Title: Robert Lutz to Walt Whitman, 9 June 1885
Date: June 9, 1885
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.03215
Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Kyle Barton, and Nicole Gray
Stuttgart Hölderlinst, 17
I am sorry, that your prose & poetry is so very little known in Germany & I would be glad, to edit a volume with a fine choice from your works. After Freiligraths death1 I know of no countryman of mine, who would be able to give a good translation of your poetry. Perhaps you know of a german friend, who would like & be able, do do the translation? You would very much oblige me, by letting me know, the adress of such a man,—he may be in the U. S or in Germany.
With the sincerest wishes for you I remain
R. LUTZ, Redakteur
Robert Lutz was a publisher and editor from Stuttgart, Germany. He owned the Robert Lutz publishing house and was the editor of the renowned literary journal Das Litterarische Echo.
1. Ferdinand Freiligrath (1810–1876) was a German poet and translator and friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In his January 16, 1872 letter to Rudolf Schmidt, Whitman wrote that Freiligrath "translates & commends my poems." His review in the Augsburg Allgemeinen Zeitung on April 24, 1868 (reprinted in his Gesammelte Dichtungen [Stuttgart: G. J. Göschen, 1871], 4:86–89), was among the first notices of Whitman's poetry on the continent. A translation of the article appeared in the New Eclectic Magazine, 2 (July 1868), 325–329; see also Gay Wilson Allen, Walt Whitman Abroad (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1955), 3–7. A digital version is available in Walter Grünzweig's "Whitman in the German-Speaking Countries," which collects several examples of German reception of Whitman's poetry. Freiligrath had promised his readers "some translated specimens of the poet's productions," not a complete translation. William D. O'Connor and Whitman were applying pressure. A sympathetic article on Whitman in the New York Sontagsblatt of November 1, 1868, mentioned Freiligrath's admiration for the American poet. A translation of this article, which Whitman had a Washington friend prepare, is now in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection. [back]