Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections, Brandeis University

 

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Opera and Whitman

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“But for the opera, I could never have written Leaves of Grass.”

         From “Proud Music of the Storm” to “Italian Music in Dakota,” the influence of opera on Whitman’s work is more than apparent even without the corroborating evidence of quotes like the one above, attested to by his friend John Townsend Trowbridge in his article “Reminiscences of Walt Whitman,” appearing in a 1902 issue of Atlantic Monthly.  Whitman’s interest in the human voice has been discussed at length by scholars for many years, but one of the first monographs treating the subject in-depth was Robert Faner’s Walt Whitman and Opera.

 

Opera Faner book

 

 

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