Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walt Whitman to Karl Knortz, 11 September 1883

Date: September 11, 1883

Source: 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.

Location: Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00451

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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