Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Rudolf Schmidt to Walt Whitman, 8 July 1889

Date: July 8, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03747

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 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.

Contributors to digital file: Kirby Little, Caterina Bernardini, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock



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Säfsjö
8th July 1889.1

Dear old W.

Your postal card was already forwarded to me here in this little Swedish city the 4th and to day I received the great parcel with your complete works. I thank you for your love and kindness. Mr. Traubel2 has read my letter to you, I presume. My essay on you and my translation of "D. V."3 most surely have not run out in the Sand! Fare ye well, dear old Walt. If we never saw each other in "the land of living we shall see each other in the "land of ghosts!"

Truly yours
Rudolf Schmidt


Correspondent:
The Swede Peter Carl Rudolph Schmidt (1836–1899) was the editor of the idealist For Idé og Virkelighed ("For Idea and Reality") and had translated Whitman's Democratic Vistas into Danish in 1871 (see the letter from Schmidt to Whitman of February 2, 1872).

Notes:

1. This postal card is addressed: Walt Whitman, poet | Camden | New Jersey | United States of America. It is postmarked: Camden, NJ | Jul | 20 | 6AM | 1889 Rec'd. There are two additional postmarks from Safsjö, but neither are legible. [back]

2. Horace L. Traubel (1858–1919) was an American essayist, poet, and magazine publisher. He is best remembered as the literary executor, biographer, and self-fashioned "spirit child" of Walt Whitman. During the mid-1880s and until Whitman's death in 1892, Traubel visited the poet virtually every day and took thorough notes of their conversations, which he later transcribed and published in three large volumes entitled With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906, 1908, & 1914). After his death, Traubel left behind enough manuscripts for six more volumes of the series, the final two of which were published in 1996. For more on Traubel, see Ed Folsom, "Traubel, Horace L. [1858–1919]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

3. Whitman's Democratic Vistas was first published in 1871 in New York by J.S. Redfield. The volume was an eighty-four-page pamphlet that consisted of three essays titled "Democracy," "Personalism," and "Orbic Literature," all of which Whitman intended to publish in the Galaxy magazine. Only "Democracy" and "Personalism" appeared in the magazine. For more information on Democratic Vistas, see Arthur Wrobel, "Democratic Vistas [1871]," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).  [back]


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