Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Karl Knortz, 11 September 1883

Date: September 11, 1883

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00451

Source: Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 3:351. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

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

431 Stevens Street Camden New Jersey1
Sept: 11 '83

In a note rec'd from you quite a while ago (from Johnstown, Pa:) you mention some German translations of my poems by Dr ?2 at Berlin (since dead)—Would you please give me the Dr's name exactly—& some particulars ab't the translations? Did you get Dr. Bucke's volume, which was sent you June 21, last? I have received the translations into German, (slips, papers, &c) you have so kindly sent me from time to time3—have not (otherwise) heard from you for some four months—I continue (though a half paralytic) well as usual—

Walt Whitman


1. This letter is addressed: Karl Knortz | Cor: Morris avenue | & 155th Street | New York City. It is postmarked: Philadelphia | Pa. | Sep 11 83 | 3 PM; P. O. | 9-(?)-83 | (?)-1P | N.Y. [back]

2. Whitman's question mark. In his reply, dated September 14 by Whitman, Knortz wrote that Dr. Adolf Stodtmann (1829–1879) had translated eight of Whitman's "smaller poems" in Amerikanische Anthologie (Leipzig, 1870), 149–154: "the late Doctor did not, I am very sorry to say, give you a favorable introduction to the German public." Knortz also informed the poet that in his "critical history of American literature . . . a whole chapter (about 20 printed pages) will be devoted to your poetry." This book, Geschichte der Nord-Amerikanischen Literatur, did not appear until 1891. [back]

3. See the letter from Whitman to Knortz of June 19, 1883[back]


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