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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets: (A Story of New York) [Hardcover]

Stephen Crane , Kevin Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 1999 0312218249 978-0312218249 0
This definitive, annotated edition of Maggie is based on Crane's original 1893 text and provides instructors with everything they need to teach the work in its historical and cultural context. Over 175 pages of documents are organized into thematic units on late-nineteenth and turn of the century American society to give the reader a context for Maggie. The various chapters in this edition cover topics such as tenement life; shops, saloons, concert-halls; working women from the perspectives of others; working women tell their own stories; prostitution; realism; and slum fiction.

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"The informative introductions, illustrations, and an excellent short bibliography make this a very useful book for both specialists and students from high school to the university level." --Choice

About the Author

Stephen Crane was born November 1, 1871 in Newark, New Jersey, the youngest of fourteen children. He wrote his first poem at age eight. The family moved to Port Jervis, New York in 1876 so his father could become the pastor of a Methodist Church. His father passed away just four years later at age 60. After his father's death, his mother moved back to New Jersey, leaving him with his brother Edmund, then his brother William, then his sister Helen. At the age of 14, Crane wrote his first full story. Eventually, Stephen attended Claverack College, a military school, but he would often skip classes to play baseball. He was academically weak and not very popular, but there were Civil War veterans on the staff at the school and their stories would provide him with material for "The Red Badge of Courage." Then, he transferred to a college in Easton Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in mining engineering. After one semester, he transferred to Syracuse University, but took only one class. He finally declared that college was a waste of his time and became a writer and reporter. Moving back once again to New Jersey, he became a heavy smoker and developed a hacking cough. He wrote a novel entitled "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" under the name Johnston Smith, but lost his own money funding it. In 1893, Stephen became frustrated with the dry Civil War stories that were prevalent at the time, and decided to tell a story written with the true emotions of a soldier in battle. He handwrote "The Red Badge of Courage" as he could not afford a typewriter. It was published in serialized form in multiple newspapers, becoming quite popular. Finally in 1895, the book was published in novel form and rose to the top of several bestseller lists. He finally made it to Cuba as a correspondent during the Spanish-American War and actually served as a courier during the fighting with Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. His money was running out however and he was developing signs of tuberculosis. Becoming friends with Joseph Conrad, Henry James and H. G. Wells, he began working on another novel, but his health continued to worsen. Crane finally passed away on June 5, 1900 at the age of 28 while in Badenweiler, Germany. He is buried in Hillside, New Jersey. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Naturalism to the tee..... Oct. 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Crane does a superb job of displaying the qualities of Naturalism in this story. He focuses on the lower classes, deals with an amoral set of ideas/decisions, displays a blatant attack on false values, a reformest agenda, imagery that is either animalistic or mechanistic, and a plot of decline that often leads to catastrophe through a deterministic sequence of causes and effects. Crane attacks both the romantic idealism and the moral posturing of the church in this novel. The animalistic imagery, displayed in the Darwinian landscape of Rum Alley, is significant, for it reinforces the work's naturalistic orientation: humans are viewed as extensions of the animal kingdom engaged in a Darwinian struggle for survival. This novel assails the hypocricy of the priest who offers condemnation instead of compassion, who claims to help people, yet turns a deaf ear to their pleas for help, and whose moral posturing encourages others to do the same. BRAVO! Crane....If you would like to discuss this novel in greater detail, email me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Easy Read with Power and Dark Humor Dec 5 1997
If I were pressed to use one word to describe this book itwould be dark. However, Crane's novel is a moving piece with momentsof transcendence and rampant dark humor.
Basically, it is the story of Maggie, an undeveloped character who takes the back-seat to her loud and abusive parents, her swaggering, self-confident brother Jimmie and his friend, the boastful Pete.
The novel chronicles the injustices that surround Maggie, who is quiet and doesn't fight back. A chilling look at poor, urban life in the late 1800's, it is also a tale critical of society's judgmentality and questioning of morality. A more complex novel than it seems on first look, it is wonderful to take apart and examine the relationship between Maggie and Pete, Maggie and her mother, and Maggie and Jimmie.
Most importantly, however, are the quiet moments of transcendence in this novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written book about 1890's slum life Dec 30 2003
By lizard
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was well written. The naturalistic setting and expressive use of slang transport you back to the nasty means streets of New York at the turn of the century. Some of their values seem kind of quaint and rustic as compared to 100 years later, however the realism is staggering. One can feel the despair of a terrible life that never gets better. Death and disease are the only fates that await and there is no release.
This is not just a book to be read as an assignment, read it for the realistic view of history as a slice of life to understand what New Yorker's were going through then, and as a parable to ghetto life today. Some things have changed but some still stay the ca change.......
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stork's Nest Feb. 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hart Crane's first novel is the tale of a pretty young slum girl driven to brutal excesses by poverty and loneliness. It was considered so sexually frank and realistic, that the book had to be privately printed at first. It and GEORGE'S MOTHER, the shorter novel that follows in this edition, were eventually hailed as the first genuine expressions of Naturalism in American letters and established their creator as the American apostle of an artistic revolution which was to alter the shape and destiny of civilization itself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What Are You People Thinking? Feb. 2 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm sorry, but real life is not as pleasurable as you and I would like it to be. Stephen Crane was one of the first authors to write about life and war as an unpleasant, realistic thing. I think his writing is like a wakeup call for people like the writers of previous entries, because life is full of sad, depressing things, such as pain and rejection. As for the vocabulary and writing style, I assume that the writers of previous entries are not in second grade anymore, so they should be able to follow, understand, and appreciate the works of some of the greatest American novelists, such as Stephen Crane.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Writing! April 6 2004
I am amazed at the fact that Stephen Crane was only twenty-one when he wrote this story "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets". I found it to be a genuine effort to tell a story from the inside-out instead of the usual outside-in.
I also found Crane's style very addictive. When I moved on to my next novel, I truly missed Cran's writing style. If you haven't read any of Crane's works, I suggest you start off with Maggie to see how you like him.
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