“IF I AM GOING TO BE DROWNED, WHY, IN THE NAME OF THE SEVEN MAD GODS WHO RULE THE SEA, WAS I ALLOWED TO COME THUS FAR AND CONTEMPLATE SAND AND TREES?”
CRANE, Stephen. The Open Boat and Other Tales of Adventure. New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1898. 12mo, original green and silver pictorial cloth. $950.
First edition of this collection of eight short stories, including the popular title story and “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.”
The title story was the result of the January 1897 sinking of the filibustering ship Commodore, on which Crane was sailing to Cuba to report on the insurrection, and Crane's ordeal at sea off the coast of Florida in an open lifeboat with three of the ship's crew. "Crane wrote a gripping news dispatch describing the tragedy, but the event entered world literature in the form of the much-anthologized masterpiece 'The Open Boat,' a brooding, ironic study of the heroism of which ordinary persons are capable when confronted with life-or-death crises? 'The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky' delineates the impact on a Western town of its sheriff's marriage to a 'lady' who represents the advent of a new West in which civil behavior will be the order of the day as the old Wild West fades into oblivion? Crane's experiences in Mexico resulted in 'The Five White Mice,' an underrated tale of American expatriates" (ANB). "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" was made into a short film of the same title in 1952, starring Robert Preston and with a screenplay by James Agee. Starrett 13. Wertheim 20. BAL 4079.
Interior fine. Light rubbing to cloth extremities, some staining and soiling to rear board. An extremely good copy.