[In A Personal Record, which relates how Conrad became a novelist, he mentons his praise of Stephen Crane, who gave a dog to Conrad's son. The following excerpt comes from the Project Gutenberg version [EBook #687] created by Judith Boss and David Widger and released on January 9, 2006. — George P. Landow]

decoratd initial The dog was the gift to the child [his son] from a man for whom words had anything but an Ollendorffian value, a man almost childlike in the impulsive movements of his untutored genius, the most single-minded of verbal impressionists, using his great gifts of straight feeling and right expression with a fine sincerity and a strong if, perhaps, not fully conscious conviction. His art did not obtain, I fear, all the credit its unsophisticated inspiration deserved. I am alluding to the late Stephen Crane, the author of "The Red Badge of Courage," a work of imagination which found its short moment of celebrity in the last decade of the departed century. Other books followed. Not many. He had not the time. It was an individual and complete talent which obtained but a grudging, somewhat supercilious recognition from the world at large. For himself one hesitates to regret his early death. Like one of the men in his "Open Boat," one felt that he was of those whom fate seldom allows to make a safe landing after much toil and bitterness at the oar. I confess to an abiding affection for that energetic, slight, fragile, intensely living and transient figure. He liked me, even before we met, on the strength of a page or two of my writing, and after we had met I am glad to think he liked me still. He used to point out to me with great earnestness, and even with some severity, that "a boy ought to have a dog." I suspect that he was shocked at my neglect of parental duties.


Victorian Web Joseph Conrad

Last modified 8 December 2011