Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Thomas W. H. Rolleston, 9 October 1885

Date: October 9, 1885

Whitman Archive ID: loc.04933

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.

Notes for this letter were created by Whitman Archive staff and/or were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), and supplemented or updated by Whitman Archive staff.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, Ian Faith, Nicole Gray, and Stephanie Blalock



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Camden
Oct 9 '85

Dear friend

I have rec'd this from Dr Knortz1 & send you—although he has of course notified you to same effect—I am still living here in my own little house, & keep up fair spirits—but get around with great difficulty, (or rather I should say hardly at all) & have been stricken in my eyes, which makes me partially blind & growing worse.—Some friends have presented me with a horse & wagon—so I get out a little every day—a young friend drives for me—I receive the University Magazine,2 & thank you—I shall send you anything I write—(if there should be anything)—or whatever might interest you

Love to you & yours—
Walt Whitman

I have sent L of G to Schabelitz


540 East 155th Str. New York.

My dear Sir;

The translations of your poems are now ready for the printer and the MS will sail for Europe on Saturday next. You will receive a copy of the book in due time.

J. Schabelitz, of Zürich, Switzerland, is the publisher. I wish you would send him a copy of the "Leaves of Grass," as he reads English.

Yours very truly
Karl Knortz

Walt Whitman

328 Mickle St.3


Correspondent:
Thomas William Hazen Rolleston (1857–1920) was an Irish poet and journalist. After attending college in Dublin, he moved to Germany for a period of time. He wrote to Whitman frequently, beginning in 1880, and later produced with Karl Knortz the first book-length translation of Whitman's poetry into German. In 1889, the collection Grashalme: Gedichte [Leaves of Grass: Poems] was published by Verlags-Magazin in Zurich, Switzerland. See Walter Grünzweig, Constructing the German Walt Whitman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995). For more information on Rolleston, see Walter Grünzweig, "Rolleston, Thomas William Hazen (1857–1920)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).

Notes:

1. Karl Knortz (1841–1918) was born in Prussia and came to the U.S. in 1863. He was the author of many books and articles on German-American affairs and was superintendent of German instruction in Evansville, Ind., from 1892 to 1905. See The American-German Review 13 (December 1946), 27–30. His first published criticism of Whitman appeared in the New York Staats-Zeitung Sonntagsblatt on December 17, 1882, and he worked with Thomas W. H. Rolleston on the first book-length translation of Whitman's poetry, published as Grashalme in 1889. For more information about Knortz, see Walter Grünzweig, "Knortz, Karl (1841–1918)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998). [back]

2. Rolleston's editorship of the Dublin University Review only lasted from May to December of 1885. [back]

3. This letter from Knortz was received by Whitman in September 1885[back]


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