By Joanna Levin, Edward Whitley

For numerous years earlier than and simply after his 1860 variation of Leaves of Grass appeared, Walt Whitman frequently frequented Pfaff’s beer cellar in downtown long island. The basement bar used to be the very middle of mid-nineteenth-century American bohemian task and used to be seriously patronized by way of writers, artists, musicians, actors, intellectuals, and radicals akin to free-love recommend Henry Clapp, Jr., and Broadway succès de scandale Adah Isaacs Menken. various inventive and political ventures emerged from this atmosphere, and at the very least bohemian literary weeklies, The New-York Saturday Press and Vanity Fair, shared origins round the tables at Pfaff’s.

during this milieu, Whitman came across sympathetic supporters of his poetic imaginative and prescient, specialist connections, opponents, romantic companions, and shut pals, and left a long-lasting influence on poet and critic Edmund Clarence Stedman, an erstwhile bohemian who later within the century emerged as a tastemaker of yank poetry. but for a few years, the bohemians linked to Pfaff’s have served purely as minor heritage characters in Whitman scholarship. Whitman one of the Bohemians corrects that by means of exploring extensive the connections Whitman made at Pfaff’s and the impression that they had on him, his poetry, and his profession. In telling the tale of those intersecting social hyperlinks that converged at Pfaff’s within the overdue 1850s and early 1860s, the essays during this quantity powerfully show simply how a lot we will know about Whitman and his paintings via viewing him in the context of yank bohemia.

CONTRIBUTORS: Stephanie Blalock, Ruth Bohan, Leif Eckstrom, Logan Esdale, Amanda Gailey, Karen Karbiener, Joanna Levin, Mary Loeffelholz, Eliza Richards, Ingrid Satelmajer, Robert J. Scholnick, Edward Whitley

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