Commentary

Contemporary Reviews

About this Item

Title: [Review of Good-Bye My Fancy]

Creator: unknown [unsigned in original]

Date: September 10, 1891

Publication information: The Independent 43 (10 September 1891): 1355.

Source: The original electronic text for this file was prepared for Walt Whitman, The Contemporary Reviews, ed. Kenneth M. Price (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), and the transcription was completed by consulting a representation of the original (e.g., photocopy, microfilm copy). Following publication of that volume, Price received an updated transcription file from Cambridge University Press, and the Whitman Archive has used the final file from the publisher as the basis for the electronic text presented here.

Whitman Archive ID: anc.00137

Contributors to digital file: Natalie O'Neal, Elizabeth Lorang, Vanessa Steinroetter, and Todd Stabley


Good By My Fancy. 2d Annex to Leaves of Grass By Walt Whitman. (Philadelphia: David McKay.).

Of Walt Whitman we could say nothing unkind—we could speak with sincere and sympathetic respect. His latest book does not challenge criticism; it is evidently the work of a mind sorely diseased, worn out indeed. The fragmentary, disjointed essay entitled "An Old Man's Rejoinder," is suggestive of unmitigated pathos. There is just enough in it to show how deeply Walt Whitman has suffered because he has not been able to convince competent critics of his ability as a poet, and there is enough there as well to make one sympathize with the old poet, no matter how much one may feel the justice of what the critics have done. There is nothing of any value whatever in this book. One reads parts of it with a twinge of curiosity tempered with sadness. So far as what purports to be literature is concerned here is the end of a wasted life. "I have been and am rejected by all the great magazines," he says, and the saying suggests untold pangs of defeat. That the great magazines were right and Walt Whitmon sic wrong the contents of this thin, crazy-quilt volume amply prove without the trouble of calling upon "Leaves of Grass" for more convincing testimony. We wish Walt Whitman every good that life can bring; but it will be well for the world when his writings disappear and are as little talked of as they always have been little read.


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