Whitman; An Interpretation in Narrative

Whitman; An Interpretation in Narrative

Whitman; An Interpretation in Narrative

Whitman; An Interpretation in Narrative

Excerpt

Each year Walt Whitman looms larger on the literary horizon of America. In 1915 he received ten votes for the Hall of Fame; in 1920, twenty; in 1925, forty-four, or almost a majority of the electors. In the last-named year was started the first movement to erect a statue to the poet, in New York City. At the same time the New York Public Library opened in its Main Exhibition Room a great display of Whitmaniana. Forty cases were crammed with Whitman editions, manuscripts, photographs, works of art, personalia, and criticism. Oil paintings, busts, plaques, medals, and etchings added testimony that the "good gray poet's" striking individuality had caught the eye of the artist as well as that of the reader and the maker of books. The exhibition was one to impress even the casual observer with the fact that, for better or worse, here was a man who had left his mark upon time. The translations from his writings alone numbered some twenty-five volumes, marking his influence as it has spread, from France, Germany, Italy, and Denmark, to South America and Japan. But the sixty volumes of biography and criticism showed that, like many a prophet and innovator, he has been the storm center of controversies, some of which bear only accidental relations to the man himself. And though his genius is today generally recognized by the intelligent, many opinions obtain as to his personal character, his philosophic teachings, his artistic importance. Thoreau, Moncure Conway, Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, and John Burroughs found in Whitman something of the demi-god. Stevenson and John Addington Symonds discovered in him a sadly needed tonic for the anæmia of too much civilization. Many modern poets, sculptors, and painters found in him an inspiring crusader of art. Emerson, the first to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.