2011年3月20日 星期日

鐵血雄師 The red Badage of Courage by Stephen Crane

鐵血雄師 The red Badage of Courage by Stephen Crane 香港: 今日世界 1964bin
作 者】:(美)葛倫,史提芬著;胡彥譯

  • 【叢編項】:
  • 【裝幀項】:19cm / 261頁

  • The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the novel features a young recruit who overcomes initial fears and shame to become a hero on the battlefield. Although Crane was born after the war and had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, the novel is known for its Realism.


    [edit] Background

    Stephen Crane published his first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, in March 1893 at the age of 21. Maggie was not a success, either financially or critically. Most critics thought the unsentimental Bowery tale crude or vulgar, and Crane was forced to publish the work privately after it was repeatedly rejected for publication.[1] Crane found inspiration for his next novel while spending hours lounging in a friend's studio in the summer of 1893. There, he became fascinated with issues of Century Magazine that were largely devoted to famous battles and military leaders from the Civil War.[2] Frustrated with the dryly written stories, Crane stated, "I wonder that some of those fellows don't tell how they felt in those scraps. They spout enough of what they did, but they're as emotionless as rocks."[3] Crane returned to these magazines during subsequent visits to the studio, and eventually the idea of writing a war novel overtook him. He would later state that he "had been unconsciously working the detail of the story out through most of his boyhood" and had imagined "war stories ever since he was out of knickerbockers."[4]
    At the time, the young writer was intermittently employed as a free-lance writer, contributing articles to various New York newspapers. He began writing what would become The Red Badge of Courage in June 1893, while living with his older brother Edmund in Lake View, New Jersey.[5] Conceiving his story from the point of view of a young private who is at first filled with boyish dreams of the glory of war, only to become disillusioned by war's reality, Crane borrowed the private's surname, "Fleming", from his sister-in-law's maiden name. He would later relate that the first paragraphs came to him with "every word in place, every comma, every period fixed."[6] Working mostly nights, he wrote from around midnight until four or five in the morning. Because he could not afford a typewriter, he wrote carefully in ink on legal-sized paper, seldom crossing through or interlining a word. If he did change something, he would rewrite the whole page.[7] He later moved to New York City, where he completed the novel in April 1894.[5]

    [edit] Publication history

    The title of Crane's original manuscript was "Private Fleming/His various battles", but in order to create the sense of a less traditional Civil War narrative, he ultimately changed the title to The Red Badge of Courage: An Episode of the American Civil War.[8] A shorter version of Crane's manuscript was first serialized in The Philadelphia Press in December 1894. This version of the story was then reprinted in newspapers across America, establishing Crane's notoriety. A longer final revision of the manuscript was printed in book form by D. Appleton & Company in October 1895.[9] W. W. Norton & Company published the unrevised manuscript version in 1982.

    [edit] Plot summary

    Battle of Chancellorsville by Kurz and Allison
    Eighteen-year-old Henry Fleming joins the Union Army despite his mother's discouragement, becoming a private in the (fictional) 304th New York Regiment. In the weeks leading up to conflict, Henry wonders whether he will remain brave, or turn and run. During his first battle, Confederate soldiers charge his regiment, but are repelled. They quickly regroup and attack again, this time forcing some Union soldiers to flee. Fearing the battle is a lost cause, Henry deserts his battalion. Only after he reaches the rear of the army does he overhear a general announcing the union's victory. Ashamed, he spends the rest of the day away from his regiment.
    Escaping into a nearby forest, he finds a decaying body in a peaceful clearing. Unnerved, he flees the forest, finding a group of injured men returning from battle. One member of the group, the "Tattered Soldier", asks Henry where he is wounded, but the young soldier dodges the question. Whilst amongst the group, Henry comes across one of his friends—Jim Conklin—who has been shot in the side and is suffering dementia from blood-loss. After Jim dies, Henry, enraged and helpless, runs from the wounded soldiers. He next joins a retreating column, and approaches one of the men to ask for news, grabbing him. The panicked man hits Henry on the head with his rifle, wounding him. Tired, hungry, thirsty, and now wounded, Henry decides to return to his regiment regardless of his shame. When he arrives at camp, the other soldiers believe his head injury resulted from a graze by a bullet during battle. The other men care for the youth, dressing his wound.
    The next morning Henry goes into battle for the third time. His regiment encounters a small group of Confederates, and in the ensuing fight Henry proves to be a a capable soldier. Afterward, while looking for a stream from which to get water with his friend, he discovers from the commanding officer that his regiment has a lackluster reputation. The officer speaks casually about sacrificing Henry's regiment because they are nothing more than "mule drivers" and "mud diggers". With no other regiments to spare, the general orders his men forward.
    In the final battle, Henry acts as the flag carrier. A line of Confederates hidden behind a fence beyond a clearing are able to shoot Henry's regiment, which is ill-covered in the tree-line, with impunity. Facing certain death if they stay, and disgrace if they retreat, the officers order Henry's regiment to charge. Henry, unarmed, leads the charge, entirely escaping injury. Most of the Confederates at the fence run before the regiment arrives, and of the surviving soldiers, four Confederates are taken prisoner. The overall battle ends, and Henry and his regiment march back to camp.

    [edit] Historical accuracy

    Crane once wrote in a letter that "You can tell nothing... unless you are in that condition yourself."[10] However, although he would eventually serve as war correspondent during the Greco-Turkish and Spanish-American Wars, he had no firsthand experience with battle while writing The Red Badge of Courage. Nevertheless, the harrowing and realistic portrayal of the battlefield in The Red Badge of Courage has often mislead readers into thinking that Crane(despite being born six years after the end of the Civil War) was himself a veteran. Crane drew from a variety of sources in order to realistically depict battle. Century's "Battles and Leaders" series served as direct inspiration for the novel, and one story in particular—Warren Lee Goss's "Recollections of a Private"—contains many parallels to Crane's work.[11]
    Crane also allegedly interviewed veterans from the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms.[8] The Orange Blossoms first saw battle at Chancellorsville, which critics believe to have been the inspiration for the battle depicted in The Red Badge of Courage.[12]

    [edit] Style

    "A river, amber-tinted in the shadow of its banks, purled at the army's feet; and at night, when the stream had become of a sorrowful blackness, one could see across it the red, eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distant hills."
    — Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage[13]
    The Red Badge of Courage has a distinctive style which is often described as Naturalistic, Realistic, Impressionistic or a mixture of the three. Critics in particular have pointed to the repeated use of color imagery throughout the novel, both literal and figurative, as proof of the novel's use of Impressionism. Throughout the work mentions are made of blue and gray uniforms, yellow and orange sunlight, and green forests, while men's faces grow red with rage or courage, and gray with death.[5]
    While the novel takes place during a series of battles, The Red Badge of Courage is not a traditional Civil War narrative. Instead, Crane focuses on the complex internal struggle of the story's main character, and not the war itself.[8] The writer alluded to as much in a letter, in which he stated he wished to depict war through "a psychological portrayal of fear."[6]

    [edit] Adaptations

    The book was made into a 1951 film by the same name, which starred Audie Murphy as Henry Fleming and a made-for-television movie in 1974, starring Richard Thomas as Fleming.
    The 2008 Czech film Tobruk was partly based on The Red Badge of Courage.[14]

    [edit] Notes

    1. ^ Stallman, p. 70
    2. ^ Davis, p. 63
    3. ^ Linson, p. 37
    4. ^ Davis, p. 64
    5. ^ a b c Wertheim (1997), p. 283
    6. ^ a b Davis, p. 65
    7. ^ Davis, p. 74
    8. ^ a b c Wertheim (1997), p. 282
    9. ^ Bloom, p. 13
    10. ^ Bloom, p. 15
    11. ^ Morris, p. 139
    12. ^ Morris, p. 142
    13. ^ Crane, p. 1
    14. ^ Screening of the Czech film 'Tobruk' at the Embassy". Embassy of the Czech Republic in Copenhagen. Retrieved on May 17, 2010.

    [edit] References

    • Bloom, Harold. 1996. Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 9780585253718.
    • Crane, Stephen. 1917. The Red Badge of Courage. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
    • Davis, Linda H. 1998. Badge of Courage: The Life of Stephan Crane. New York: Mifflin. ISBN 0899199348.
    • Lentz, Perry. 2006. Private Fleming at Chancellorsville: The Red Badge of Courage and the Civil War. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. ISBN 0826216544.
    • Linson, Corwin K. 1958. My Stephen Crane. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
    • Morris, Roy Jr. 2007. "On Whose Responsibility? The Historical and Literary Underpinnings of The Red Badge of Courage". Memory and Myth: The Civil War in Fiction and Film from Uncle Tom's Cabin to Cold Mountain. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press. ISBN 9781557534392.
    • Stallman, R. W. 1968. Stephen Crane: A Biography. New York: Braziller, Inc..
    • Wertheim, Stanley. 1997. A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313296928.
    • Wertheim, Stanley and Paul Sorrentino. 1994. The Crane Log: A Documentary Life of Stephen Crane, 1871-1900. New York: G. K. Hall & Co.. ISBN 0816172927.

    [edit] External links