Me, nothing. But let me tell you how I learned of this author, and moreover why I intend to read him ASAP.
I have picked up a book by Ernest Himingway which purports to be nearly-nonfiction. (My Hemingway is to round out the fact I haven't read him before, and especially to offset my recent sci-fi indulgences such as Opar and Gateway.)
In this book, Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway, speaking as himself, tells a guest his opinions on American literature, naming many authors and titles. At one point he explicitly says that the best American authors are... drum roll please...Mark Twain, Henry James, and Stephen Crane. Well, that took me a bit by suprise. I'm quite familiar with Twain, and have a passing familiarity with Henry James (although good, I hadn't expected him to be ranked as an "American best"). But Stephen Crane was a new one to me. Ichabod Crane, perhaps, but Stephen?
With a little internet research, I see he is the Red Badge of Courage guy. Ah, so I have heard of him, or rather his work. However, I am told by Hemingway his best two are The Blue Hotel and The Open Boat.
Hemingway also mentions Valéry as one of the best non-English authors. I assume he meant Paul Valéry from his Wikipedia fame. That's one of my next missions. Hey, I have made progress on my to-do list.
He also listed Huckleberry Finn as the best American book, or at least never surpassed. He suggests that the reader skip the ending of the book, though, putting it down once the slave Jim has been recaptured, as I recall. This isn't such a suprise, although it continues to impress me.
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