“The Little Regiment, and other stories of the American Civil War”:
“Three Miracoulous Soldiers” (1896):
Stephen Crane is best known, of course, for his remarkable short novel, The Red Badge of Courage. The Little Regiment” and Other Civil War Stories is a small collection of Civil War tales by the masterful storyteller Stephen Crane. This particular collection contains; “A Mystery of Heroism”, “A Gray Sleeve”, “Three Miraculous Soldiers”, “The Little Regiment”, “The Veteran”, “An Indiana Campaign”, and “An Episode of War”. Each story describes the plights of soldiers or ex-soldiers in a manner that few other authors have been able to portray. Crane’s short stories are surprisingly true to the Civil War, despite his being born after the subject. Through his literary work, Crane provides a window into the life of the soldier – a detail dismissed in the majority of literature due to the centering on generals or famous leaders. The literary style Crane presents is said, by some, to be confusing, especially due to his naming a certain person and then neglecting to call that person by their name later in the story (i.e. if an author starts a conversation in a book naming a soldier as “John” and then later refers to him as “the soldier”). However, this form of writing conveys a sense that the soldier is any soldier and that the name has no particular influence on how the soldier acts or reacts, therefore defining not a single soldier, but rather the general soldier – every soldier. Crane also presents environments not from a visual perspective, but rather from the perspective that a human consciousness would be in possession of. The work of Stephen Crane is rather remarkable and deserves to be read in centuries to come.
Extracts of The Brief Story: “Three Miracoulous Soldiers”:
“All she could do was to stand at the window and sadly contemplate the barn. She admitted this to herself with a sense of deep humiliation. She was defeated by a barn with only one door and by four men- trivialities that would not impede the real heroine-“.
“Her own Sadness and the Destiny of the four men in the grey seemed to be expressed in this soft, sad sound of the wind in the trees. At first, she felt like crying. This sound spoke to her of Human Impotency and man´s sad Destiny. Then later the wind gave her a new life and spoke to her of Sacrifice, of efforts and of those of strong character who did not run away when duty called”.
“To the girl it was as if the sky had fallen when she heard the terrible clamour of this confrontation. It represented the End of Everything. She would not have been surprised if the whole farm had flown away… The noise of the fight was like the loud music that people love during the last scene of a Tragedy”.
“This girl is clearly the worst kind of rebel, but she is crying over one of her enemies. I bet she´ll be nursing him in the morning… War changes many things, he said, but it doesn´t change Everything, thank God”.
Stephen Crane (1871/1900).-
Source Post: Crane, Stephen. “Three Miracoulous Soldiers”. Buenos Aires. Artes Gráficas Rioplatenses (Libros Bilingües Clarín). 2008.-
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