Selected Criticism

Triggs, Oscar Lovell (1865–1930)
Tyrer, Patricia J.
Print source:
J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings, eds., Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), reproduced by permission.

An educator and author, Triggs in his book Browning and Whitman (1892) examined parallels in the verse of the two authors, revealing Triggs as an early supporter of Whitman, whom he called the embodiment of the democratic ideal. Triggs also edited Selections from the Prose and Poetry of Walt Whitman (1898) and the third volume of The Complete Writings of Walt Whitman (1902), in which he is credited with sanctioning the "cathedral analogy" of the organic theory of Leaves of Grass first expounded by Richard Maurice Bucke.

Triggs was educated at the University of Minnesota and the University of Chicago, where he received his A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. Triggs was an outspoken exponent of modern movements, and according to friend and fellow Whitmanite, Arthur E. Briggs, was dismissed from the University of Chicago for proclaiming Whitman "a poet of high rank" (300). Along with Briggs, Triggs organized the first Whitman dinner at the Men's City Club in Los Angeles, which later evolved into the Annual Whitman Fellowship Celebration.


Allen, Gay Wilson. The New Walt Whitman Handbook. 1975. New York: New York UP, 1986.

Briggs, Arthur E. Walt Whitman: Thinker and Artist. New York: Philosophical Library, 1952.


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