18 Juin 2021
An Experiment in Misery' is a short story about how a young man (the youth) enters the world of the weaker sections of society in New York City ; short story written by the american writer Stephen Crane (1871-1900), famous for his second novel, "The Red Badge of Courage".
L'écriture d'un jeune auteur américain '( et qui le restera par la force de son destin - il décèdera à l'âge de 29 ans) qui n'a rien voulu manquer, qui a tout retenu et qui ne veut rien oublier.
"Within reach of the youth's hand was one who lay with yellow breast and
shoulders bare to the cold draughts. One arm hung over the side of the cot,
and the fingers lay full length upon the wet cement floor of the room.
Beneath the inky brows could be seen the eyes of the man, exposed by the
partly opened lids. To the youth it seemed that he and this corpse-like
being were exchanging a prolonged stare, and that the other threatened with his eyes. He drew back, watching his neighbour from the shadows of his
blanket-edge. The man did not move once through the night, but lay in this
stillness as of death like a body stretched out expectant of the surgeon's
And all through the room could be seen the tawny hues of naked flesh, limbs thrust into the darkness, projecting beyond the cots; upreared knees, arms hanging long and thin over the cot-edges. For the most part they were
statuesque, carven, dead. With the curious lockers standing all about like
tombstones, there was a strange effect of a graveyard where bodies were
Yet occasionally could be seen limbs wildly tossing in fantastic nightmare
gestures, accompanied by guttural cries, grunts, oaths. And there was one
fellow off in a gloomy corner, who in his dreams was oppressed by some
frightful calamity, for of a sudden he began to utter long wails that went
almost like yells from a hound, echoing wailfully and weird through this
chill place of tombstones where men lay like the dead.
The sound, in its high piercing beginnings that dwindled to final melancholy
moans, expressed a red and grim tragedy of the unfathomable possibilities of the man's dreams. But to the youth these were not merely the shrieks of a
vision- pierced man: they were an utterance of the meaning of the room and
its occupants. It was to him the protest of the wretch who feels the touch
of the imperturbable granite wheels, and who then cries with an impersonal
eloquence, with a strength not from him, giving voice to the wail of a whole
section, a class, a people. This, weaving into the young man's brain, and
mingling with his views of the vast and sombre shadows that,like mighty
black fingers, curled around the naked bodies, made the young man so that he did not sleep, but lay carving the biographies for these men from his meagre experience. At times the fellow in the corner howled in a writhing agony of his imaginations."
Pour prolonger, cliquez : The red badge of courage