From Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, Twelve Men
|Winter in the Ravine, c. 1912, by Indiana painter Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926).|
He fussed with the story for the over fifteen years, and it was finally published as "The Country Doctor" in Harper’s Magazine in 1918—but only after Dreiser turned down the magazine’s first two offers ($275 and $300, according to his diaries, which don’t reveal the final sum paid to the author). The following year he included the story in his collection Twelve Men, which gathered two decades’ worth of sketches of people he had admired.
Note: The last page of the selection includes four lines from “The Beacon”, a poem written by English banker Paul Moon James (1780–1854), often misattributed to the Irish poet Thomas Moore (1779–1852). Dreiser has changed the phrase “seraph of mercy” to read “angel of mercy.”
* * *How well I remember him—the tall, grave, slightly bent figure, the head like Plato's or that of Diogenes, the mild, kindly, brown-gray eyes peering, all too kindly, into the faces of dishonest men. . . . If you don't see the full story below, click here (PDF) or click here (Google Docs) to read it—free!
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