Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Red Badge of Courage

Among my collection of Christmas Books is this
extraordinary edition of Red Badge of Courage,
published in 1968 by the West Virginia Pulp and
Paper Company (WESTVACO) as a Christmas gift
for their finest customers and clients.The book
also included a reprint of the U.S. War
Department’s manual on the management and
care of the Rifle Musket, Model 1863. Notice the
bullet hole through the book. The hole get more
diminutive as the pages in the book increase until,
near the final pages, the hole is discontinued.

Stephen Crane’s extraordinary novel was published in 1895, when he was 24 years old. He would die in 1900.
by Charlie Leck
“The simple questions of the tattered man had been knife thrusts to him. They asserted a society that probes pitilessly at secrets until all is apparent. His late companion’s chance persistency made him feel that he could not keep his crime concealed in his bosom. It was sure to be brought plain by one of those arrows which cloud the air and are constantly pricking, discovering, proclaiming those things which are willed to be forever hidden. He admitted that he could not defend himself against this agency. It was not within the power of vigilance.” [Stephen Crane, Red Badge of Courage: 1895]

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