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Walt Whitman

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Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2505
Location: New York

PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 7:23 am    Post subject: Walt Whitman Reply with quote

I thought you might like to read what the British magazine "Saturday Review" had to say about Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" back in 1860.

"Leaves of Grass."
Saturday Review 10
(7 July 1860), 19-21.

It is now four or five years since we reviewed Mr. Whitman's Leaves of Grass. On that occasion we were spared the trouble of setting forth the new poet's merits, as he or his publisher was good enough to paste into his presentation-copy a number of criticisms from American periodicals, which we were satisfied to reprint along with a few extracts illustrative of the volume they recommended. We cannot treat a new edition of Leaves of Grass in the same way. It is, we believe, the sixth or seventh which has appeared in the United States, and shows, both externally and internally, that Mr. Whitman is now much too confident in his own popularity and influence to care for directing English reviewers in the way they should go. The volume itself is splendid. The type is magnificent, the paper is as thick as cardboard, and the covers, ornamented with an intaglio of the earth moving through space and displaying only the American hemisphere, are almost as massive as the house-tiles which, according to Mr. Gladstone, are produceable from rags boiled to pulp. It is a book evidently intended to lie on the tables of the wealthy. No poor man could afford it, and it is too bulky for its possessor to get it into his pocket or to hide it away in a corner.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Ernest Hemingway
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Paul Grimsley
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Posts: 358
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very snippy little review. Sounds like the critic had been sucking on a few too many lemons when they wrote this. An inferiority complex or a God complex, or good old English snobbery?
The word is a prism through which the two beams shot from heart and head are refracted into the colours of the Universe.
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