Walt Whitman, Democracy, and my New Novels


There's a wonderful short essay today about Walt Whitman and his views on American democracy, at the always insightful website Brain Pickings.

Whitman believed that having an idealistic literature would be crucial to our survival and flourishing as a democracy. Reading him, I became aware anew of how the novels I'm now publishing exemplify eactly that in their tone. They even feature an enlightened Philosopher-King preparing his people for the demands and opportunities of democracy. There are criminals and power hungry men and revolutionaries, as well, but we see in the stories what it takes for the best people to stand up to the worst and prevail.

Whitman thought that a nation's literature ought to show the deepest resources of human nature by which we can deal with our toughest challenges. And that again brought me up short, with a realization that this is exactly what my new stories do. And so, as their readership grows, day to day, I hope they'll make a difference in our time that would make Walt proud. I didn't realize until this morning that they have been written over the past six years for exactly our time. We have plenty of dystopian tales in our bookstores and libraries. We need more inspiration and wisdom for the path we're on. For more on the new books, look around elsewhere on this site, www.TheOasisWithin.com.

For more on Walt and his message: