Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 July 2010
“Notes on New Books.” Manchester Guardian, July 18, 1900, p. 4
The early death of Mr. Stephen Crane is a serious loss to English literature. He had produced enough work to give what seemed a fine promise of better things to come. He had the faculty of conveying in clear and definite language certain states of mind and feeling which have perhaps never before been definitely translated from terms of sense to terms of language. Mr. Crane's description of fear in the “Red Badge of Courage” remains in the memory as a convincing portraiture of a state of mind through which all human beings are liable to pass. In this sense his work is always original; for, however ancient the subject-matter, he was always able to introduce some subtler analysis of the ways of human feeling, some closer observation, some truer perception. These features of his work, which marked him apart from the common run of writers, are almost as conspicuous in his two stories of New York slum life, The Bowery Tales, which were first produced in America in 1896 and are now republished on this side of the Atlantic. The subject here is wholly different from the strenuous and fearful rhapsody of war. It is the ordinary humdrum life of the people in the great settlements of New York.