I purchased yesterday at the Stand Bookstore the following slim book:
Walt Whitman Speaks: His Final Thoughts on Life, Writing, Spirituality, and the Promise of America
as told to Horace Traubel
edited and with an introduction by Brenda Wineapple
New York: Library of America, 2019
Whitman’s remarks are grouped, arranged, by topic.
They are all taken from With Walt Whitman in Camden by Whitman’s friend and acolyte Horace Traubel. Nowhere in the present volume is there any indication of on what DATE the conversation with Traubel occurred (all of which is fully indicted in the nine volumes of Traubel’s).
In James Boswell’s Life of Johnson, the date on which a conversation with Johnson occurred is an important consideration, and was duly noted by Boswell. Same thing here (regarding the importance of dating when the remark was made).
What was Brenda Wineapple thinking? She is an accomplished and well known American literary scholar. I blame her, and also the Library of America.
Whitman scholars will be disappointed.
— Roger W. Smith