This volume, a significant contribution to the reception history of Leave of Grass, Specimen Days, and other works, reproduces the full range of the contemporary reviews of Whitman's various books.
This volume, a significant contribution to the reception history of Leaves of Grass, Specimen Days and other works, reproduces the full range of the contemporary reviews of Whitman's various books. Brash and iconoclastic, revered and reviled at various times, Whitman - because of his bold literary experiments and frank treatment of sexuality - came in for an astonishing array of commentary ranging from sympathy with his 'hearty wholesomeness' to hostility toward poems that were a 'mass of stupid filth'. Reviews by Rufus Griswold, Fanny Fern, John Burroughs, William Dean Howells, Henry James, Hamlin Garland, Oscar Wilde and (writing anonymously) Whitman himself, together with a host of lesser-known writers clarify much about both the poet and nineteenth-century American culture and its tastes and preoccupations, its myopia and acuity. These reviewers first framed the issues for critical debate and shaped Whitman's long-term reputation.
Table of Contents
Leaves of Grass (1855)
Leaves of Grass (1856)
A Child's Reminiscence (1859)
Leaves of Grass (1860)
Leaves of Grass (1867)
Poems by Walt Whitman (1868), ed. William
Two Rivulets (1876)
Leaves of Grass (1881-82)
Specimen Days and Collect (1882-83)
November Boughs (1888)
Complete Poems and Prose (1888)
Democratic Vistas, and Other Papers (1888)
Good-Bye My Fancy (1891).