Reading for today was…

Reading for today was London, Crane, Bierce, Norris, Dreiser. Apparently, it's been quite a while since I read the realists, because I had forgotten a lot of this! It's sort of funny how there are certain lines that sound like they're directly talking back to Thoreau and Emerson:

"The crest of each of these waves was a hill, from the top of which the men surveyed, for a moment, a broad tumultuous expanse, shining and wind-riven. It was probably splendid. It was probably glorious, this play of the free sea, wild with lights of emerald and white and amber.

'Bully good thing it's an on-shore wind,' said the cook. 'If not, where would we be? Wouldn't have a show.' 'That's right,' said the correspondent.

The busy oiler nodded his assent.

Then the captain, in the bow, chuckled in a way that expressed humor, contempt, tragedy, all in one. 'Do you think we've got much of a show, now, boys?' said he."

- Crane, "The Open Boat" (a story about four men at sea, desperately trying to survive in a tiny dinghy)

Really, Crane had made his point with that first paragraph, but apparently felt the need to drive it home with some dialogue. The transcendentalists might have enjoyed waxing rhapsodic about the glories of nature, but the realists were going to make it clear to you, the reader, that nature is brutally violent, and it doesn't give even the tiniest of damns about you.

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