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Writer in Motion:
The Major Fiction of Stephen Crane: Collected Critical Essays

By Donald Pizer

LC 2012017501
ISBN-10: 0-404-64477-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64477-2

AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, No. 47

Writer in Motion contains groundbreaking, seminal essays that have become standard readings of Crane’s fiction. Clearly written and meticulously argued, this remarkable collection charts a legacy of five decades of incisive commentary that will continue to shape the way scholars view Crane and, more broadly, American naturalism.”

—Paul Sorrentino, Professor, Virginia Tech

“In many respects this volume is the culmination of the career of Donald Pizer, the dean of scholars in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American literature. It thoroughly covers Stephen Crane’s major fiction, from the controversy over the death of Maggie to the controversy over the authoritative edition of The Red Badge of Courage.”

—Gary Scharnhorst, Distinguished Professor of English, University of New Mexico

Stephen Crane’s career was so brief—lasting only from 1893 through 1899—and his fiction so vibrant and complex that scholars have tended to hunt for a single thematic or stylistic key to his work. In the thirteen essays collected here, Donald Pizer draws on decades of his own work on Crane to argue instead that Crane’s fiction demonstrates a fundamental instability—that Crane was, above all, a writer in motion—and that the nature and quality of any one of his works can best be understood by viewing it in relation to Crane’s own shifting and developing ideas.

The essays collected here constitute in toto a significant and coherent reading both of Crane’s persistent preoccupations during his short career and of his changing perspective on these preoccupations. The volume can thus be profitably considered both as a collection of perceptive readings bearing on specific areas of interest in Crane studies and, in wider focus, as a contribution to an understanding of Crane’s mind and art as a whole.


Editorial Note

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

1. Maggie and American Naturalism
2. Introduction to the 1893 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
3. American Literary Naturalism and the Humanistic Tradition
4. Maggie and the Naturalistic Aesthetic of Length
5. A Cold Case File Re-Opened: Was Maggie Johnson Murdered or a Suicide?

George’s Mother

6. From a Home to the World: George’s Mother

The Red Badge of Courage

The Red Badge of Courage: The Textual Issue
7. “The Red Badge of Courage Nobody Knows”: A Brief Rejoinder
8. Self Censorship and the Editing of Naturalist Texts

The Red Badge of Courage in the Context of 1890s Naturalism
9. Nineteenth-Century American Naturalism: An Essay in Definition . . .
10. Nineteenth-Century American Naturalism: An Approach through Form

The Red Badge of Courage
11. The Red Badge of Courage: Text, Theme, and Form
12. Henry Behind the Lines and the Concept of Manhood in The Red Badge of Courage
13. What Unit Did Henry belong to at Chancellorsville, and Does It Matter?


Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Pizer, Donald.
Writer in motion : the major fiction of Stephen Crane : collected critical essays / by Donald Pizer.
     p. cm. -- (AMS studies in the nineteenth century, ISSN 0196-657X ; no. 47)
     Includes bibliographical references and index.
     ISBN 978-0-404-64477-2 (cloth : alk. paper)
     1. Crane, Stephen, 1871-1900--Criticism and interpretation.
     I. Title.
PS1449.C85Z78 2012
813'.4--dc23                                                       2012017501