“Mr. Crane’s Vivid Story” 24 scenes and a modest appraisal

“Mr. Crane’s Vivid Story”  24 scenes and a modest appraisal

The Wells-Brown Room, Rush Rhees library, the University of Rochester. Just SOME of Crane’s books kept in the stacks. Sad because have to say goodbye to Mr. Crane. For now. 1/22/16

UPDATE: see the better “Mr. Crane’s Vivid Story”: New and Improved

While Mr. Crane’s Vivid Story  is our contribution, the underlying motivation is to encourage, inspire, or nudge you into contributing your own work. Talker  is open to all genres, written or visual.

The screenplay is based upon research for my dissertation The Rhetorical war: Class, race and redemption in Spanish-American War fiction: Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Richared Harding Davis and Sutton Griggs which focuses on novelists Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Richard Harding Davis, and Theodore Roosevelt (all in Cuba in 1898), as well as the African-American Sutton Griggs’ novel Imperium in Imperio (1899) that can be read as an alternative history. (see more at end)

The form is admittedly hybrid — with accompanying perils and pitfalls — as the text is punctuated with pictorial, historical and literary background.  The promise is to take what can be a dry subject on the academic page and breath into it life. (War, love, sex, art. All that stuff.)


Thanks, Stephen! Looking forward to your Charles Brockden Brown thesis-turned screenplay serialized on Talker.

As for the modest appraisal, I am all too aware of Mr. Crane’s limitations.  As such, I gladly welcome all feedback: good, bad or indifferent. And would pay for editorial advice.  A few years ago, my friend Stephen Shapiro kindly gave me a screenwriter’s guide. While still unused to my discredit, it may become a bible if the project progresses.

As for the multiple errors (which are being corrected) and the hurried prose.  You see, in the Dickensian tradition, the screenplay has been serialized. There has been such a public outcry for its completion — the audience on bated breath as to what will happen next! — along the way, time pressures did not allow the smoothing out of all jagged edges.

As for the origins of Mr. Crane’s Vivid Story, after reflecting on Spanish-American War monuments in Rochester and the Buffalo Soldiers on Veteran’s Day I retrieved the first 8 scenes of the screenplay written about 13 years ago in Rhode Island.  And somehow summoned the will to complete.  It’s never to late.  So dust of your own unfinished novel.

Finally, dear readers, one modest request. Please don’t read it on your phone.  Just doesn’t work well on that tiny screen.  Most scenes read quickly, especially the early ones. (But don’t rush!)

NOTE: Because of serialization, each scene contains links to previous scenes with accompanying pictures. So please just keep scrolling down.

AND, as for what is real and what is invented, you’ll have to google.

UDPATE: SEE Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism to reprint “Imperium in Imperio: Sutton Griggs’s Imagined War of 1898”


Scene 1: Havana, February 1898 ImpUS7

Post-advertising-Edward-Amets-faked-Spanish-American-War-film-356x500Scene 2: Pawtucket, Rhode Island, February 1898

Screen-Shot-2015-11-25-at-12.24.37-PM Scene 3: Washington, February 1898

Scene 4: Montana, February 1898 600x300xBuffalo.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.Gy-iNOWiNp

Scene 5: New York, February 1898220px-StephenCraneandCora1899

evangelina-cosío-cisneros%202Scene 6: The Cuban Countryside, February 1898
Scene 7: Havana, May 1898

Scene 8: Havana, May 1898

crank 2Scene 9, Siboney, Cuba June 1898

Scene 10

Scene 11

Scene 12

Scene 13

Scene 14

Scene 15

Scene 16

Scene 17

Scene 18

Scene 19

Scene 20

Scene 21

Scene 22

Scene 23

Scene 24

also see from War, Literature and the Arts

“Infirm Soldiers in the Cuban War of Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Harding Davis”

“Strains of Failed Populism in Stephen Crane’s Spanish War Stories”

“Imperium in Imperio: Sutton Griggs’s Imagined War of 1898”

“The Spanish-American War as a Bourgeois Testing Ground: Richard Harding Davis, Frank Norris and Stephen Crane”


Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism to reprint “Imperium in Imperio: Sutton Griggs’s Imagined War of 1898”

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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