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Raymond Nelson

Author

A Ge’mman wid’ a Big Book

The Confidence Man in American Literature. By Gary Lindberg. Oxford. $19.95 The recent history of the reputation of Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man is nearly as suggestive as that novel's own episodic narrative. Since Elizabeth Foster's ed [...]

The Mirror Up to Nature

William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked. By Paul Mariani. McGraw-Hill. $24.95. Whatever you do do not prettify me," Walt Whitman once told Horace Traubel; "include all the hells and damns." Traubel ultimately went Whitman one better by includin [...]

The Knot of Contrariety

Walt Whitman: The Making of the Poet. By Paul Zweig. Basic Books. $18.95. Paul Zweig's Walt Whitman is harder to keep in his place than most people's Walt Whitman. He is more mysterious, more psychologically and morally restless; above all an angr [...]

Stalking Whitman With Shotgun and Bludgeon

Walt Whitman: Daybooks and Notebooks. Edited by William White. 3 Volumes. New York University Press. $75.00. If I owned a scrap of paper on which Walt Whitman had scrawled the name of a merchant of firm bedsprings or seamless shoes, I would treasu [...]