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January 07, 2013

Walt Whitman: "I was simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil."

I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil.

--Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Inspiration. California's Jack London thought you could not wait for it. You needed, London felt, to "go after it with a club". But New Yorker Walt Whitman, a young printer and hack writer who had moved to the suburb of Brooklyn from his native Long Island, was somehow luckier. Ralph Waldo Emerson's thinking and writing ignited Whitman, hurling him into an exuberant and celebratory realm, a uniquely American place with few rules or limits, where no Western writer, including Emerson himself, had ever been or imagined. In 1855, using his own money, he first published "Leaves of Grass", which changed everything in American Letters.


Walt Whitman (1819-1892) in 1854.

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzb├╝hel Desk) at January 7, 2013 12:33 AM


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