Saturday, September 30, 2017

"Yes, My Friend, I Killed the Man"

"A Tale of Mere Chance."
By Stephen Crane (1871-1900).
First appearance: The English Illustrated Magazine, March 1896.
Reprinted in The Pocket Magazine, April 1896.
Collected posthumously in Last Words (1902) (HERE).
Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE) (PDF), Project Gutenberg (HERE), and Online Literature (HERE).

"Being an Account of the Pursuit of the Tiles, Statement of the Clock, and the Grip of a Coat of Orange Spots, Together with Some Criticism of a Detective Said to Be Carved from an Old Table-Leg."
"Every man's conscience," wrote the Bard, "is a thousand swords," as our guilt-ridden narrator discovers, and they, all of them, have sharp, piercing points . . .

Very reminiscent of Poe's "The Black Cat" (1843), but not nearly as good.


- A favorite of college profs everywhere, Stephen Crane, as far as they're concerned, achieved literary immortality with The Red Badge of Courage (1895; HERE and HERE), although tuberculosis sealed his physical mortality at the early age of 28; see the comprehensive Wikipedia article (HERE).

The bottom line: "I don't feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt."
Theodore Robert Bundy

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