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[41]

Chapter 5: a bit of war photography

After the applause won by Mr. Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage, a little reaction is not strange; and this has already taken, in some quarters, a form quite unjust and unfair. Certainly any one who spent so much as a week or two in camp, thirty years ago, must be struck with the extraordinary freshness and vigor of the book. No one except Tolstoi, within my knowledge, has brought out the daily life of war so well; it may be said of these sentences, in Emerson's phrase, “Cut these and they bleed.” The breathlessness, the hurry, the confusion, the seeming aimlessness, as of a whole family of disturbed ants, running to and fro, yet somehow accomplishing something at last; all these aspects, which might seem the most elementary and the easiest to depict, are yet those surest to be omitted, not merely by the novelists,

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