A Whitman Chronology (Iowa Whitman Series) by Joann P. Krieg

By Joann P. Krieg

All Whitman students have encountered the disappointment of attempting to tune down an occasion in Whitman's life—the final time he observed Peter Doyle, while he moved to his own residence on Mickle highway in Camden, while he met Oscar Wilde. The documents of those occasions in Whitman's lengthy lifestyles are buried in seven volumes of his plentiful correspondence, in 9 volumes of his conversations with Horace Traubel, in 9 volumes of his notebooks and manuscripts, and in numerous writings produced via his associates and admirers. to satisfy a long-felt desire for order between this embarrassment of riches, Joann Krieg has crafted this certain chronology of Whitman's existence. A Whitman Chronology clarifies the proof of Whitman's lifestyles by means of delivering a year-by-year and, the place attainable, daily account of his deepest and public lifestyles. the place conflicting interpretations exist, Krieg acknowledges them and cites the diversities; she additionally directs readers to fuller descriptions of noteworthy occasions. She bargains short synopses of Whitman's fiction and of his significant prose works, giving distinguishing information regarding all of the six versions of Leaves of Grass. via intertwining the occasions of his existence and work—but with out bulky layers of speculation—she unearths the shut alliance among Whitman's own involvements and his literary achievements.

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SUMMER. Jeff marries Martha Emma Mitchell (Mattie) and brings her to live with his family in a house onPortland Avenue when the Whitmans move there in May. SPRING. ’’ Twelve poemswritten in1859 (probably in spring or early summer) are collectively titled “Live Oak with MOSS”and evolve into the “Calamus’’ poems of the 1860 Leaves. Evidently intended as a sonnet sequence,the poems recount a love affairwith a man that ends unhappily. AROUND THIS TIME. Whitman spends time atPfaff’s. Owned by Charles Pfaff, this bar and restaurant is the gathering place for most of the city’s bohemians.

Charles Eliot Nortonanonymouslyreviews Leaves of Grass for Putnam’s Magazine and finds it a puzzling mixture of “Yankeetranscendentalism and New York rowdyism”: “The writer’s scorn forthe wonted us- ages of goodwriting extends to thevocabulary he adopts; words usually banishedfrom polite societyare here employed without reserve” (Price, Reviews, 14-18). ”) review of Leaves cf Grass (Price, Reviews, 8 -14); this review, too, iswritten by Whitman. 10 OCTOBER. The New York Daily Tribunepublishes, with Whitman’s permission but not Emerson’s, the text o f Emerson’s letter praising Leaves of Grass.

Alcott and Thoreau return,bringing Sarah Tyndale, Philadelphia abolitionist and women’s rights advocate; all three visit with Walt. 19 NOVEMBER. Thoreau writes to his friend Harrison Blake that Whitman is “apparently the greatest democrat the world has seen,”adding, “I am still somewhat in a quandary about him,-feel that he is essentially strange to me, at any rate” (Thoreau, 142). They are “strange” to each other;both men are very strong-minded,and though Whitman admires the New Englander, he finds him disdainful of the working class(WWC, I :212).

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