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Excerpt from With Walt Whitman in Camden: July 16 October 31, 1888
Reference being made to o'connor's Hamlet's note-book W. Said: I have never read it myself: I have very little faculty or liking for books which require charts, comparisons, references - close application - the observance of rules of logic: in the immortal words Swinton addressed to me in a peevish humor: I have a damned ill-regulated mind. The volume was the result of some correspondence between William and Mrs. Pott. Take Donnelly's Cryptogram: I could read the first part but never the cipher business - I could not unravel such a devilish tangle. Getting to the subject by a question I asked him W. Said Goethe suggests books - carries the aroma of books about with him - seems to be a great man with books, by books, from books. Now, whatever Shake-speare was or was not, he was not that sort of man: he came, with all his scholarship, direct from nature. To me that means oh! So much: to come straight from life - to be rooted in an immediate fact. Bucke sees a great deal more in Goethe than I do - sees Goethe as if come fresh from the soil regards him in a more liberal light: insists that he articulates the soundest philosophy of the modern world. Bucke says my trouble is in the fact that I cannot read German - that Goethe cannot be translated.
Baker goes to-day. My reference to the fact drew from W. The remark in a grieved tone: It is inexplicable. Added: I do not understand it. I thought it might have been caused by something I had said or done - but no, Mary says it is not that. I wished him to stay - he is welcome to stay: I am indeed fond of him. I had hoped he would stay until I got on my feet again or, here he stopped an instant - until you buried me The new nurse, whose name is Musgrove, is an older man than Baker. W. Hates to have his routine disturbed. Upon my remonstrance he said I will make it a religion to like the new man.
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bound: 620 pages
publisher: Forgotten Books (April 26, 2017)
isbn: 1331366828, 978-1331366829,
weight: 1.8 pounds (