Stephen Crane On Boyhood Dreams: Most Men Blush. I Don’t.

There’s a newer version of this post live at my new Substack. (Which is free, because who do I think I am?)

Men usually refuse to recognize their school-boy dreams. They blush. I don’t. The emotion itself was probably higher, finer, than anything of my after-life, and so, often I like to think of it. I was such an ass, such a pure complete ass–it does me good to recollect it.

Stephen Crane to Viola Allen

The context here is Crane’s recollection of Allen and other classmates at Claverack Seminary, including one Jennie Pierce:

Alas, Jennie Pierce. You must remember that I was in love with her, madly, in the headlong way of seventeen. Jennie was clever. With only half an effort she made my so very miserable. Men usually refuse to recognize their school-boy dreams. They blush. I don’t. The emotion itself was probably higher, finer, than anything of my after-life, and so, often I like to think of it. I was such an ass, such a pure complete ass–it does me good to recollect it.

Crane to Allen, as published in Burning Boy by Paul Auster, pp 37-38.

Indeed.

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