Every author gets bad reviews from time to time, but few go so far as to heap glowing — and anonymous — praise on themselves to combat the negativity. That's exactly what one transcendentalist did, however, and the results are priceless. Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass review is everything you expect it to be, and then some.
In all honesty, negative reviews hurt when you're on the receiving end. It's never fun to find out that people don't like your work, as anyone who has ever sat through a writing workshop will tell you. But understanding what compelled Whitman to review his own book doesn't make the author's endeavor any less hilarious.
Whitman's Leaves of Grass review is more than 3,000 words of literary criticism, complete with lengthy quotes from his book. And check out this opening paragraph:
AN American bard at last! One of the roughs, large, proud, affectionate, eating, drinking, and breeding, his costume manly and free, his face sunburnt and bearded, his posture strong and erect, his voice bringing hope and prophecy to the generous races of young and old. We shall cease shamming and be what we really are. We shall start an athletic and defiant literature. We realize now how it is, and what was most lacking. The interior American republic shall also be declared free and independent.
Walt Whitman: the bard America needs has come at last.
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