[Daily article] January 12: The Monster (novella)

The Monster is an 1898 novella by American author Stephen Crane
(1871–1900), a study of prejudice, fear and isolation in a small town.
In the fictional Whilomville, New York, an African-American coachman
named Henry Johnson, who is employed by the town’s physician, Dr.
Trescott, becomes horribly disfigured after he saves Trescott’s son from
a fire. When Henry is branded a “monster” by the town’s residents,
Trescott vows to shelter and care for him, resulting in his family’s
exclusion from the community. Whilomville, which is used in 14 other
Crane stories, was based on Port Jervis, New York, where he spent part
of his youth. He probably took inspiration from several local men who
were similarly disfigured. Modern critics have connected themes of
racial division in the story to the 1892 lynching in Port Jervis of an
African-American man named Robert Lewis. The novella was included in The
Monster and Other Stories—the last collection of Crane’s work to be
published during his lifetime. Both the novella and the collection
received mixed reviews from critics, but The Monster is now considered
one of Crane’s best works.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Bayinnaung, who later assembled the largest empire in the
history of Southeast Asia, was crowned king of the Burmese Taungoo


Mission Santa Clara de Asís, a Spanish mission that formed the
basis of both the city of Santa Clara, California and Santa Clara
University, was established.


The University of the Philippines College of Law was founded;
many leading Filipino political figures have since graduated from it.


Seventy-three-year-old psychology professor James Bedford
became the first person to be cryonically frozen with intent of future


Comet McNaught reached perihelion and became the brightest
comet in over 40 years with an apparent magnitude of −5.5.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. A mercenary soldier; a freebooter; specifically, a mercenary who
travelled illegally in an organized group from the United States to a
country in Central America or the Spanish West Indies in the mid-19th
century seeking economic and political benefits through armed force.
2. (politics, US) A tactic (such as giving long, often irrelevant speeches)
employed to delay the proceedings of, or the making of a decision by, a
legislative body, particularly the United States Senate.
3. (politics, US) A member of a legislative body causing such an
obstruction; a filibusterer.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
–Edmund Burke

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