Academic journal article Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

Editor's Note

Academic journal article Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

Zachary Turpin, who made the remarkable discovery of Whitman's previously unknown 1858 newspaper series, Manly Health and Training (published in WWQR last spring), has done it again. He has uncovered a previously unknown Whitman novel, Jack Engle, published in 1852 as a serial in the New York Sunday Dispatch. The discovery is momentous. It makes us rethink everything we thought we knew about Whitman's fiction. Now the writer who until today seemed to have written only one novel (Franklin Evans, 1842) actually wrote (at least) two. Now the writer who seemed to simply give up fiction in 1848 when his last known short story was published actually continued to publish fiction up to (at least) 1852, close to the time he was working on the first edition of Leaves of Grass. The author who seemed to write a novel only to cash in on the temperance craze actually also wrote, it turns out, a completely different kind of novel, one that Turpin has dubbed "Dickens Light. …

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