Walt Whitman: Man, Poet, Philosopher: Three Lectures

Walt Whitman: Man, Poet, Philosopher: Three Lectures

Walt Whitman: Man, Poet, Philosopher: Three Lectures

Walt Whitman: Man, Poet, Philosopher: Three Lectures

Excerpt

In this centennial year of the publication of Leaves of Grass, the Library of Congress joins the nation in paying tribute to the great nineteenth- century poet, Walt Whitman. The three lectures that comprise this volume were delivered at the Library on January to, 17, and 24, 1955, under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, and they are here presented to a wider public.

A major exhibit of Whitman materials was opened in the Library on January 3 by the noted Whitman collector, Charles E. Feinberg of Detroit. His address, Notes on Whitman Collections and Collectors, is printed in Walt Whitman: A Catalog Based Upon the Collections of the Library of Congress, which was released at the opening ceremony. The final event in the Library's observation of the centennial was a reading on January 30 of selections from Whitman's works by the well-known actor, Arnold Moss; like the lectures, it was presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund.

It is paradoxical that the poet who gave the world so many songs of himself, and who described himself with such lyric intensity, left so much to be learned about him. But a growing volume of critical literature, of which these lectures are a part, is gradually giving us the means by which Whitman the whole man may be more fully understood.

L. QUINCY MUMFORD, Librarian of Congress.

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