Life & Letters

Correspondence

About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Joseph M. Stoddart, 20 November 1890

Date: November 20, 1890

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07864

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The transcription presented here is derived from The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 5:120. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Blake Bronson-Bartlett, Ian Faith, Alex Ashland, and Stephanie Blalock




Camden,
Nov. 20, 1890

Horace Traubel1 tells me that you favor his writing a piece abt me (I am willing, I will help & talk, &c) to be printed soon with a picture portrait you have. Also you contemplate for some number a full page of my poetic bits with name attached2. . . .


Walt Whitman


Correspondent:
Joseph Marshall Stoddart (1845–1921) published Stoddart's Encyclopaedia America, established Stoddart's Review in 1880, which was merged with The American in 1882, and became the editor of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1886. On January 11, 1882, Whitman received an invitation from Stoddart through J. E. Wainer, one of his associates, to dine with Oscar Wilde on January 14 (Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades [Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1931], 235n).

Notes:

1. 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]

2. Stoddart wrote about a Whitman page on October 10, 1890. The March issue of Lippincott's in 1891 (376–389) contained Whitman's portrait as a frontispiece, "Old Age Echoes" (including "Sounds of Winter," "The Unexpress'd," "Sail Out for Good, Eidélon Yacht!" and "After the Argument"), Whitman's "Some Personal and Old-Age Memoranda," Traubel's "Walt Whitman: Poet and Philosopher and Man," and "The Old Man Himself. A Postscript." [back]


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