Saturday, April 09, 2005

"The Upturned Face" by Stephen Crane

In this tale of war and death and duty, two officers confront the need to bury a dead comrade. Read by Martha Collins.

It's quite likely you read either The Red Badge of Courage or The Open Boat in school--and you may remember that Stephen Crane, though he wrote so realistically of the Civil War, was involved in the Spanish-American War instead. (This story takes place during an imaginary war in an unknown land.) Even though he died before he reached thirty, Crane had already revolutionized poetry and fiction with a style which still sounds shockingly modern to us today. Though beloved by many other authors and journalists, Crane was hounded by gossips, retreated to England, and succumbed to tuberculosis in Germany.

Martha Collins divides her time between Massachusetts and Ohio, where she teaches at Oberlin. Not only is she the author of four poetry collections, but she has also translated two volumes from Vietnamese, most recently Green Rice by Lam Thi My Da. Blue Front, a book-length poem, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2006. Contrary to rumor, she is not an international spy, nor has she ever danced with Martha Graham or starred in James Bond films.

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