Indie Publishing According to Walt Whitman

As backup to the previous post, and to see the cyclic nature of …

Past the Isle of Dogs

Prior to the 1830s and 40s, when the cylinder press, the steam press and other technological innovations caused revolutionary change in publishing, the business of printing books and newspapers in America was often a one-person enterprise, with a single individual doing or directly managing all the tasks (writer, editor, printer, distributor, etc.) now departmentalized or outsourced in modern publishing.

The poet Walt Whitman got his start apprenticing at some of these small publishing outfits (such as the offices that printed the Long Island Patriot) just prior to the revolution; he continued through his life to believe that his role as author ideally included the other jobs required for manufacturing and selling a printed product.


Walt Whitman: Indie Writer

Whitman’s stance toward authorial control and the historical context from which it arose is explicated in David S. Reynolds’s superb, engaging Walt Whitman’s America:

‘”My theory is that the author…

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2 thoughts on “Indie Publishing According to Walt Whitman

  1. My uncle worked as a type setter during the great Depression. Most people were out of work, but everyone still wanted to read the newspaper so with his skill he was always able to buy a new car every year. He was called a devil’s apprentice, because it took a lot of patients getting the type set properly for printing.

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