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Active Service: A Novel (1899)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

George Monteiro
Affiliation:
Brown University, Rhode Island
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Summary

“World of Letters.” New York Mail and Express, October 11, 1899, p. 6

In “The Red Badge of Courage,” Mr. Stephen Crane wrote of a war that he did not see, in “Active Service” he tells us of a war that he did see, and which was not. Talk there was—Southern eloquence in comparison with which Daudet's Tarasconnais are taciturn—and embraces, kisses of transport and patriotism, shouts and songs, but no fighting. The modern Epaminondases and Leonidases played the most pitiful farce of modern history, and with their Crownprince marched up the hill and down again. Of all this opera bouffe campaign, which he went to report for a New York paper, Mr. Crane saw but one salient feature—the only one to be seen—and that was emotion misdirected in the channel of talk. There was not even mismanagement, or bad leadership—nothing but a skyrocket that fizzled in the air, and came down a smoking stick. The romance of modern Greece has been effectively dispelled by the modern Greeks themselves.

Having started out to tell a story about a war that was not war at all, Mr. Crane was forced to find its main interest elsewhere. The war, therefore, is mainly one between two women, in which the good one wins in the end, though she, like some of the other characters, occasionally behaves in such a puzzling manner as to perplex the reader.

Type
Chapter
Information
Stephen Crane
The Contemporary Reviews
, pp. 205 - 212
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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References

New York Herald, October 14, 1899, p. 10.
“New Books.” New York Sun, October 21, 1899, pp. 6–7.
“New Books.” Phildelphia North American, November 10, 1899, p. 4.
Spectator (November 11, 1899), p. 701.
Fiction.” Literature 5 (November 25, 1899), p. 518.
Fiction.” Speaker 21 (November 25, 1899), p. 218.
Logan, Annie R. M.. “Historical Fiction.” Nation 69 (November 30, 1899), p. 413.Google Scholar
Mr. Stephen Crane in Action.” Outlook 4 (December 16, 1899), pp. 656–657.
Lees, Frederic. “Some Writers on War.” Fortnightly Review 68 (September 1900), p. 478.Google Scholar

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