Friday, March 16, 2007
CWL --- Walt Whitman As He Really Was
Walt Whitmans' America: A Cultural Biography, David S. Reynolds, Knopf Publishing, 671 pp, 1995.
Reynold's Walt Whitman is a fellow who absorbed his culture, tried to save it, but finally sold himself to it. The other Whitman biographies I've read always had a scholarly ax to grind; this one seems, not to cut away Walt Whitman to a one dimensional person, but to find Walt Whitman living a multi-dimensional life in an urbanizing, industrializing, upwardly literate American society. I thorougly enjoyed the chapters on mid-century American Culture; but was looking for an itinerary of hospital visits that Whitman made. It appears that the author appropriately limited himself to what Whitman reported of his own activity as a hospital nurse and to what few recollections of patients