Literary Anniversaries: 01 November
Many red devils ran from my heart
And out upon the page.
They were so tiny
The pen could mash them.
And many struggled in the ink.
It was strange
To write in this red muck
Of things from my heart.
Today in 1871, the American novelist, Stephen Crane was born. If the photograph of him looks young, that’s because, sadly, he didn’t live to see his 30th birthday: he died of tuberculosis at just 28.
Although quite prolific in his short life, Crane is predominantly recognised now for his American Civil War Novel, The Red Badge of Courage. His style is said to have influenced the direction of novelists such as Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway is believed to have called The Red Badge one of the finest works of American Literature.
Like many of these ‘live fast, die young’ types, you won’t be surprised to hear that Crane’s life was quite colourful. He lost his father very early on, had several periods of abject, and was briefly notorious for his scandalous calling as a witness in the trial of a prostitute. Never a dull moment, it seems …