Traubel managed Whitman’s literary and personal affairs and assisted him in the preparation for publication of the final (Deathbed) edition of Leaves of Grass. Each evening he wrote down a brief description of how Whitman appeared to him that day and then recorded all the snatches of conversation that he remembered.
The sheer consistency of Traubel’s effort is perhaps without precedent in all of literature. His narrative is not only a record of Whitman’s anecdotes and conversation on a wide variety of topics but also the opportunity to witness, as Traubel witnessed, a personal life. These entries offer a picture of Walt Whitman—with all his keen insights, day-to-day labors, and physical troubles—that is more complete and revealing than any of the numerous studies written on the man.
eBook With Walt Whitman in Camden, Volume 7