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What I Don’t Know About Whitman . . .

. . . could fill books. But I’m a little embarrassed to say, one nagging curiosity about his personal life I have is: all the adhesiveness and historical context aside, did he really get as close to other men as he seems to have, and never end up experiencing physical consummation with any of them? […]

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And You Thought the 1855 Self-Reviews Were Brazen

Remember the passage in Whitman’s anonymous self-review “Walt Whitman, a Brooklyn Boy” that goes “Of pure American breed, of reckless health, his body perfect, free from taint top to toe, free forever from headache and dyspepsia, full-blooded, six feet high, a good feeder . . .”? Check out this image of page 141 in the […]

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Facsimile of Emerson’s Letter

Also at the LOC is Emerson’s original letter, photos of which are available here. Hope they have it out for us in October! (Lots of other important stuff also shown on this page.)

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Whitman Notebooks at the Library of Congress

On October 24 we may be seeing some of the Harned Collection, pdf images of which are available at this site. The notebooks are especially cool because they record some of the first known writing in Whitman’s mature poetic style:

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Another University’s Annotated Whitman

We might have a look at this VCU project (sorry for the weird url–just scroll to the top) to get inspired or to get ideas of what we don’t want to do with our annotations.

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Whitman’s Self-Reviews

Once again, these articles just astound me. Not only is he brazen enough to lavish praise on his own book–he does this in a style that makes it obvious that he’s the author, sometimes lifting lines from his own Preface. The Charvat reading for this week teaches us that it wasn’t so rare for an […]

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“Song of Myself” Openings

The first page of the poem, from all the major US editions of Leaves of Grass.\"Song\" slideshow

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The Trippy 1855 Preface

At first I was annoyed that I had to get a new copy of Whitman’s poetry and prose, but it’s been kind of cool to read through the preface without having to see my old notes. I know it gets long-winded sometimes (“No one ever wished it longer,” as Dr. Johnson said of Paradise Lost), […]

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Radio Whitman

The interview Mara and I did for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities radio show With Good Reason has been broadcast and is now available at . It’s a fairly general overview, largely about Whitman’s life during the Civil War, and clocks in at a friendly 16 minutes. On its heels is an interesting […]

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Selected Civil War Era Maps of Fredericksburg

Our town around the time Whitman came here to look for his brother George, in late 1862.

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