A Whitman Chronology

A Whitman Chronology

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176 pages

“There are few scholars around so well qualified to prepare such a chronology. There is so much to consider, and only a scholar well acquainted with Whitman scholarship and its issues can make a sound selection. Every Whitman scholar will want to have this book; there is really nothing like it available.”—Jerome Loving, author of Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself

“An important research tool that will be of value to all Whitman scholars. Krieg has carefully sorted through the facts and has made it clear, really for the first time, exactly what it is that we know about Whitman's life and how we know it. There has been a real need for a book like Krieg's, and her long involvement with Whitman studies has prepared her effectively for the job; she has carried out this important task with style, diligence, and care.”—Ed Folsom, author of Walt Whitman's Native Representations

“In this compendium, Krieg (Hofstra Univ.), editor of Walt Whitman: Here and Now (1985), captures the 'sprawling' information on Whitman's private and public life. She subdues this sprawl in a rational, well-organized guide for the scholar and general reader that offers a calendar of selected, pertinent events; points out areas of major critical and scholarly disagreement; and refers the reader to sources for further study. Thumbnail notes open each of the eight chronologically arranged sections. Terse quotes from Whitman's work hallmark each section. A list of significant dates, biographical notes on significant persons, and the requisite works cited and index provide strong support for the text. Although Krieg strove for balance in selecting from the daunting amount of information on Whitman, the chronology in the final analysis is a subjective rendering. Nevertheless, it remains a good, practical guide to the life and works of one of literature's most complicated artists. Every Whitman scholar will want this work, and it will be useful for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students.”—Choice

“A valuable tool, an indispensable guide to the life of America's greatest poet, an essential part of the reference shelf of anyone interested in Whitman's life. This is a book one will use over and over again.”—Robert K. Martin, author of The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry

“[Krieg's] book is not only a useful tool for researchers but an easy introduction to the study of Whitman's life.”—Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review

“This research tool about Walt Whitman, the Long Island poet who is generally considered to be America's greatest, is not only a reference staple for scholars, teachers, journalists, and students, but a dessert for tasters of the poet's metaphoric, cataloging, and biblically cadenced poetry.”—Long Island Historical Journal

“For a poet whose works are so massively sprawling, and for whom there is an ever-growing wealth of biographical details, this slim, modest-looking chronology of Whitman is surprising in its ability to provide a vivid and detailed account of Whitman's life year-by-year and, at times, day-by-day. Undoubtably it will become a vital research aid for Whitman scholars by providing quick and easy reference to events and details of Whitman's life. It is also highly useful—and accurate in all cases I tested—in locating references to those events and details in other works of Whitman scholarship. For serious readers of Whitman, this is a book that will save you a lot of time in chasing references.”—A Whitman Chronology

A Whitman Chronology lets facts speak for themselves, making it perhaps the most immediately useful biography yet produced.”—Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

All Whitman scholars have encountered the frustration of trying to track down an event in Whitman's life—the last time he saw Peter Doyle, when he moved to his own home on Mickle Street in Camden, when he met Oscar Wilde. The records of these events in Whitman's long life are buried in seven volumes of his abundant correspondence, in nine volumes of his conversations with Horace Traubel, in nine volumes of his notebooks and manuscripts, and in countless writings produced by his friends and admirers. To fulfill a long-felt need for order among this embarrassment of riches, Joann Krieg has crafted this detailed chronology of Whitman's life.

A Whitman Chronology clarifies the facts of Whitman's life by offering a year-by-year and, where possible, day-by-day account of his private and public life. Where conflicting interpretations exist, Krieg recognizes them and cites the differences; she also directs readers to fuller descriptions of noteworthy events. She offers brief synopses of Whitman's fiction and of his major prose works, giving distinguishing information about each of the six editions of Leaves of Grass. By intertwining the events of his life and work—but without cumbersome layers of speculation—she reveals the close alliance between Whitman's personal involvements and his literary achievements.