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dc.creatorCampbell, Donna
dc.description.abstractLike his younger contemporary Jack London, who famously claimed to have had "no mentor but myself," Stephen Crane acknowledged few influences on his writing. Established authors such as W. D. Howells and contemporaries such as his friends Hamlin Garland and Harold Frederic read Crane's fiction and encouraged him, but encouragement rather than influence formed the basis for these relationships. That Crane based "The Open Boat" on his survival after the wreck of the Commodore off the coast of Florida is well known. But The Third Violet has not received the same sort of scrutiny, in part because, as Donald Pizer put it in Fifteen Modern American Authors before 1900, "Most Crane critics would not be too much disturbed if The Third Violet, Active Service, and The O'Ruddy disappeared from the face of the earth, and this sentiment is reflected in the extent of the criticism of the three novels" (178). Not quite a decade later, Patrick Dooley's Stephen Crane: An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Scholarship surveyed the work done on the novel and came to a similar, if less bluntly expressed, conclusion on its critical reception: that aside from its biographical interest it is at best a potboiler and a decidedly unworthy successor to The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie; and that some of the weakness resides in Crane's inability to portray female characters. Other critics have found strengths in the book: for William Andrews, the novel is Crane's meditation on "the meaning of artistic success and failure in America" (80); and, drawing on the novel's grounding in Howells's critical statements on realism, Paul Sorrentino suggests that Crane's response is more complex than the simple parody of plot elements described by Eric Solomon. For Sorrentino, the systematic use of language and allusion, such as the multiple meanings of words such as "frame" or "true" or the references to Verdi's La Traviata, allows Crane to "blur the distinction between fact and fiction" ("Stephen Crane's Struggle with Romance in the Third Violet" 28en_US
dc.publisherStephen Crane Studiesen_US
dc.rightsIn copyright
dc.subjectCrane, Agnes Elizabeth, 1856-1884en_US
dc.subjectLiterary criticismen_US
dc.subjectCrane, Stephen, 1871-1900en_US
dc.titleMore than a Family Resemblance? Agnes Crane's A Victorious Defeat� and Stephen Crane's The Third Violet
dc.description.citationCampbell, Donna. More than a Family Resemblance? Agnes Crane's A Victorious Defeat and Stephen Crane's The Third Violet. Stephen Crane Studies 16.1 (Spring 2007): 14-23.

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  • Campbell, Donna
    This collection features research by Donna Campbell, professor of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature in the English department at Washington State University.

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