In Whitman's Hand

Manuscripts

About this Item

Title: Why need genius

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: About 1855

Whitman Archive ID: med.00741

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 4:1590. Grier based his text on Notes and Fragments, ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899), 103. The location of this manuscript is unknown. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The content of this manuscript, which is known only from a transcription published by Richard Maurice Bucke in Notes and Fragments (1899), appeared in slightly revised form in the prose preface to the 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass. The date of composition is therefore probably just before 1855.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Brett Barney, and Kenneth M. Price


Why need genius and the people of These States be demeaned to romances? Let facts and histories be properly told, there is no more need of romances.




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