Commentary

Disciples


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Saturday, July 12, 1890

     7:50 P.M. W. in parlor. Not out today. Clouded this evening. Slight hints of rain; chill. W. sat with windows down.


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     Remarked no word from Kennedy, yet was " hopeful" he would "turn up now in a very few days."

     I had been told of a discussion: did Walt Whitman not think the male human body a superior development to the female? He laughed. "It is like asking one which he prefers—East or West."

     And some things in life were to be seen, not convinced of or logically stated. "You cannot convince a man of the sweetness of honey: if he cannot see it, taste it, nothing added will make it plainer."

     We talked frankly about sex as reflected in "Leaves of Grass." He very free, yet making no emphatic statements either way, except now and then to express some assent to my views. In the main, thought things must be seen intuitively: "No process of argument can clear the atmosphere." Women and "Leaves of Grass" had a peculiar interest for him. "Whether I am a 'sensualist'—the question often seems brought up. I have no reply to make to it to others, but to you I would say, all I should need to explain on that subject has been said by another. You remember the Kennedy paragraphs there in the back of Bucke's book? Take them—down to the end, where is the Haweis extract from the book 'Music and Morals.' I think that the whole story—the whole." As to marriage or not marriage, what in the deepest sense has either to do with that "pure spiritual sexship, if one may so speak of it" that gives security and honor to the universal harmony? He was intensely earnest. Was well—good voice—hopeful.


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