Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: William D. O'Connor to Walt Whitman, [15] June 1883

Date: June 15, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: syr.00025

Source: Walt Whitman Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library, Syracuse, N.Y. 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.

Editorial note: The annotation, "see note Feb 16 1889," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Stefan Schöberlein, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray

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Washington D.C.
June 15, 1883

Dear Walt:

I have yours of the 13th, and am rejoiced. Today is the 15th—the day the book is to appear.

I am getting better, and hope soon to be myself again—A bandaged hand prevents my writing, and everything is in arrears with me.

W.S.K's notice is very gratifying. As soon as I get the free use of my hand, I will write to him, as you suggest. I read some time ago his article on you in the San Francisco magazine.

Nothing will ever please me like knowing that my Bucke letter stands as it does with you. This is the king's signet. Your compare of it to '93 is magnificent and happy. Yet the retribution is only partial. As Willie Winter says, there is "a Himalayan stack" left—little he knows how Himalayan. Little beast!

The more I think of the recent Tribune review, the more I am amused. It betrays the writer's sense of having been spanked, so thoroughly. There is a kind of surprised meekness in the tone of it. His plea that I ought to hear with patience his "frankness" is particularly good. It reminds me of a story Henry Peterson told me. At school a boy came up, and said, "Say, Peterson, do you like frankness?" "Yes," replied Henry, "I do." "Well, then," rejoined the other, "I think your sister is the ugliest girl I ever saw in my life." This seems to be the Tribune idea of "frankness" also!

More anon.



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