More on Whitman from the Philadelphia Inquirer

Carlin Romano has reviewed Franklin Evans  in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Like other reviewers of the novel, he calls attention to the novel’s badness, and also to some foreshadowing of Whitman’s later, greater work: "[Franklin Evans] may also cost fans of Whitman, that celebrator of
democracy, the
city and the common man, some innocence of their own about the genial
white-bearded man with floppy hat who looks to schoolchildren like
Santa Claus on a day off. Walt Whitman expressing anti-Irish nativism?
Walt Whitman voicing vehement anti-urban denunciations? It’s all here.
And let’s be honest. The introduction by Castiglia and
Hendler, spotting foreshadowings of Whitman’s appreciation of "fine
young men" while acknowledging that the novel is "an incoherent and
often aesthetically dissatisfying text," is vastly more entertaining
than Franklin Evans itself. Even Walter (as the young author was called on the first go-round) would probably drink to that."

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