Imagine receiving a letter from Edward Albee if you had just sent him your first play and getting back a letter like the one Ralph Waldo Emerson sent Walt Whitman after Whitman sent him his first poems, "Leaves of Grass".
Thanks for the link. What an interesting letter and subsequent controversy due to the printing of quotes and the release by Whitman of the letter itself. Quite the modern marketer Whitman proved himself with that action, eh?
Whitman would have been very comfortable in the Internet Age.
He would have been in the forefront of marketing. First on Facebook!
Many successful artists -theatre or otherwise - often have followed principles New York City's Tammany Hall's George Washington Plunkitt—“I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.”
Sometimes, just sheer gall can get you through in this business.
Without that drive, Whitman could have lingered for years in anonymity, though eventually his genius would have burst through. Thank god for Emerson! And the "Beats" never were as good as Whitman. Good to very good... but not great.
One of my former girlfriends of several years in NYC, who grew up as a kid quite intimately amongst them in Greenwich Village, basically said, "They were a bunch of leeches and drunks."
Not that some of their poetry wasn't good to sometimes very good - never reaching the genius of Whitman (who can?) - depending on who the poet was - but their lives were shitty and they were shitty to others. She knew from personal experience. Not a happy childhood. She has turned out to be successful in her own right. Learned form experience, I guess.