…
Linda, bartsgirl@hotmail.com
7/08/01 Maggie as a Play? 
NAME: Laura MuirQUESTION: I am looking for information about Crane’sMaggie: A Girl of the Streets being performed as a play on New York’s Lower East Side, or elsewhere. I am especially interested in performances that may have occured before 1920. Thank you.QUESTION: Has there ever been a play created based on Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Child of the Streets? If so, by whom, and when? karenb@theatresports.net 4/6/02

According to George Monteiro’s Stephen Crane’s Blue Badge of Courage, Maggie, Girl of the Streetsby Arthur Reel, was first produced by the Drama Committee, New York City, on January 17, 1976″ (45). A new production of this version will appear in May 2003. –D. Campbell

Crane Genealogy Question
QUESTION: Is there any information on Stephen Crane’s family, in and around Newark, New Jersey – Hillside, New Jersey. Our family tree on maternal side lists possible connection. Crane’s mother’s maiden name, family, in and around Newark, New Jersey – Hillside, New Jersey. Our family tree on maternal side lists possible connection. Crane’s mother’s maiden name, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc.  Thank you. Shelley Panzarella, fastiggi@tampabay.rr.com  11/23/01

From The Crane Log for 1871: “Stephen Crane is born at 14 Mulberry Place, Newark, New Jersey, on 1 November 1871, the 14th and last child of Jonathan Townley Crane, presiding elder of Methodist churches in the Neward district (1868-1872) and the Elizabeth district (1872-1876), and Mary Helen (Peck) Crane, daughter of a clergyman and niece of Methodist bishop Jesse Truesdell Peck.  Only 8 of the 13 children who preceded Stephen are alive at the time of his birth.  His Revolutionary War namesake (1709-1780) had served two terms as a delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia” (1).  You might also check the recent biography by Linda Davis, Badge of Courage. Other information may be available; please send responses so that they can be added to this page.

Lost poems
QUESTION: In Joseph Katz’s Edition of Crane’s Poems, Katz quotes a letter from the publishers of The Black Riders, a letter that forces Crane to omit seven poems. Four are later published but three seem to be lost.  Have they been rediscovered? They are: “A god it is said/Marked a sparrow’s fall” “The traveller paused in kindness” and “Should you stuff me with flowers.”     Fred Zinkann    11/23/01

Crane apparently destroyed the manuscripts of these poems which were never published and are now lost.–Stanley Wertheim

Why is the Swede a Swede? QUESTION: I’m wondering if anyone can tell me if there is some biographical and/or socio-historical and/or textual reason which might explain why Crane made the Swede in “The Blue Hotel” a Swede.  Why is he specifically Swedish rather than having some other background?  michael tritt, mtritt@sympatico.ca

Crane was very much a creature of his time when it came to ethnic stereotypes, and madness was often an attribute of Swedes in the fiction of the last decade of the 19th century. I have a general  essay on Crane’s ethnic stereotypes: “Unraveling The Humanist: Stephen Crane and Ethnic Minorities.” American Literary Realism, 30.3 (1998), 65-75, and there is an older but more specific essay on the stereotype of Swedes in American literature: Richard D. Beards, “Stereotyping in Modern American Fiction: Some Solitary Swedish Madmen.” Moderna Sprak 63 (1969): 329-37.  Stanley Wertheim

Crane in Maplewood, N.J.?QUESTION: Can you tell me if Stephen Crane ever visited Maplewood NJ? A homeowner is advertising the fact that part of the “Red Badge of Courage” was written in his home. He resides at 304 Elmwood Avenue ( an 1840 home). Please let me know if you have any information or could direct me to the proper source. Any consideration would be most appreciated.
Laura Davis, Philberton@aol.com

Maggie and Avenue AQUESTION: I have read that Maggie: Girl of the Streets was written at least in part on Avenue A in Manhattan. Does anyone know the address where he lived there? (This is for a website, http://www.nysonglines.com, locating historical events in New York.)Jim Naureckas, jkn@nyc.rr.com

In October 1892 Crane moved into a rooming house at 1064 Avenue A (formerly Eastern Boulevard) in Manhattan. The house was inhabited by a group of medical students, one of whom was Frederic M. Lawrence, a friend from Port Jervis, with whom Crane shared a room. The medical students sardonically christened the house, “the Pendennis Club,” after Thackary. At this time, The neighborhood, now occupied by fashionable Sutton Place, was a slum. Crane’s room overlooked the East River and Blackwell’s Island, the setting of the opening scene in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, a novelette that he had begun while a student at Syracuse University and which he now revised with a New York City setting.
Stanley Wertheim

Source of Quotation: “The Colors”? QUESTION: I was looking for the source of the quote “You cannot choose your battlefield, the Gods do that for you; but you can plant a standard, where a standard never flew.”My search found that Stephen Crane wrote it in something called “The Colors.” However, more searching revealed that it might have been the poet Nathalia Crane, in a work of the same name.Did Stephen Crane write “The Colors,” and is he the source of this quote? Bill Moyers wants to know!

Thanks in advance for your help.Jim, jsteele4@tampabay.rr.com

No, Stephen Crane did not write a poem titled “The Colors.” In fact, none of Crane’s poems was titled at all, except by editors. There is a poem titled “The Colors by Nathalia Crane:You cannot choose your battlefield,
The gods do that for you,
But you can plant a standard
Where a standard never flew.Stanley Wertheim

Crane copyrights?QUESTION: I am interested in writing some vocal compositions based on the texts of “The Black Riders.”  Who do I need to contact for copywrite clearance?  Thanks
Brian Childers, coplandsp@yahoo.com

Since Stephen Crane has been dead for over 100 years and Copeland and Day are no longer extant, the copyright has expired, and you do not need permission to reprint Crane poems. Copeland & Day standardized Crane’s idiosyncratic punctuation in some of the poems,and it may be best to utilize a scholarly edition such as that edited by Joseph Katz which restores original punctuation from manuscript sources. –Stanley Wertheim

Asbury Park HouseI write a daily pieces for web and magazine use called “Today in Literature — 500 word pieces on literary events which occurred on any given day. I try to include interesting sites for the literary traveler – museums, collections, memorials, etc. I can’t seem to find anything substantial on Stephen Crane House, on Fourth Ave in Asbury Park: do you know if plans went through and if it in fact exists, and do you have any contact information for it? Thanks so much if you can spare the time,
Steve King todayinliterature.com2/19/03

In June of 1883, Crane’s mother moved her family from Port Jervis,
New York, to 508 Fourth Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Crane lived in this house, known as Arbutus Cottage because of the arbutus shrubs which grew and still grow in its front yard, at various times until a few months after the death of Mary Helen Crane in December 1891. Many of his New Jersey shore tales and sketches were written there. In the late 1980s a group headed by Tom Hayes, at that time head of the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, restored and renovated the house. It is now a private residence. –Stanley Wertheim2/22/03

Crane and NaturalismI know Crane was one of the first writers to embrace Naturalism, but I was curious to know if he followed this form of writing throughout his career? Or was it just a phase he went thru?Bob F.


Unlike Emile Zola, the foremost European exponent of literary naturalism, Crane did not consider free will and moral character as illusions.Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and George’s Mother depict characters weak in personality development and apparently below the average in intelligence who are at least partly destroyed by environmental conditions. But even in these early slum novelettes, Crane is not a simple determinist. False moral imperatives and personal misconceptions play as large a part in undermining the protagonists as external surroundings. In The Red Badge of Courage and “The Open Boat” Crane stressed the importance of mental and physical resources to comprehend and struggle with the circumstances of the external world. His later work continued to emphasize the naturalistic theme of the importance of environment in determining human destiny, but he increasingly focused on individual ability to apprehend reality and even on sheer chance.–Stanley Wertheim

Drawings of Crane and Dora ClarkQUESTION: Where/how might I get photocopies of the line drawings of Crane and Dora Clark that appeared as illustrations to the articles in the NY City newspapers that covered that incident and its repercussions?Philip Paradis, phil.paradis@fuse.net

The line drawings in New York City newspapers that accompanied coverage of the Dora Clark affair are generic and undistinguished. They may easily be obtained by any research library through inter-library loan of the microfilms of the New York Sun, New York Journal, and New York Times of 16-17 September 1896, for the story of the arrest of Dora Clark and Crane’s testimony before the magistrate, and the New York Journal, New York World, and New York News of 16 October 1896, for Crane’s testimony as a witness in the hearing of Dora Clark’s charges of false arrest against Patrolmen Charles Becker and Martin Conway in New York City Police Court.–Stanley Wertheim

A Man Said to the Universe”I found the following poem attributed to Stephen Crane. Can you tell me the name of the poem or what collection it is from? Thank you! A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”Rory Noland rorynoland@hotmail.com

This poem is from War is Kind and Other Lines, which was published on May 20, 1899, by Copeland and Day.

— D. Campbell

Crane and John Willard Raught

QUESTION: I am looking for any information on Crane’s relationship with the painter John Willard Raught. I believe he visited his home in Scranton, PA. John Powell jpcoal7@yahoo.com

Crane had no relationship with John Willard Raught, a traditionalist in painting who rejected the impressionist and modernist modes in art that fascinated Crane. In mid-May 1894 Crane and the his artist friend Corwin Knapp Linson traveled to the Scranton, Pennsylvania, area to investigate working conditions in the coal mines for the McClure syndicate. Crane’s article, “In the Depths of a Coal Mine,” illustrated by Linson, was syndicated by McClure in various newspapers on 22 July 1894 and included in the August 1894 issue of McClure’s Magazine. Raught was an acquaintance of Linson, and Crane wrote a first draft of his article in the evening of 18th May in Raught’s house in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, where he spent the night, but there is no evidence of a relationship, either personal or artistic, between Raught and Crane.–Stanley Wertheim

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