Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 1) >> Whitman on Simms >> Page 42

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Page 42

Secondary Scholarship | 1846-03-09
Transcription a wide range of subject matter in a way that the author of Leaves of
Grass would applaud in 1855.
The remainder of Whitman's review is said to be highly favorable;
but characteristically, the high praise of Simms from a significant author
has never been printed since 1846. The open treatment of sex and other
"coarse and indelicate" matters caused "Caloya" alone to be Whitman's
sticking point in the volume, whose other tales he admired. The complete
review, if a reader will send it, should show us why. If the positive
comments prove half as revealing as the negative, Whitman's review will
be among the most significant for both Simms and for Whitman himself.

J. E. K.


1 Thomas Brasher, Whitman as Editor of the BrOoklyn Eagle
(Detroit: Wayne State, 1970), p. 194.

An improvement in Rail-roads or Steam Engines, is spoken of as a great moral
improvement--a discovery in physical science, which may increase the powers of machinery, wins all the palinodes of the press; and we constantly deceive
ourselves in this way by confounding the idea of a cunning or an ingenious with a great people. This seems to be the whole amount of our national idea of
--Simms, "The Social Principle" (1843)