Books: Young Man in a Hurry

STEPHEN CRANE by R. W. Stallman. 664 pages. Braziller. $12.50.

Blustering God, Stamping across the sky With loud swagger, I fear You not.

No, though from Your highest heaven You plunge Your spear at my heart, I fear You not. No, not if the blow Is as the lightning blasting a tree I fear You not, puffing braggart.

When there is nothing going for him beyond his own confidence in his genius, the pugnacious young artist always takes on God. That is understandable; if he can convince God of his superiority, the public will be a cinch. When he wrote his challenge to the...