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Het teken van moed (1895)

door Stephen Crane

Andere auteurs: Carl Van Doren

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

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In the spring of 1863, as he faces battle for the first time at Chancellorsville, Virginia, a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.
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The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a "red badge of courage," to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as flag-bearer, carrying the regimental colors.

Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle first-hand, the novel is known for its realism and naturalism. He began writing what would become his second novel in 1894, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine) as inspiration. It is believed that he based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Initially shortened and serialized in newspapers in December 1894, the novel was published in full in October 1895. A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1982.[1]

The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. Separating itself from a traditional war narrative, Crane's story reflects the inner experience of its protagonist (a soldier fleeing from combat) rather than the external world around him. Also notable for its use of what Crane called a "psychological portrayal of fear",[2] the novel's allegorical and symbolic qualities are often debated by critics. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim, what H. G. Wells called "an orgy of praise",[3] shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four. The novel and its author did have their initial detractors, however, including author and veteran Ambrose Bierce. Adapted several times for the screen, the novel became a bestseller. Never out of print, it is Crane's most important work and a major American text.
  CalleFriden | Mar 15, 2023 |
Un lungo sguardo scettico e disincantato su di un mito celebrato della storia statunitense: la Guerra di Secessione del 1861-65, Nord e Sud, Unionisti e Confederati, governativi e «ribelli», «Blu» e «Grigi», nel conflitto con più morti di tutta la storia americana. Un grande romanzo di guerra scritto dalla parte dei vincitori, una generazione più tardi, un racconto crudo che toglie gloria alla guerra, e sfata la rappresentazione semplicista del coraggio. È un ragazzo soldato che racconta, in bilico tra il desiderio di essere un eroe e la paura dominante, la calcolata viltà e l'automatica violenza. Lo scrittore e storico Alessandro Barbero, che ha tradotto e curato questo volume, riporta come fu la lettura del Segno rosso del coraggio a ispirargli il forte interesse per questa guerra, e in particolare per gli aspetti emotivi dei soldati, fino a portarlo a scrivere Alabama, romanzo ad essa dedicato. E nell'Introduzione a questo capolavoro scrive: «The Red Badge of Courage apparve quando le ferite della Guerra Civile si erano ormai rimarginate, e una popolare letteratura di guerra, spesso pro-dotta da scrittori meridionali, aveva abituato i lettori a celebrare con eguale calore l'eroismo dei Blu e dei Grigi; additando i combattenti di entrambe le parti a modello di coraggio e di ab-negazione. Nel romanzo non c'è traccia di quella celebrazione convenzionale. Ma Il segno rosso del coraggio è anche un romanzo psicologico; anzi, trattandosi d'un libro che rispetta fedelmente le unità di tempo e di azione, bisogna dire che una percentuale insolitamente importante dell'azione ha luogo nella mente del protagonista. L'analisi delle pulsioni elementari che spingono Henry Fleming (ma per l'autore e per noi è sempre e soltanto “il ragazzo”) è un capolavoro non soltanto di introspezione psicologica, ma di studio delle dinamiche di gruppo». Scene da tutti gli angoli del campo di battaglia si riflettono nella mente e negli occhi del «ragazzo», e il lettore, il quale trepida per la sorte di lui, è contagiato dalla febbre della fuga e dell'azione, rivive il primo incontro con la morte, lo strazio dell'ultimo addio, gli attimi di pietà per il nemico, l'affiorare dei ricordi di casa. ( )
  alessvi | Feb 16, 2023 |
Can't do it...I managed 35% but I rally don't want to squander any more of my reading time on it. This one goes on the did-not-finish shelf. ( )
  AuntieG0412 | Jan 23, 2023 |
The Red Badge of Courage assails from the very first line – "The cold passed reluctantly from the earth" – and doesn't let up until the sun appears through cloud on the final page, two days of battle later. Short on character and short on plot, author Stephen Crane's obsession here is with the sensory experience of battle, told from the perspective of a young American Civil War soldier about to fight his first action.

This it does very well. The young Crane didn't have any experience of battle (he wrote the novel at 24 and died of tuberculosis at 28) but you wouldn't know it from The Red Badge of Courage. He is excellent at portraying the thoughts a young man can spin for himself, as his protagonist, Henry Fleming, ties himself in knots and becomes his own worst enemy, rationalises his fears and his actions, and emerges from the emotional wringer altered in some unquantifiable ways. For all that Crane had no war experience – and was criticised for this from other writers of his time, including Civil War veterans – it is a very honest book. One can imagine the book as a thought experiment, with Crane imagining: 'How would it feel if I, green as I am, were to find myself in a battle? Would I stand it, or would I run?'

Crane must've had a very vivid imagination to be able to concoct this so successfully, and he grants this dubious boon to his protagonist. It is Henry's active imagination which encourages him to enlist – he has naïve, romantic dreams of glory and is disappointed when his crying mother says "nothing whatever about returning with his shield or on it", in the manner of the Spartan three hundred (pg. 13). It is this same imagination which unmans him when he's stood there, cold and afraid, facing powder and shot and the rebel yell. Crane is particularly good at the chaos of fighting, and the effects this has on the men fighting it. An exhausting march discourages the ranks of soldiers more than an enemy artillery barrage; a large part of young Henry's struggle is against the dangerous thoughts which intrude upon him in the moments of frenzied anticipation before battle even begins.

It is this lack of agency, not only for Henry but for the rest of the rank-and-file, which makes the war so hellish for them, and The Red Badge of Courage an early anti-war novel of the modern sensibility. The men are pushed from field to field, hill to hill, skirmish to skirmish, not knowing what they are meant to be doing – still less why – and this drains their courage. "It had begun to seem to them that events were trying to prove that they were impotent" (pg. 135). Ironically, it is only when they are cornered and have no options that they – both the protagonist and the soldiers as a unit – launch a successful charge and perform a collective heroic feat. In this ramshackle hell, this confusing "land of strange, squalling upheavals" (pg. 155) where officers are trying to impose some sort of order like "shepherds struggling with sheep" (pg. 123), we see the baldness of battlefield courage: too often, you didn't know what you were doing, and heroism or cowardice was only a label you could apply afterwards. If you survived.

Despite this success, Crane's book can be said to hinder itself by focusing so completely on this one aspect of writing. Though short, the book feels long and draining, as it is almost entirely descriptive writing with little in the way of plot and character. The absence of plot is forgivable, considering the nature of the piece. And our protagonist, Henry, gets some character development, of course – how could he not, when we are privy to his every thought and emotional response? – but his comrades do not. The moments when other soldiers die, or crawl away injured, should carry more emotional weight than they do, even as pen-portraits. For all his savant-like success in depicting battle, Crane's writing does have this noticeable imbalance of the inexperienced writer. Its descriptive writing is often good, but without economy: Crane catalogues each and every sensation, and won't move on from one sensation to another until he has described it in half-a-dozen ways. Nevertheless, it would be hard for even a supremely experienced writer to balance all this in a battle scenario, where chaos is the norm and a "number of emotions and events [are] crowded into such little space" (pg. 137). The book gets its intensity from this confined, bottle-like pressure, and to appreciate a book like this one you have to accept there are some things the author chooses not to do.

It is the emotional maelstrom, completely devoid of romance, combined with the general sensory experience of battle – its colours, its smoke and error, its fatigue – which is the greatest success of The Red Badge of Courage. But there are also other whispers of what would become the modern anti-war novel: the senior officer who glibly orders the men into an almost-certain-death manoeuvre as a mere feint, "speaking of the regiment as if he referred to a broom" (pg. 122), or the awareness of the battle's ultimate futility: "Individuals must have supposed that they were cutting the letters of their names deep into everlasting tablets or brass, or enshrining their reputations forever in the hearts of their countrymen, while, as to fact, the affair would appear in printed reports under a meek and immaterial title" (pg. 62). But in Crane's hands the title is far from meek and immaterial, and his prototypical success could be said to pave the way for modern war novelists like Remarque, Hemingway and the English war poets. Not bad for a 24-year-old New Yorker with no experience of battle. ( )
1 stem MikeFutcher | Jan 15, 2023 |
Stephen Crane se referiu ao seu romance como um "retrato psicológico do medo" e esse medo é claramente estabelecido quase imediatamente no início, quando acompanhamos os homens alistados no exército da União reunidos no acampamento esperando suas ordens de marcha para irem à batalha. O protagonista é o jovem soldado Henry Fleming, tão dominado pelo medo que chegar a largar o rifle e bater em retirada. Sozinho na floresta, fora de si com desespero e vergonha, é nocauteado por outro soldado em retirada, mas acorda com uma atitude totalmente diferente. O ferimento na cabeça se torna o seu emblema ou 'Distintivo Vermelho da Coragem' e ele retorna às trincheiras, desta vez com uma in´edita e indômita bravura. Vê-se liderando os homens contra o inimigo Confederado, pegando a bandeira de um camarada caído e levando-a à vitória. Embora pequeno, o romance é um épico. ( )
1 stem | jgcorrea | Oct 14, 2022 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (51 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Crane, StephenAuteurprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Van Doren, CarlSecundaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Berryman, JohnMedewerkerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Binder, HenryRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Bottino, PatVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Bowers, FredsonRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Bradbury, MalcolmRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Brick, ScottVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Canga, C.B.IllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Covici Jr., PascalIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Cummings, SherwoodIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Davis, LincolnRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Davray, Henry-D.VertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Dressler, RogerVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Dufris, WilliamVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Engene, GeneVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Foote, ShelbyIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Gibson, Donald B.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Green, FrankRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Haldeman, JoeIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Harad, AlyssaSupplementary materialSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Heald, AnthonyVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Herzberg, Max J.NawoordSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Homer, WinslowIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
James, AngelaBookbinderSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Jenseth, RichardIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Kazin, AlfredIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Kidder, HarveyIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
LaRocca, Charles J.MedewerkerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Levenson, J.C.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Levy, Wilbert J.RedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Lindsay, JenBookbinderSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Lubett, DeniseBookbinderSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Maxwell, John AllanArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Minor, WendellIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Misiego, MicaelaVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Mozley, CharlesIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Muller, FrankVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Otero, BenArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Paysac, Henry dePréfaceSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Perkins, Patricia BarrettVoorwoordSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Pratt, SeanVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Reichardt, Mary R.RedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Sanders, CharlesVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Sorrentino, PaulRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Stallman, Robert W.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Stone, RobertIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Suamarez Smith, RomillyBookbinderSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Thomas, RichardVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Van Doren, CarlIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Vedro, Alfred S.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Viélé-Griffin, FrancisTraductionSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Watson, Aldren AuldIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Winterich, John T.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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In the spring of 1863, as he faces battle for the first time at Chancellorsville, Virginia, a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.

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