Gavin Callaghan

I. Family History

David Park Barnitz, decadent poet, essayist, and Orientalist scholar, was born on June 24, 1878, in Wheeling, West Virginia. His father, Rev. Samuel Bacon Barnitz, was born in York, Pennsylvania on May 12, 1838, the son Samuel M. Barnitz, a lawyer, and Sarah Barnitz (nee Demuth), a descendent of early German settlers –this German connection remaining constant throughout the later life of both Samuel B. and Park Barnitz.1 Lawyer Samuel M. Barnitz's mother Sarah was a devoted member of the Lutheran church, and Samuel's uncle, Samuel Bacon, helped to organize the first Sunday school in York, Pennsylvania. (PARSON 64)
Samuel M. Barnitz's father, meanwhile, according to biographer and friend of Rev. Samuel Bacon Barnitz, Rev. W. E. Parson, was the "son of 'General Jacob Barnitz, an officer of the Revolutionary War, who carried in his body an enemy's ball thirty two years'". (PARSON 17) Parson, however, is incorrect as to Jacob Barnitz's rank during the Revolutionary War, Jacob Barnitz of York, PA, being assigned a rank of Ensign during the battle of Fort Washington in New York, where the young man was shot in both his legs during fighting with the British, one of the legs eventually being amputated above the knee thirty-two years later. (DUNN 118, KETCHEM 119)2

Samuel Bacon Barnitz's early life was shattered early on by the successive deaths of two of his brothers, a sister, and then his father, the latter event reducing Samuel Barnitz, his siblings, and his widowed mother to a life of poverty. "Incredible as it may seem," W. E. Parson writes, Samuel Barnitz "gathered bones on the public streets and alleys of York" in order to earn money for school, and also "acted as a baggage porter…between school hours". (PARSON 18-9) Barnitz later left school at age 15 in order to work in the dry goods store of his mother's brother, Alexander Demuth, where he worked for four years before the store collapsed into insolvency. (PARSON 24)

Samuel Barnitz would later state that "He never knew the date of his earliest religious impressions. He often said that he did not know or remember a time when he did not feel a desire to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ." (PARSON 20) At age eighteen, Samuel Barnitz took confirmation in the Lutheran church, and then, as biographer Parson puts it, "entered with all his soul into the then comparatively new form of Christian work known as the Young Men's Christian Association [YMCA]" (PARSON 21), an association which would last Samuel's entire life. According to Parson's rather hagiographic account of Samuel Barnitz's early life (Parson likens Samuel Barnitz to both St. Timothy [PARSON 20] and the biblical Samuel -who was "called" by God [PARSON 23]- and writes that "Many of the young companions of Barnitz in store, school, and church were at that time led [by him] to confess Christ before men" [PARSON 22]), Samuel Barnitz's first public prayer in York actually "moved the congregation to tears". (PARSON 21) Influenced by a religious revival in 1857 (PARSON 21) -and no doubt encouraged by his mother to follow in the footsteps of an older brother who had died while preparing to enter the ministry (PARSON 17)- Samuel Barnitz, with no academic prospects, and the possibilities of a commercial career completely dashed, perhaps not surprisingly began a preparatory course for the ministry at York County Academy in 1857, in preparation for entering Gettysburg College in 1858. (PARSON 23)

There, Barnitz worked on converting classmates, leading prayer meetings, and visiting almshouses. Suffering, however, from both nervous and physical exhaustion due to a combination of overexertion and financial difficulties (PARSON 25), Samuel Barnitz was forced to leave school after his second year, thus endangering his prospects for entering the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary. Due to his fervent work outside of school with the "Tract Society, the Sunday School Union, and the Lutheran Publication House" (PARSON 26), however, in 1859 the Gettysburg faculty unanimously voted to admit Samuel Barnitz to the seminary "without completing his college course." (PARSON 27) (Samuel Barnitz's son, Park Barnitz, would later, through his "brilliant" and intense application, achieve a similarly meteoric rise at Harvard, earning his A.M. at age twenty-one.)

Despite some initial moments of panic at the seminary –one thinks it was culture shock- which made the young Samuel Barnitz wish to return home (PARSON 30), Barnitz was counseled by his York family pastor to remain. Even so, due to his poor health, Samuel Barnitz's physicians "advised him to take a short cut to the ministry", and so Samuel graduated early from the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1861, being licensed by the West Pennsylvania Synod in 1861, and being ordained by the same in 1862. (WENTZ 52) Rev. Samuel Barnitz was now at about the same age that his son, Park Barnitz, would be at the time of both his death and greatest achievement -the publication of The Book of Jade in 1901; but for Samuel Barnitz, however, forty more years of life and service in the Lutheran Church were still ahead of him.

Not long after leaving Gettysburg, he undertook the pastorship of the Lutheran church at Wheeling, West Virginia, whose previous pastor had left in 1861, at the opening of the Civil War. (PARSON 40) At the time, Wheeling was an impressive urban industrial town. Sidney Lanier, the great Southern poet, who visited there in 1874, and whose greatest foe was commercialism and "Trade", described Wheeling as a city "completely dominated by factory life." (STARKE 203) Taking the side of the Union during the Civil War, Wheeling was also the "seat of the restored government of Virginia from 1861-1863", and was successively the state capital of the newly admitted state of West Virginia from 1863 until 1870, and again from 1875 until 1885. (BRITANNICA V 23 474) Perhaps entering into this commercial spirit of Wheeling, Rev. Samuel Barnitz was both the first and, for a time, the only pastor in Wheeling to advertise his weekly services in the Wheeling papers. (PARSON 82)

Arriving in Wheeling on June 16, 1862, Samuel Barnitz found a poverty-stricken church with "but a few members, a pulpit, and no Bible." (PARSON 41) Samuel Barnitz quickly began a course of improvements and, putting to good use his previous experience, upon graduating from the Seminary, of canvassing for subscriptions for a Pennsylvanian Lutheran church paper (PARSON 35), began, as Rev. Parson inimitably puts it, "collecting funds in the city and from his friends in Pennsylvania that he might furnish the large hall and equip his Sunday School to compete with the wickedness abounding on every side." (PARSON 42) Indeed, one thinks that it was primarily Rev. Samuel Barnitz's ability at fundraising, combined with his charisma, attention to detail, and gift at organizing, which would later would later become his chief recommendation to the Lutheran Church General Synod with regard to his later election to the post of Western Secretary, a job whose principal task was the gathering, apportionment, and distribution of funds. While away from Wheeling on his many collection campaigns, Barnitz's close friend and former classmate, Rev. H. Louis Baugher, or "Baughey", as "Barney" called him (PARSON 176), took over for Samuel Barnitz at Wheeling, and, possessed of the same "missionary zeal" as Barnitz, refused all compensation aside from food. (PARSON 43)

Although, as Rev. J. G. Butler points out, "Samuel Bacon Barnitz entered upon his more public ministry in '61 when our country was in the throes of our Civil War" (PARSON 182), the question of Barnitz's actions during the Civil War in Wheeling is scarcely dealt with in Parson's biography. Apparently, however, while serving for a time in Washington D.C. after first leaving the seminary, Samuel spent considerable time comforting "those in the hospitals in the first days of the Civil War." (PARSON 187) Rev. Parson also refers to Samuel Barnitz's Wheeling mission, early on, as being "distracted by the divisions made by the Civil War." (PARSON 54) Some of Samuel Barnitz's work for the Christian Commission in that city, too, apparently necessitated, as Samuel Barnitz himself writes in an autobiographical sketch, his ministering to "the sick and wounded in our hospitals and prisons", including a much-avoided hospital which, Samuel writes, "was so filthy that it was almost impossible for me to find a spot on which to kneel." (PARSON 47) One man, a German identified only as "C.F.S.", who knew Samuel Barnitz at Wheeling and was a child at the time of the war, would later describe "a grand jollification" which took place at "the news of the fall of Richmond", at which "all were rejoicing over the great victory and the sure prospect of peace; everybody seemed enthusiastic and happy" –at which point a sober Rev. Samuel Barnitz reminded his jubilant fellows of the "widows and orphans" created as a result of "this bloody war" –Barnitz proceeding to take a collection from all those present. (PARSON 178) This same "C.F.S." would also describe how, "During the war of the Rebellion, he [Samuel Barnitz] was always a leader amongst those who worked for the relief of sick and wounded soldiers and soldiers' widows and orphans." Even so, there was apparently some friction with Samuel Barnitz among the separate German Lutheran congregation at Wheeling, whose older members "often spoke of his Yankee methods." (PARSON 177)

Later, in Rev. Samuel Barnitz's obituary, the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church would praise Samuel Barnitz's "exemplary diligence and excellent success as a missionary at Wheeling, West Virginia", a post at which he labored until 1881(PROCEEDINGS 136) –although this judgment of Samuel's diligence was by no means unanimous (PARSON 43) –thus necessitating Dr. F. W. Conrad's later "vindication" of Samuel Barnitz's work in an 1882 report. (PARSON 69) According to biographer Parson, Rev. Samuel Barnitz later made his twenty years service in Wheeling the subject of a popular sermon, "which he frequently delivered", entitled "Twenty Years in a City Mission", a lecture marked by "alternating pathos and humor" which moved many audiences (PARSONS 6) –and which, according to Judge Thomas E. Dewey, also moved them to pay handsomely into the collection plate. (PARSON 185) At Wheeling, too, Samuel Barnitz confirmed the early promise shown during his emotional youthful orations at York, PA, by becoming well known as a public speaker, "His ringing voice," Parson writes, "his magnetic manner, his dry humor, and his broad sympathy for every worthy cause," all serving to make "him the ideal platform talker that he was…" (PARSON 43)

In his biography of Samuel Barnitz, Rev. Parson quotes liberally from Samuel's early diary, written while still an unmarried young priest at Wheeling. Like his son, Park Barnitz —who was, as we shall see, "afflicted with enlargement of the heart", and who would refer to this affliction ironically in his poems— Samuel Barnitz was likewise in constant danger to his health, and sometimes begins his diary entries with statements like, "Spared to see the first day of another year" (PARSON 54) and "And am I yet alive?" (PARSON 56) "Still alive" (PARSON 58), Samuel later notes, with apparent surprise. "Here I am fairly exhausted," Samuel writes later, "and with all the work of to-morrow before me." (PARSON 59) "How frail and weak is my poor body!" the young Samuel elsewhere laments. "I seem scarcely able to endure anything in comparison to my labors of former years." (PARSON 60)

Intent on bringing the heathen "young men of this city" "into the fold of Jesus" (PARSON 54), the youthful Samuel Barnitz succeeded, Rev. Parson writes, in converting many "Profane swearers, brawlers and disturbers of the peace", and turning them into what Parson calls "quiet, orderly Christians". (PARSON 46) Rev. Samuel Barnitz also -as in his college days- took an interest preaching to what biographer Parson calls the "waste places"(PARSON 23), Samuel visiting a woman guilty of infanticide in prison (PARSON 55), and attempting to comfort her by telling "her of the Saviour's love for sinners." (PARSON 60) ("Truly, 'the way of the transgressor is hard'", Samuel observes in his diary. "It is hard to know how to treat them." This woman, and her remaining children, apparently became the first inmates of the [apparently very busy] Children's Home orphanage later established by Samuel Barnitz in Wheeling. [PARSON 144])

Later on, Samuel's son Park Barnitz will write scathingly in The Book of Jade of just such indigents and criminals, his long poem, "Fragments", beginning abruptly with the author going to view the external world:

"And since I understood not what so strong
Driveth all these at such ecstatic pace,
I too went down and joined in the throng:
And many sitting in a lowly place
I saw, where sense and vision darkness clogs,
With one flat-breasted wife with munched face
And bestial litter as of rats or hogs;
These are all they that eat and multiply
In the same manner with low apes and dogs;
Like these they live and like these they shall die.
—Pass thou from these, said then to me that voice,
And heed not thou the stinking of that sty."
     (BOJ 108)

In contrast, too, to Park Barnitz's later exaltation of lust and "sin" in The Book of Jade, we have the youthful Rev. Samuel Barnitz writing in his diary, imploring "the Lord" to "Help me crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts" (PARSON 60), and writing "I am so full of sinful thoughts and feelings as to be unworthy of the least of His favors." (PARSON 56) Elsewhere, Rev. Samuel Barnitz worries, "Oh, my Saviour, keep me humble, and suffer not my successes to become a weapon against me at the hands of Satan!" (PARSON 55) After noting in his diary an inexplicable spell of despondency and depression ("Why am I thus? Why, O why do I give way to such feelings?"), Samuel Barnitz, his disposition greatly improved, later enthuses, "Am in good spirits, and greatly interested in my sermon for Sunday night on the 'Sins of the City'" -Samuel being "greatly encouraged in my labors" by the prospect of converting "young men who have been very wicked." (PARSON 57) "When I remember my shortcomings and then think of God's mercy," Rev. Samuel Barnitz writes, "I am overwhelmed at it, and am led to cry out 'Unworthy! Unworthy!'" (PARSON 58) Later in life, Rev. J. A. Wirt would observe how Samuel Barnitz's "ardent prayers in the Wednesday evening service" at St. John's in Des Moines -"uttered with such childlike faith and simple trust"- "left the impression that he was on intimate terms with his Heavenly Father". (PARSON 128)

Compare this with Park Barnitz, who in his poem "Ashtoreth" (the Hebrew version of Astarte, and the "sinful" female urban deity/prostitute par excellence) prostrates himself before her deity, writing of how he "Unto thy face have solemn praises sung, / And in my hands a golden censor swung." (BOJ 19) Elsewhere, in his 1901 essay "The Art of the Future", Park Barnitz will write, as if in direct rebuke to his father's concerns, above, "We have no desire to humble ourselves, nor to deny ourselves. (…) We are very tired of that mediaeval humiliation, of that howling for mercy and that crouching in the dust;…" (POET-LORE 365) Elsewhere, regarding French writer M. Brunetiere, Barnitz writes that, although Brunetiere was formerly the most "important" novelist in France, "…after his recent declaration that he is at last ready to accept the supernatural, he cannot be considered anything but a prophet of the past." (POET LORE 360) Even more definitive, and more final, is Barnitz's observation regarding Huysmans in that same essay, in which Barnitz observes, that, although he admires "the strange pages of A Rebours and of La Bas", seeing "M. Huysmans disappearing into the shadow of the monastery, I am reminded that we cannot serve God and the Graces" (POET LORE 361) –a statement which more than explains Barnitz's firm observation, afterward in the same essay, that "As for art, there is of course no art in Muhammadan countries" (POET LORE 363) –countries, in other words, in which the division between "God and the Graces" is clear and unalterable.

Elsewhere his diary, Rev. Samuel Barnitz writes of his friends and former classmates Rev. Baugher ("Baughey"), Rev. Goettman ("Getty"), and himself presenting an invalid woman with a Bible on her wedding day (PARSON 60) –as if to somehow halt or at least assuage her decay. An amused Park Barnitz will later, in his essay "The Art of the Future", write of how "The decay of old religions is apparent all over the world," a decay which, Barnitz notes amusedly, "the Protestant clergymen of America propose to remedy by wholesale reading of the Bible!"

All the same, there are certain undeniable similarities of thought and temperament between father and son. Whereas Park Barnitz -who was, as his obituary tells us, a "home boy", who was "very reticent," and who "went into company but little"- apparently rejected the world because he saw beyond its various degraded illusions, so too do we see the father, in his diary, similarly rejecting worldly affairs -due, however, not to a jaded ennui, but rather to his overriding love for "the Lord Jesus". "Was invited to a tea-party," the young Rev. Samuel Barnitz writes, for instance, in his diary, "but felt that my duty was in my own room preparing myself for the glorious work of to-morrow. I am glad that God gave me grace to refuse the invitation and to say No!" (PARSON 58) Elsewhere, Samuel writes nervously of a no doubt perfectly harmless dinner party he attended, observing:

"'How vain are all things here below,
How false and yet how fair.'
I realized this last night at Mrs. K.'s company. I did not feel at home on account of the worldliness of the entertainment. If I did wrong to remain, O Father, forgive me!"
     (PARSON 62)

Compare this with his son Park Barnitz, who in The Book of Jade rejects sin, not because of God –nor indeed because of religious weariness, akin to that of the author of Solomon's Ecclesiastes- but because of Baudelairean ennui:

"I sat in a tall Gomorrah on a day
Boring myself with solitude and dreams,
When, like strange priests, with sacerdotal tread,
The seven mortal sins, in rich array,

Came in and knealt:…
But I said only—I have dream'd of you
Naught really is; all things are very old,
And very foolish. Please to go away."
     (BOJ 25)

In the writings of Park Barnitz's father, too, can be discerned a religious aesthetic sensibility with which he obviously imbued his son, Rev. Samuel Barnitz, in one letter, writing of the divine beauty of the Lutheran Church in ways reminiscent of the diademed pagan whores so praised by his decadent son:

"In some moments it pleases God to give me, I see rising alone in the mists and darkness of past mistakes, our beloved Lutheran Church —God's dear child— whose whole beauty has never fully been disclosed. That she is divine, I know by her girdle of pure doctrine, and by that atmosphere of love, that, issuing from her as light from a star, moves with her more royal than a king's apparel." (PARSON 157)

Aside from his sermons, however, his voluminous monthly reports to the Lutheran General Synod, and his support for The German Literary Board, Rev. Samuel Barnitz's literary efforts seem to have been restricted to his editing of various Sunday school publications for children, (PARSON 85) as well as the compilation of an 1890 book of memorial tributes dedicated to Rev. George D. Gotwald, a Lutheran pastor associated with Midland College at Atchison, Kansas who died unexpectedly at age 28.

As biographer Rev. Parson notes, Samuel Barnitz "remained single for several years at Wheeling" (PARSON 199), and only after he turned thirty, and he had begun construction of the new Wheeling church, did Samuel marry his first wife, Eliza Smyser, on December 9, 1868. They had three children, two daughters and a boy: Susan List, Sarah Eliza, and Samuel Smyser Barnitz. Unfortunately, Samuel's first wife died on July 5, 1874 (WENTZ 52), while Samuel Smyser -who was, for a time, Samuel's only son- died as an infant, thus necessitating, for a time, that Samuel's two surviving daughters be cared for by his illiterate Ohio housekeeper. (PARSON 72) On August 14, 1877, Rev. Samuel Barnitz was remarried, this time to Ann Eliza Park (WENTZ 52), of Martin's Ferry, Ohio (PARSON 198), their children being two sons, David Park Barnitz (born June 24, 1878) and Frederic Bacon Barnitz.

II. The Move to Des Moines, Iowa

According to the Proceedings of the 41st Convention of the
General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
(1902), "in the autumn of 1881, [Rev. Samuel Barnitz, D.D.] was called to occupy the new position of Western Secretary of Home Missions, which had but been recently created by the Board, and which he filled with conspicuous faithfulness and efficiency to the time of his death, a period of nearly twenty years" (136) –so much so that, according to biographer W. E. Parson, Samuel Barnitz practically created the Lutheran Church in the American west. As Rev. Parson observes, "The story of his work in the West for twenty years is really the history of our church in the West during that time…" (PARSON 81) (Eventually, after his death, a church at Denver, Colorado was dedicated as "the S. B. Barnitz Memorial." [PARSON 124]) Elsewhere, G. G. Burnett, M.D. wrote in a 1905 memoir of Rev. Samuel Barnitz that, "In frame and face he resembled one of our great presidents, and on the Pacific Coast was known as the Abraham Lincoln of the Church." (PARSON 114)

To accomplish this, in 1882 the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where they lived at 722 18th street. Rev. Samuel Barnitz's family, including, of course, young Park Barnitz, immediately became members of the Lutheran congregation at the church of St. John, under pastor Rev. John A. Wirt, D.D. As biographer Rev. Parson piously observes, "His entire family became an integral part of the congregation, fully co-operating in congregational and community work, setting an example to the great multitude of migrating people in the West who establish themselves in cities and towns without giving a thought to the church and the subject of a church home." (PARSON 126)

There, too, according to Park Barnitz's later obituary, Park Barnitz, and later, his brother Frederic, attended the public schools of the city. The Des Moines public school system does not appear to have any records for before 1900, although No. 7 of the school publication The Tatler for West Des Moines High School in 1896 lists younger brother Fred Barnitz as a private in a commencement ceremony. In his later poem "The House of Youth" in The Book of Jade, Barnitz seems to speak of an actual building that he once knew –perhaps the church of St. John- and described by Barnitz in the poem as a red-bricked building standing on a hill, which the poet would gaze at often. "The world is but a background for it there, /There, where it stands, loud like a beaten lyre,..." He goes on:

"Yea, surely I have seen it long ago,
Far sunken in the weary dust of time;
Yea surely even that stair so hard to climb
I climb'd, and strode its hallways to and fro;
The which were bright with many lamps aglow,
And loud with choristers in ceaseless chime."
     (BOJ 77)

During this time, Barnitz's father was rarely at home, his new position as "missionary" to the West necessitating constant travel as he moved from congregation to congregation, supervising all aspects of the church, but most importantly, fund-raising. As biographer Rev. Parson observes, "in one of the years of Dr. [Samuel] Barnitz's service in the Western field he did not spend more than three active weeks of the year at Des Moines with his family, …" (PARSON 78) In 1899, Samuel closes a letter by saying, "'Home, though to stay only thirty-six hours… (…) …To-morrow morning I must up early, and off to Carthage, Ill., for five addresses." (PARSON 107) Elsewhere, Samuel Barnitz writes, "The month adds up to 3,035 miles of travel, twelve addresses and sermons, two dedications, with $5,200.00 solicited and secured,…" (PARSON 152) Another month, Samuel Barnitz traveled a total of 4,219 miles(PARSON 66); another month, 3,7000 miles (PARSON 156); in one year, he once traveled a total of 16,568 miles. (PARSON 168)

Despite this, however, biographer Rev. Parson writes, Rev. Samuel Barnitz's family was close. "…Dr. Barnitz was one of the most domestic and home-loving men. He was devoted to wife and children, yet he gave himself unreservedly to the work of Field Secretary." (PARSON 79) Elsewhere, biographer Parson observes, "His home life was an ideal fireside…(…) …At every point Dr. Barnitz was the same loyal, devoted man, affectionate father, and noblest citizen." (PARSON 198) Park Barnitz's later newspaper obituary would reaffirm this closeness of the family, the papers stating that Park Barnitz "was devoted to his parents, sisters, and brother, and was what is often termed a home boy." It is striking, however, that in all of the photographs save one of Rev. Samuel Barnitz in his 1905 biography show him alone, never with his family, and it was not until the ailing Samuel Barnitz's final trips as Western Secretary, shortly before his death, when "Mrs. Barnitz accompanied him" (PARSON 193), that a family member apparently ever accompanied him on his multifarious and exhausting travels. (A later photograph, taken by a German Lutheran pastor near Sacramento shortly before Samuel Barnitz's death, documents a pensive Eliza Barnitz standing by Samuel Barnitz's side on this final journey.) Likewise, the photograph of Rev. Samuel Barnitz's Des Moines home in his 1905 biography, has the rather unusual caption: "Headquarters" –a far colder and more utilitarian term than the more familial designations "House" or "Home".

As a friend of Rev. Samuel Barnitz observed after his death, Park Barnitz's father was a sober, conservative man" who "laid" "much weight" "on Christian character". (PARSON 175) "Not the slightest tendency to irreverence was ever tolerated by Mr. [Samuel] Barnitz," observed Mrs. P. A. Heilman, the wife of a fellow pastor, in "Tract 217", written after Samuel's death. "Though witty by nature and possessing a fund of spicy humor which made him a charming companion, he was never guilty of misplaced jesting." (PARSON 73-4) On one occasion, late in his life, Rev. Samuel Barnitz was able to obtain a free railway pass for a poor student. "The student ventured to suggest, as they walked away: 'Doctor Barnitz, you have a good deal of assurance!' 'Assurance?' the Doctor replied; 'my young friend, that is not assurance –it is grace.'" (PARSON 66) "The indifference and trifling character of some of the members of the church is almost unbearable" (PARSON 61), a young Samuel Barnitz writes frustratedly in his Wheeling diary. In a 1900 letter to a financial supporter, Rev. Samuel Barnitz writes regretfully (and, one thinks, perhaps personally) of the supposedly wayward children and siblings of Lutheran church members who have fallen away from their families' faith. In some cases, Samuel sadly observes, these apostates "are reclaimed by our home mission pastors, but in others, alas! we can only commend them to God and his mercy…" (PARSON 137) Like many at the time, Rev. Samuel Barnitz was also a strong Temperance advocate (PARSON 69), an attitude, again, which meets its opposite in Park Barnitz, who will later refer to banquets of "women and wine" throughout The Book of Jade -fetes which were all, apparently, the product of the reclusive poet's imagination, and for whose absence he compensated by writing "masterpieces" in his Book of Jade.

III. Midland College

At the age of fifteen Park Barnitz entered Midland College of the Lutheran Church at Atchison, Kansas, "and soon" according to his obituary, "developed more than ordinary talent in the line of language and literature. These were his specialities". Much like his father, who, "being of Germanic stock himself, was always deeply interested in the development of our [Lutheran] German work, both in the fostering of churches and the education of young men who could preach in both English and German" (PARSON 170), Park Barnitz's higher education, at least in its early stages, took place solely within a Germanic and Lutheran milieu. Interestingly, just before Park's attendance at Midland College in 1893, the school had been founded at Atchison by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church "to fill an educational void in the Midwest." The school was also founded, at least in part, by Park Barnitz's own father, and was characterized, according to Ann Weigman, by "rigid academic standards and increasingly difficult entrance requirements."

As Rev. Samuel Barnitz's friend Dr. William Rosenstegel observed, "Also in the work of higher education he [Samuel Barnitz] was prominent. The establishment of the institutions at Atchison may be attributed to his efforts mainly." (PARSON 175) Indeed, according to biographer Rev. Parson, Samuel Barnitz "was once called the presidency of the Midland College, the building of which he zealously promoted. He declined this call from purely conscientious convictions, believing that he could do most good in the mission field" (PARSON 86) –Samuel instead leaving this post to his friend, the Lutheran General Secretary Rev. Jacob A. Clutz, D.D.. (Rev. Samuel Barnitz would also, on another occasion, succeed in finagling free round-trip railway fare for Clutz to and from Baltimore for a Lutheran Jubilee Meeting! [PARSON 162]) Park Barnitz would end up attending Midland College with a "Claude B. Clutz" and, for a time, a "Ralph R. Clutz" –both obviously relatives, probably sons, of the College's president.

Since that time, Midland College has removed itself from Kansas to Fremont, Nebraska, where in 1962 it merged with two other institutions, this move necessitated, it is written, "Because of religious differences between the residents of Atchison." ("College Community Withstands…") As Ann Wiegman observes in a short history of Midland College, these religious differences dated mostly from the xenophobic/jingoistic climate of the World War One period, and stemmed mainly from the 2/3 Catholic majority in the population of the town of Midland, resulting in charges of "disloyalty and Pro-Germanism made by war-frightened patriots. 'Even the press denounced us in scathing terms without giving us a hearing,' reported President Perry." (Ann Weigman also attributes the falling enrollment at Atchison, problematically, to the fact that the town of Atchison, in addition to being 2/3 Catholic, also had a large population of "colored people who rarely went to college" –though whether they did not go to college through lack of desire, or because Midland policies barred them from admission, she unfortunately does not say.)

Barnitz attended Atchison from his Freshman year in Fall 1893 to his Senior year in Spring 1897. In his college grade-book, Barnitz is listed as "D. Park Barnitz", which suggests that Barnitz was already then being known under his middle name "Park" –his mother's maiden name— rather than as "David", perhaps already suggesting some breach, philosophical or otherwise, with his father. (Barnitz would likewise, in those of his works published in Poet-Lore and the Overland Monthly, as well as in his correspondence with Decadent publisher William Doxey, sign his name "Park Barnitz"; Donald Wandrei would likewise refer to him as "Park Barnitz" in the 1920's and thirties.) Barnitz's lowest grade is a 75 for "Essays" in Fall 1894 of his Sophomore year –a fact which is surprising in the light of his later accomplishments, although perhaps this low grade is due more to the opinions expressed in his writings than the quality of the work. In Barnitz's obituary, it is noted that "He detested shams of every kind, and in some of his criticisms would have been regarded severe," and perhaps this increase in the severity of his opinions, later to reach full flower in the misanthropic cynicism and bleak despair of The Book of Jade, first began at around this time.

The classes Park took include Biblical History, Rhetoric, History, Composition & Declamation, Latin, Greek, and Geometry, Trigonometry, Physiology, Chemistry, Essays, Latin Composition, Botany and Analytical Geometry, Psychology, Physics, Zoology, Quadratic Analysis, Anglo-Saxon, Oration, English Literature, Logic, English History, and English Philology, Aesthetics, Social Science, American Literature, Recent American Writers, and Geology. That Barnitz's schooling must have included Greek as well, is shown by his later praising of "Pindaros and Aiskulos" (POET LORE 363), his affirmative statement regarding the decadent Aupelius (POET LORE 361), as well as his description of the "beautiful genius of Persia, as perfect as that of Hellas." (POET LORE 362) However, as Barnitz would later clarify, "We do not desire to return to Greece…"(POET LORE 364) –Barnitz's artistic vision instead being of a new and Whitmanesque America, to which Hellas herself, admittedly "the admiration and exemplar of all time" (POET LORE 365), will herself eventually bow.

According to Barnitz's obituary, "during several months of his senior year at Midland he studied Sanskrit and other languages with Dr. Carl M. Belser, of Colorado University, at Boulder, Colorado." Although the University of Colorado at Boulder has no information in their records on Barnitz, there is a biographical listing for Dr. Carl Belser from their first Campus Yearbook, The Columbine, published May 1893, shortly before Barnitz's attendance there. Much like Barnitz, Dr. Belser's father was a Lutheran clergyman, who was in charge of a "small but important parish" (LOWRY 35) of German colonists at Ann Arbor. Belser, too, went to school at fifteen, then moved on to college where, at the University of Michigan, he graduated with a B.A. in 1882, and an M.A. in 1883. According to The Columbine, Belser was "the first graduate student at Michigan to pursue work in the Semitic languages (Arabic and Hebrew)." Belser later occupied the chair of Latin at Carthage College, about which it is written that Belser's "influence on that institution was remarkable and he soon placed it in the front rank for scholarship."

Dr. Belser went on to study Assyrian in 1885, and then took up residence in Leipzig, Germany, in 1887, where he studied with the scholars "Ryssel and Windisch", as well as the "celebrated scholar" Friedrich Delitzsch, and Friedrich's father, Franz Delitzsch. The latter is described by the Encyclopedia Britannica as "one of the foremost Old Testament exegetes of the 19th century and the leading Christian student of Judaica of his day", Franz particularly interested in bringing "to life the Jewish background of New Testament times." A member of the "old school" of Christian interpretation of the texts, however, Franz was "a staunch Lutheran", who "combined deep piety with great learning." (EB V. VII, 1974, 205) Part of this deep "piety", apparently, was a continuance that anti-Semitic tendency which was observable in Lutheranism as early as Martin Luther, Franz's Judaic studies being but a means toward proselytizing of Jews for conversion: to which "end he translated the New Testament into Hebrew and founded an institute for Jewish Studies at Leipzig."

Franz's son, Friedrich Delitzsch, was himself "a great Assyriologist and teacher of most of the men who developed that science up to the time of his death" (EB V. VII, 1974, 205), his discoveries regarding the "heavy dependence of the Old Testament on Babylonian prototypes" causing "world-wide repercussions." It was this trend toward the application of textual studies and archeology to the hitherto unquestioned Biblical narratives of ancient Israel which, with its reliance on "cross-references and exact chronology established the conventional stereotype of the Teutonic pedant". (BAIGENT 161) Conversely, however, Friedrich's simultaneous "disillusionment with the Old Testament heritage in Christianity brought him the accusation of furthering anti-Semitism." (EB V. VII, 1974, 205)

In 1889, Dr. Belser, having returned to America, was appointed instructor in German at the University of Michigan, and in 1890 occupied the newly-established Chair of Oriental Language, in which position he worked with graduate students (and young prodigies, like Barnitz) in the areas of Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic and Assyrian. Regarding Belser's character, his biographical entry in The Columbine observes -perhaps rather defensively- "he is no pedant. The rather from the very breadth of culture, he is doubly alive to every vital problem of the land and its intelligent solution." (LOWRY 35) Clearly, despite the pious Lutheran atmosphere which surrounded men like Belser, Barnitz could have had no better instructor in the U.S. regarding the vital problems of Near Eastern and particularly Biblical research, both archeological and textual, which were so vital to demolishing traditional theological myths about Biblical inspiration. This anti-scripturalism, in combination with Barnitz's later schooling under Prof. Lanman at Harvard in the precepts of Hinduism and Buddhism -with their idea of a vain and illusory universe- would do much to inform Barnitz's later aesthetic and poetical works, with their glaringly anti-Christian and anti-Lutheran polemic. (Significantly, however, Barnitz will be equally adamant in rejecting the ascetic consolation to be found in either the Hindu Brahma or in Prince Siddhartha's Nirvana, observing disconsolately in The Book of Jade:

"But nothingness did not my heart console.
Ah not in nothingness is any peace,
Nor in peace any peace, nor in the whole,
Nor in the vine nor in the vision, nor
In being nor non-being, nor in all
That man hath dream'd of and hath angush't for."
     [BOJ 116])

Some of Barnitz's poems in The Book of Jade, for example, sing the Baudelairean pleasures (and tortures) given by the perverse beauties of erotic love, in a way which echoes Barnitz's essay "The Art of the Future", in which he speaks of his time being "better spent with women and wine…" –clearly a phrase calculated to send his reverend father into fits of righteous distraction. Writes Barnitz:

"Thy bosom is an altar-place
Thy kisses holy wine;
Sweet incense offer'd for my bliss
Is thy corrupted breath
And on thy stained lips I kiss
The holy lips of Death!

Wherefore thy heart is all
Fill'd full of mournfulness,
And thy gold head as with a pall
Hung o'er with sinfulness;
Because thy soul is utterly
Sinful unto the core—
Therefore my heart is bound to thee
Dear love, forevermore!"
     (BOJ 20-21)

One immediately notices the clever inversions of Lutheran/Christian religious themes in this poem: "an altar-place"; "holy wine", "incense", with "corruption" and "sinfulness" being inverted to form examples of "holiness". Certainly, too, the Latin motto on the final page of The Book of Jade, which reads: "ITE MISSA EST" (BOJ 131), or "It is Done" –the traditional ending for both a Catholic and a Lutheran religious service- shows that Barnitz obviously intended for his book to be a sly caricature of (his father's?) religious rites. In her biography of decadent poet/priest John Gray, Jerusha Hull McCormack quotes from an essay by Catholic decadent Lionel Johnson, in which Johnson describes the evolution and development of "the self-alienating aesthete" in terms which closely match what we know of Barnitz: "'You breed it this way. Take a young man, who had brains as a boy, and teach him to disbelieve everything that his elders believe in matters of thought, and to reject everything that seems true to himself in matters of sentiment.'" (McCORMACK 35) McCormack further quotes from the same essay by Johnson, "'Essentially our hero should cultivate a reassuring sobriety of habit, with just a dash of the dandy… Externally, then, a precise appearance; internally, a catholic sympathy with all that exists, and 'therefore' suffers, for art's sake.'" Take Lionel Johnson's word "sympathy", and replace it with "misanthropy", and one would have a perfectly accurate description, one thinks, of the mental development of Park Barnitz.

The Baudelairean "Sesettes", for example, in The Book of Jade, begin with splendid sexual lyrics, before ending in nihilistic and oblivionist paradox. Here, the poet's lover is both "Priestess and victim in love's holy mass..." (BOJ 83) As in Poe (and, indeed, many Victorian works of both literature and art), the spectre of necrophilia is never far away, Barnitz avowing, "I love you more than death" and "I could not love you more if you were dead." Barnitz mourns for his Lover, though -not, as his father would, because she is evil, but rather "…because you are not really bad"- her beauty's "perfect cruelty" being "marr'd with pity and distress" (emphasis mine), two of the qualities so eloquently expressed, as we have seen, in Rev. Samuel Barnitz's youthful diary entries. Barnitz then ends the "Sesettes" with an Asiatic expression of futility:

Heart, we have wholly drain'd the cup of sadness,
And found in sadness no reality;
Now from the night of sadness let us go.
Henceforth let us drain the cup of gladness,
And find in gladness no reality;
From sadness then and gladness let us go."

Unlike Jeffers, who, on the edge of the Pacific, later wrote of the
truth to be found in more permanent things, like mountains or the
stars, Barnitz, like the Biblical Ecclesiastes, paradoxically finds vanity in everything: "All these things also are all vanity/No less than sun and stars that wax and wane/ Forever in the everlasting sky."

Raised in a Lutheran family of distinction, and schooled in a Lutheran/Academic education, one might not expect Park Barnitz to have produced such writings of apparent sin, decadence and death. But this misrepresents Barnitz's intention in his works, and also his influences. Educated as he was in Middle-Eastern and Asian studies during the final years of the 1800's, Barnitz was glaringly aware of the progress made in Biblical studies during the past century: i.e. the contemporary analyses of Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Canaanite and Persian texts, and their contextual relation to the environment of the Old Testament. Therefore any apparent "anti-Lutheranism" on the part of Barnitz would be the result, not of daemonic "sinfulness" or an inherently "diabolical" nature, but rather of a simple and logical realization of the origins of the Biblical myths and the factors which brought them about. As Barnitz writes in his essay "The Art of the Future": "A serious consideration, therefore, of contemporary art and its developments must seem somewhat trivial, especially when we consider the really important developments which have occurred and are now occurring in religion and philosophy and the far vista which these open to our vision; for, in religion and philosophy, not only is the old seen to be dying, but the new has already appeared." (POET LORE 364)
As Barnitz writes in the "Prelude" of The Book of Jade:

"And long ago I prov'd in great compassion
For man, that Brahm is not nor ever was;          
But now, alas, alas
I would he were, that in the olden fashion     
I might laugh once again ere all is said;
But Brahm is dead."
     (BOJ 12-13)

Once though, Barnitz was devout, as he writes:

"Nay, ev'n we too have been in virtue sunken,
We have been holy priest, we have confess'd,
Said, Missa Est."
     (BOJ 15)

Barnitz's "detestation of shams", however, extended to every field, in a veritable mania of pessimism. He wrote:

"Then with philosophy I bor'd me duly;
And since I could not slumber all the time,          
I, in sweet golden rhyme,
On white papyrus scented with patchouli
Wrote masterpieces starry-beautiful.
The earth was full.
So beauty wearied me; in order slowly
Love, Joy, and Victory came unto me;
I kiss'd them languidly;
And Virtue came, and Duty, stiff and holy;
To these I said—- Pray come another day;
And turned away."

He continues:               

"With all the sciences I am acquainted,
Alas! I know quite all the languages,
All the philosophies,
Alas! and all the pictures that are painted,
And all the palc'd capitals that be
Have wearied me."

Further in the book, Barnitz writes a chanting "Litany", clearly deriving from such lines of Mallarme's as, "The flesh is sad, alas! and I have read all the books…" (FLORES 147) Certainly, Barnitz absorbed Decadence as his natural idiom.

"All the authors that there are bore Me;
All the philosophies bore Me;
All the statues and all the temples bore Me;
—-All the authors that there are bore Thee;
All the philosophies bore Thee;
All the statues and all the temples bore Thee.
All the women of the earth weary Me;
The fruit of the vine wearieth Me;
All the symphonies weary Me.               
—-All the women of the earth weary Thee;
The fruit of the vine wearieth Thee;
All the symphonies weary Thee..."
     (BOJ 26)

He goes on for eight more stanzas, citing among the things that bore
him: "victory", "defeat", "life", "death", the "apostles", "prophets",
the "noble army of martyrs", "the race of man", "Cherubim", and
"Seraphim". He finally ends by saying, paradoxically: "Myself
wearieth me." One might think such statements as above to be vanity if one did not know of Barnitz's own wide-ranging knowledge: of myths and legends, of languages, of authors, ancient and modern, as revealed both by his education and his essay "The Art of the Future", as well as his suffocating upbringing in the home of an obsessive Lutheran minister father. As Barnitz says in "Song of Golden Youth": "We are Greeks and we are Tartars, we know all the languages,/ To the girls of Persia, India, China, we know how to sigh;…"(BOJ 31)

In 1897 Park graduated from the Midland College Classical Course with a degree of A.B. The alumni lists in the 1916 "Atchison Yearbook" include the by-then deceased Barnitz along with six other members of his graduating class, the others having gone on to earn their degrees and having since become teachers, judges and lawyers. (Claude A. Clutz went on to become a farmer.)

III. Harvard and The Book of Jade

According to Barnitz' obituary notice, a few months later he entered Harvard University. The notice goes on to say that "while at Harvard he was made a member of the American Oriental Society; his name being suggested by Prof. Lanman and was the youngest person ever admitted." According to the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Barnitz was admitted in April 1898 as a corporate member along with twenty-six others, on the recommendation of the Directors. (MOORE 163) Barnitz's sponsor, Professor Charles Rockwell Lanman, was a distinguished Sanskrit scholar, editor of the Harvard Oriental Series, and author and translator of numerous and voluminous writings dealing with the Orient (what would today be termed Asian Studies). Poet Wallace Stevens would later, in the 1950's, speak bitterly of "'those philologists that dominate Harvard'", apparently unaware, according to Walter Jackson Bate, "that the old tyranny of Germanic philology, especially for the PhD, had been destroyed by 1940-1947", to be replaced by what Bate calls "a more literary and humanistic approach." (BRAZEAU 171) Alfred Kazin would elsewhere describe the deep division between these two extremes at Harvard, one side tending ":…toward laborious pedantry in the worst tradition of the German graduate schools, the other toward a momentous cheapening of humanistic values and studies, a process which had already begun [in 1892] with the substitution of sociology for Latin…" (KAZIN 293)

Among Lanman's many students while he was Professor of Sanskrit were Paul Elmer More and Irving Babbitt, the two later becoming noted conservative "Neo-Humanist" scholars, More later describing himself as "'the least read and most hated author in existence.'". (KAZIN 292) More and Babbitt first met in 1892, when together, according to Kazin, "they had composed the entire class in Sanskrit that semester under Professor Charles R. Lanman", their mutual "devotion to the classic" being "their first distinction." (KAZIN 293) "When More and he [Babbitt] began their studies in the literature of India," Alfred Kazin goes on, "More naturally gravitated toward the Upanishads and 'the elusive mysticism' of Hindu poetry. Babbitt immediately absorbed himself in the Buddhistic tradition and the Pali language and literature, which More described as 'hard, cold, stressing endlessly the necessity of the will.'" (KAZIN 296) As a graduate student, according to Kazin, Babbitt would rail "at everything that was 'effete' or 'decadent'" and could talk anyone down", while Paul More would later, writes Vinnie Marie-d'Ambrozio, consider Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a text very popular with the Pre-Raphaelites, aesthetes, and the decadents, a "deleterious and effeminizing influence" (d'AMBROZIO 55) –all of which would seem to suggest that Barnitz, by introducing linguistic, Orientalist, and philosophical language/ideas into The Book of Jade, was rebelling, not only against his father's Lutheran traditions, but also against the stifling and pedantic philological atmosphere at Harvard.

Another of Lanman's later pupils was poet T.S. Eliot, who, before he became devoted to Anglicanism, was a student of Indian mythology, and whose "Sanskrit passage in Part V of The Wasteland reflects Lanman's teaching." (HOLLOWAY 82) Eliot, whose early Omarian and Decadent poetry shows some similarity to the work of Barnitz, was apparently unaware of either The Book of Jade or his deceased predecessor at Harvard, Eliot later deploring "the absence of any masters in the previous generation whose work one could carry on" (RICKS 387) –Eliot's own symboliste-inspired work taking its cue instead from Arthur Symons's The Symbolist Movement in Literature(1899), which Eliot would find in a "very nice little library" in the Harvard Union. (HALL 204) "…we remember that book," Eliot later wrote, "as an introduction to wholly new feelings, as a revelation." (RICKS 401) From there Eliot would go on to discover, in a Boston bookstore, the works of Jules Laforgue, about which he would later say: "I can't imagine why that bookshop should have had a few poets like Laforgue in stock. Goodness knows how long they'd had them or whether there were any other demands for them." (HALL 204) Elsewhere, Eliot observed "Undergraduates at Harvard in my time read the English poets of the '90's who were dead: that was as near as we could get to any living tradition." (RICKS 388) (Eliot, according to some critics, would later put Irving Babbitt's "plain and aggressive solemnity" of style to "to new use when a more precise and chastened English became current after the war", although Kazin himself finds Eliot's poetic style to be more disillusioned and Mallarmean than Babbitt's. [KAZIN 298])

Interestingly, one of Barnitz's direct contemporaries at Harvard was Wallace Stevens, who went on to become an important modernist poet, and who was at the time studying "languages and literature" as a "Special Student".3 (BRAZEAU 8) At the time, writes Robert Crunden, Stevens was "a Harvard decadent": "A friend rather than a student of George Santayana", a writer whose work reflected the ideas of Walter Pater, and a dabbler "in Orientalism like any epigone of Whistler's" (CRUNDEN 437) So many critics have "outlined the many affinities Stevens felt for the work of Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Laforgue", Crunden goes on, that "there is no point in reviewing the details." (CRUNDEN 348) Richard Wilbur, describing a talk of Wallace Stevens which he attended during the 1950's, said that Stevens spoke far more of his time spent with his "teachers in philosophy", "Royce and Santayana", than about his early poems, giving Wilbur the firm impression that the "philosophy courses" he took at Harvard were far more important to his poetical development than his youthful poetic efforts. (BRAZEAU 169) Needless to say, the above description could just as easily fit the reticent Park Barnitz4, although of course Barnitz was no mere dabbler in Orientalism; and, whereas in his essay "The Art of the Future", Barnitz will speak of the name of Whistler as being virtually synonymous with American art (POET-LORE 359), he will do so more out of despair than out of a sense of devotion.

Another one of Barnitz's contemporaries at Harvard was Walter Arsenberg, who, like Wallace Stevens, was a poet and writer, (Arsenberg "edging out" Stevens for the honor of being "elected class poet" [TOMKINS 144]). In his poems written after 1907, Arsenberg's works showed "the influence of Mallarme, Verlaine, Laforgue, and other French Symbolists" (TOMKINS 144), his works being published, along with Wallace Stevens' poems, in what Robert Crunden calls "One of the few outlets for decedent poetry" in America in the early teens of the past century, a "little magazine" called Rogue "which Allen Norton and Louise Norton edited in Greenwich Village." (CRUNDEN 412) Like Stevens, too, Arsenberg later made the transition from decadence to the modern avant-garde, the wealthy and eccentric Arsenberg eventually becoming a patron and supporter of French artist and Dadaist Marcel Duchamp. Both Stevens and Arsenberg left Harvard at the same time Barnitz did, in 1900, Arsenberg traveling through Europe (CRUNDEN 409), Stevens heading to New York. (BRAZEAU 8, CRUNDEN 439)

In 1898 Barnitz received the degree of A.B. at Harvard, and went on to study for his A.M. According to Barnitz's obituary in the Lutheran papers, Barnitz "was a noble-hearted man, and a student so intense in his application that Professor James of Harvard pronounced him brilliant" –a description which echoes the picture given in Parson's biography of Barnitz's father at the seminary, decades earlier. According to Linda Simon, biographer of William James, Prof. James "was energized by his connection with students who thrived under his mentorship", the "undisciplinables" and "neurotic pragmatists" (SIMON 272-273) –a description which could perhaps be enlarged to include those who were, like Barnitz, "cynical misanthropes." I have since contacted Ms. Simon, who unfortunately told me that she had found no records or correspondence relating James to Barnitz. Barnitz's firm grounding in the latest researches into philosophy, science, religion, and art, which he gained at Harvard, will later be plainly evident in his 1901 essay on art, "The Art of the Future", where, prefiguring later modernism, Barnitz makes the case that art and literature are lagging far behind religion and philosophy, where "not only the old is seen to be dying, but the new has already appeared." (POET-LORE 364)

Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of Barnitz's feelings, or at least a nasty Beardsleyan caricature of his time at Harvard, in the following poem, published in The Book of Jade, and entitled "Harvard / On His Twenty-First Year":

"I gaze through sad-shap'd eyelids languorous,
Far off from Ispahan where roses blow.
Professors sit on lofty stools upcurl'd,
Through Yankee noses drooling all day long;
I find all these things quite ridiculous…"
     (BOJ 28)

The word "sad" in the above poem is italicized, referring to the Arabic letter, sad, which is identified by the Persian poets with the human eye. In this, Barnitz is following the Sufi poet Rumi (1207 CE –1275 CE), who -tracing the invisible hand of God in all things- writes in his poem "Creations of Phantasy", "Thou [God] hast scribed the nun of the eyebrow, the sad of the eye and the jim of the ear as a distraction to our minds and understandings". (RUMI 136) -Even in his poetry, Barnitz's linguistic and Near Eastern studies make their appearance. Another glimpse of the scholar's life can perhaps be found in his reference to "scholars sour" in the poem "Mais Moi Je Vis la Vie en Rouge", where Barnitz writes:

"...These things are for a scorn to those
That read great books both night and day,
That say, Joy dieth as the rose—
The pleasures of the life in gray.
Sweet youths, white ladies, scholar's sour,

Rejoice, and hasten on your way;
Mary, whose skin is white as whey,
Your soul is like a purple flower."
     (BOJ 33)

This brings us to the question of, When did Park Barnitz compose The Book of Jade (1901)? A work of extreme Decadent verse of the "Oblivionist/Nihilistic" school (typified by such writers as Beddoes, James Thomson [B.V.], Count Stenbock, Isidore Ducasse, and Bonaventura), and dedicated to Charles Baudelaire, both it and its author seem to typify the crisis in literature and the arts at the end of the 1890's -the "trembling of the veil" spoken of by Mallarme. The book alternates between the influences of Orientalism, Mallarme, Poe, and, most especially, Baudelaire, and yet despite this the book is both unwavering and unmistakable in its central thesis/theme of utter and complete philosophical/religious negation.

That the majority of the book was written while at Harvard seems likely, for several reasons. Firstly, of course, there is the whole nature of the book, whose content, so radically divorced from, or rather opposed to, the atmosphere and driving force of his father's "Headquarters" in Des Moines, suggests a different location. Then, too, there is the often scatological, intentionally "blasphemous", sexual, and mocking nature of much of the book –all suggestive of a student prank perpetrated by Barnitz, perhaps with the approval of fellow classmates. Certain penciled annotations and interpolations, signed by someone named "H.V.S.", in the Yale copy of The Book of Jade (copy No. 13 out of 600, in the Beinecke Library), indeed show that at least a few of the poems were written in collaboration, which suggests that perhaps Barnitz had a small audience of like-minded people who were interested in his efforts.

At the end of Barnitz's poem "Remember", for example, on page 56 of the Yale Book of Jade, H.V.S. notes that "Lines 2, 3, 5, 9 [are] by H.V.S. with Barnitz's approval" –meaning that the entire poem was truly a collaborative venture. Elsewhere, at the end of two lines in Barnitz's poem "The Song of India", from page 123 of The Book of Jade, H.V.S. writes that "Barnitz insisted upon the comma being left out" –suggesting some sort of a grammatical debate or stylistic/aesthetic discussion, either during the poem's composition or the book's compilation.

Finally, at the end of the Yale copy of The Book of Jade, are posted some galley-proofs of a grotesque poem entitled "Danse Macabre" which, according to H.V.S., "At my suggestion but only after some argument, …were omitted from the collection" –which suggests that, if H.V.S. was a classmate, he was perhaps more prudent, or more skittish, than his Orientalist colleague. Poet and weird-fiction writer Joseph Payne Brennan, who discovered the Yale copy of The Book of Jade during the course of his duties at the Beinecke Library in the 1940's, suggested in an article published in Fresco magazine in 1959 that "H.V.S." was in fact Barnitz's publisher. And although, as we now know, Barnitz's publisher was a California bookseller named William Doxey, it may well be that Brennan's supposition is correct, unless of course we are to assume that Doxey's publishing enterprise was a one-man operation. The careful preservation of the various mementos related to Barnitz, however, in the Yale edition of The Book of Jade: including a photographic frontispiece of Barnitz, a set of galley-proofs of the "lost" poem, a letter from Barnitz to Doxey –not to mention the fact that it is book number thirteen –surely a number of importance in Barnitz's rigorously-constructed programme of pessimistic cynicism- suggest that the book was affectionately preserved by someone within the Massachusetts academic milieu, and not by a New York publisher –and therefore by an instructor or, more likely, a classmate of Barnitz.

Interestingly, however, there is a strong possibility that this "H.V.S." may have been a clergyman himself, the archives of the Yale Divinity School Library having two boxes of archival documents related to a Harman Van Slyke Peeke, or "H.V.S. Peeke", a missionary to Japan under the American Reformed Church from 1893 to 1929. I have not yet been able to consult these archives to see if H.V.S. Peeke knew Barnitz; according to an online historical note on H.V.S. Peeke, however, by Kathryn Lund and Lartha Lund Smalley, who compiled the Yale Divinity School archive, H.V.S. first sailed to Japan in 1887, returning in 1892. He married in 1893 and returned with his wife to Japan, where they had seven children. Peeke became an expert on the Japanese language, and taught at the Meiji Gakuin school in Tokyo. Although H.V.S. Peeke was apparently in Japan most of the time after 1893, the Yale archive includes typed and annotated transcripts of a series of quarterly circular letters written by Peeke from 1893 to 1906 -which suggests that if the H.V.S. of the Yale Book of Jade was in Japan when Barnitz composed and published his book, then perhaps their numerous discussions, debates, and H.V.S.'s later annotations may well have been transacted solely by mail. H.V.S. Peeke's various written works include a journal, apparently unpublished, entitled "My Trip to Korea" (1891); a series of articles written from 1904-1921 for such missionary publications as Japan Evangelist and The Christian Movement in Japan; and two Japanese textbooks published in 1914 and 1927, respectively.

Of H.V.S.'s character, my admittedly cursory researches have so far revealed nothing, although it is possible that Barnitz's various references to Japan, both in The Book of Jade:

"If the heartless heart of Lili tediously cruel prove,
Go and dance the tarantella with the girls of Hokusai!
In the golden-citied world from Paris unto Tokio
We are quite at home, we saunter languidly through tall
     (BOJ 31)

and in Barnitz's survey of the international arts scene in his essay "The Art of the Future", derive from information provided by either circular or personal letters by H.V.S. Peeke. In his discussion of French literature in "The Art of the Future", for example, Barnitz writes of how Pierre Loti "writes sad volumes of foreign lands, so that we are quite bored with the exotic. Japan palls upon us, and we find only ennui in the southern seas." (POET LORE 361) Elsewhere in the same essay, moving on to the East, Barnitz finds both Japanese and Turkish literature to be "doomed for a long time to come to a Europeanized literature". Speaking of Japanese art, Barnitz observes –and somewhat ironically for a decadent, for whom Japanese art was a great source of inspiration (i.e. as in the art of Beardsley, the architecture of Cram, and the collecting of Isabella Stuart Gardner, etc.):

"Japanese art, the art of Hokusai, has ceased to influence Europe, and is extinct at home. The enormous figure of Bougereau, with one foot in the houses of the millionaires of San Francisco, has the other planted on the islands of Japan." (POET LORE 363)

Going on to speak of the "decay" apparent in all of the religions across the world, Barnitz includes Japan in the list, as being far more advanced in terms of its awareness of modern spiritual degeneration, writing: "It is the same decay which is lamented in the Pope's Latin ode, which is confessed by the mullas of Islam, which is ancient history in Japan, …" (POET LORE 364) Elsewhere, speaking of Chinese literature, Barnitz says that he is "told by a friend" [emphasis mine] (POET LORE 363) of the undisturbed preeminence of Li-Tai-Po in Chinese letters. Clearly, Barnitz was getting direct information about the East, particularly Japan –possibly from a Japanese-speaking missionary who was open-minded enough to collaborate on verses published in a decadent-atheist collection of poems (and yet prudent enough to dissuade Barnitz from the inclusion of at least one risqué poem [i.e. "Danse Macabre"].)

The possibility that The Book of Jade was written at Harvard is further suggested by Barnitz's obituary, which states that Barnitz "has been at home, since leaving Harvard, doing literary work, …" –the obituary incorrectly giving the date of The Book of Jade's publication as 1900. It may be, then, that the obituary is confusing the date of The Book of Jade's composition with the date of its publication. At any rate, the "literary work" that Barnitz was doing at home could not have been The Book of Jade. This supposition is further confirmed by H.V.S.'s annotated comment that "The book was originally called The Book of Gold; then The Divan of Park Barnitz; finally The Book of Jade." The tentative title "The Divan of Park Barnitz" no doubt derives from such earlier Persian collections as The Divan of Hafiz (1489-1490), which was popular both with Orientalists as well as with aesthetes, including the decadent Bostonian patron Isabella Stewart Gardner, who displayed a manuscript of Hafiz's Divan in her museum collection. (GUIDE 52) Barnitz likewise refers to this Orientalist divan in his 1901 essay "The Art of the Future", significantly in the context of his discussion of the decadents and symbolists of Paris, where he writes, "An obvious exception to the statement that there is nothing new in Paris is the existence of that school who are not recognized at all by their recognized fraternity, who do not lecture at Harvard, and who, seen from my far-off Cantabrigian divan, seem to me the most delightful of contemporary French writers. I allude to the decadents, …." [emphasis mine](POET-LORE 361) And while the fact that this essay was written at Harvard does not prove that The Book of Jade itself was, it does show that decadent literature and French literary movements were a subject which Barnitz made the object of especial study while there: the same decadent literature and which Barnitz used as a model for The Book of Jade. Indeed, the final title of Barnitz's volume, "The Book of Jade", was perhaps based on Judith Gautier's Le Livre de Jade (1867), a book of adaptations from the Chinese which scholar Enid Starkie likens to the later prose poems of Rimbaud, and of which Barnitz would have been aware due to both his Orientalist and his French studies. This similarity of titles sometimes leads to some confusion, the University of California Library, for example, in its online version of The Book of Jade on the Internet Archives website (http://www.archive.org/details/bookofjade00gautiala), mistakenly attributing Barnitz's anonymous 1901 book of poems to Judith Gautier.

Something of Barnitz's life in Massachusetts can perhaps be gleaned from his poem "Fragments" –a title which suggests the modernist turn which Barnitz's writings might have taken had he not died so young. The abrupt beginning of the poem -already quoted above- which begins, like a Degas painting, or a Futurist canvas, in mid-motion- and in which Barnitz is confronted with a "flat-breasted wife with munched face/ And bestial litter as of rats or hogs;…" (BOJ 108), suggests perhaps a foray made by Barnitz into the "grimy alleys and byways" (SHAND-TUCCI 372) of Cambridge or Boston while still a student at Harvard –streets where, in the 1890's, those other Bostonian decadents: Ralph Adams Cram, Bertram Goodhue, Frederick Holland Day, and others, had groped their way in the dark just a few years before. The homosexual and decadent photographer Day eventually discovered the future mystical artist and writer Kahlil Gibran as a youth in just such a slum, Day quickly making the Arabian youth into a model for his Orientalist photographs. (SHAND-TUCCI 43) It would be intriguing to know whether or not Barnitz was either aware of, or acquainted with, Ralph Adams Cram, Louise Imogen Guiney, Thomas Meteyard, Richard Hovey, or other decadents associated with these elite Bostonian circles –circles which horror writer H.P. Lovecraft would later contrast with those of New York City in terms of their "actual artistic insight, vision, & devotion". (SLII 101).

It is known that architect Ralph Adams Cram -who was himself the anonymous author in 1892 of a decadent manifesto entitled The Decadent; or, The Gospel of Inaction(1893), and the author in 1895 of a landmark volume of absinthe-soaked horror stories entitled Spirits Black and White- would attend an informal lunch club which met every day in the Victoria Hotel in Boston, and whose attendees sometimes included Barnitz's Professor Charles Rockwell Lanman (SHAND-TUCCI 322) –the same professor who nominated the youthful Barnitz for corporate membership in the American Oriental Society. It is highly likely, however, that Barnitz –a Lutheran, a skeptic, and a nihilist- would have detested the medievalist, aesthetic, and Anglo-Catholic atmosphere which permeated the group surrounding Cram, Barnitz writing scathingly in 1901,

"Neither are we made glad by any return to that old belief in a millennium, nor by any revival of belief in the supernatural: it would be too stupid if humanity must go back again to that kind of thing. But science has changed all that. Our confidence and gladness depend upon nothing whatever outside ourselves nor upon any belief in anything: we are confident because we are confident; we are glad because we are glad. We have no desire to humble ourselves, nor to deny ourselves. We do not desire to return to Greece, nor to the Middle Ages, nor to the Cave Period. We are very tired of that mediaeval humiliation, of that howling for mercy and that crouching in the dust; we are very tired of disproved and shameless lies; …" (POET-LORE 364-65)

This "return" to "the Middle Ages" during the twentieth century, which Barnitz so deplores, would later be characteristic of such modernist figures as T.S. Eliot -whose taking "refuge in an antique orthodoxy", scholar Douglas Shand-Tucci relates to that earlier "love of lost causes" shared by Ralph Adams Cram. (SHANT-TUCCI 318)

This is not to say, however, that Barnitz did not have his "gods" –only that Barnitz's gods were pagan, and purely literary, Barnitz's "god of fiction" being "Holy Baudelaire" (BOJ 36), with whose suffering and "far-exalted state" he seems to have closely identified himself. (BOJ 36) Barnitz continues this affiliation of sorrow, in another sonnet, back to other "prophets" of the past— but rather than turning to religion like John Gray, Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson, Lord Alfred Douglas, Andre Raffalovich, Baron Corvo, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Villiers de l'Isle- Adam, Gerard Manley Hopkins, or Digby Mackworth Dolben (et al) -or even his own Reverend father- Barnitz instead identifies with these religions' various "Gods", Barnitz's Near Eastern and Asian expertise coming to the fore yet again as he successively identifies himself with such suffering and resurrected deities as Ashtoreth's beloved Tammuz, Osiris, and also Jesus. (BOJ 38)

In 1899, as a graduate student at age twenty-one, Barnitz received his A.M. After that, we find him back home with his parents and siblings at 18th street in Des Moines, where he is listed as a "student" in the 1900 Des Moines City Directory. During this time, at least until his father's synod-ordered vacation due to health problems in 1901, Park Barnitz was apparently alone with his mother and sisters at his Des Moines home much of the time, save for his regular visits to the local libraries, Barnitz's obituary describing how, "Mr. Barnitz … was a daily prominent figure at the libraries", and stating that "His tall, erect presence will be missed at the libraries and on the streets". As a weary Rev. Samuel Barnitz observes in an April or May letter in 1900, "From there [the Pacific Coast] I must go directly to Cincinnati, Ohio, without stopping at my precious home, so that it will be more than ten weeks before I get to Des Moines. Indeed, have only been at home three weeks, all put together, during this year of 1900." (PARSON 137)

Of Barnitz's friends and acquaintances of this time, we know nothing. According to Barnitz's obituary, his funeral services were officiated by "Rev. John A. Wirt, D.D., of St. John's Lutheran Church, pastor of the family, …assisted by Rev. Luther P. Ludden. A.M., of Grace
Evangelical Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, a devoted friend..." –the grammar of this sentence making it almost sound as if Ludden was Barnitz's "devoted friend", although it is most likely that Rev. Luther Payson Ludden, D.D. (1854-1915), who is described as a man of "sturdy physique and unconquerable energy", and whose career and characteristics mirror those of Samuel Barnitz in many ways, was a devoted friend of Barnitz's family, particularly his father, who no doubt became acquainted with Ludden during his missionary journeys out west.

Barnitz's obituary notice later says: "He has been at home, since leaving Harvard, doing literary work, and last year published a volume of poems, anonymously, which was spoken of as of unusual merit." [emphasis mine] This leads us to the question, When was The Book of Jade published? According to Barnitz's October 1901 obituary, The Book of Jade was published "last year" –which would place its date of publication in 1900. But The Book of Jade title page has a publication date of 1901.

Books about publisher William Doxey are of little help in resolving this matter -save in the picture they give of the dissolution and confusion which characterize Doxey's publications at around the time of his 1899 bankruptcy. Neither At the Sign of the Lark: William Doxey's Publishing Venture (1983) by Robert D. Harlan, nor other publishing reference works mentioning Doxey, mention either Park Barnitz or The Book of Jade. According to one source,

"Like so many small publishers, Doxey eventually began to have financial difficulties, and in 1899 he went into bankruptcy. He made a new start the following year, but by February 1901, he was out of business again. Leaving San Francisco, with nothing left but his copyrights on the [Lark] Classics, he came back east to Baltimore for a time, then to New York, but he was never able to start his own business again." (468)

This account is contradicted by Harlan's later biography of Doxey, however, which states that three later works were issued with Doxey's imprint in 1907. (HARLAN 38) The situation is further complicated by H.V.S.'s annotations in the Yale Book of Jade, in which he writes that "Mr. Barnitz died suddenly a few weeks after the appearance of his book" [emphasis mine] –thus suggesting that the book was published some time in the autumn of 1901, long after the February 1901 bankruptcy date given by the first source, above.

How Barnitz heard of publisher William Doxey (1841-1916) is unclear, but that he was the perfect publisher for just such a work is obvious. A California publisher of both limited and popular editions, Doxey was closely associated with the Omarian, Decadent, the macabre, and avant-garde movements –nor was he averse to publishing new or unknown authors. –Neither was Doxey as prudish, one thinks, as such Bostonian firms as Copeland and Day –publishers of works by Cram, Wilde, and Beardsley- would have been, with Barnitz's gruesome and "blasphemous" material, especially in the wake of the Wilde trials.

Originally a bookseller, opening his own bookshop in 1881, Doxey later went into publishing, his best publications, it is said, appearing in the 1890's. Doxey's

"publishing began as a commendable act of generosity in helping poor, but deserving young authors get into print. This kind of publishing was unprofitable, but the authors certainly had no cause to complain. Not only were they published, but the books were done in an attractive format, well designed, and sometimes became (when it was too late to do the authors any good) valuable rare books." (468)

According to Robert D. Harlan, some said that Doxey was "more a Bohemian and a bookman than a businessman", with a wife who "had extravagant tastes." (HARLAN 37) Robert D. Harlan writes says elsewhere:

"His San Francisco publishing program achieved artistic, if
not financial, success, for it produced some of the early and
interesting examples of fine bookmaking for which San Francisco
is so justly renowned, and it received favorable critical comment
in the eastern United States and abroad. It also afforded some
talented young authors and artists the opportunity to exhibit
their skills to an international audience and, as a result, to
launch their own impressive careers"
     (HARLAN 11)

Earlier books published by Doxey include The Voice in the Valley by Yone Noguchi, the well-known Japanese poet and friend of Joaquin Miller; Tales of Languedoc (1896) by Professor Samuel J. Brun, with forty illustrations by Ernest Peixotto; In the Sanctuary by A. Van Der Naillen, a Theosophical novel about a European who goes to Tibet where he becomes a Magus –a story about which, "not surprisingly, reviewers were puzzled" (HARLAN 68); and An Itinerant House & other stories by Emma Frances Dawson, a woman who was "regarded by admirers as the descendent of Edgar Allan Poe, by way of Ambrose Bierce, who in turn referred to her as 'Hugo's Sister' (testimonial in The Lark, No. 23)." (HARLAN 69) Doxey's most popular works appear to have been a popular edition of Fitzgerald's The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, of which, according to Harlan, "at least 10,000 copies were printed", and his periodical series The Lark, which took its name from the carved wooden sign which hung outside Doxey's shops. In a letter to Doxey included within the Yale copy of The Book of Jade, Barnitz writes, "Sir—/ I have the impression of having seen somewhere a metrical translation of Les Trophees of Heredia, with the name of your firm on the title page. Kindly let me know if this is so, and if so whether the book is yet to be had," a statement which clearly shows that Barnitz was previously aware of Doxey's avant-garde publishing programme, and that he no doubt saw Doxey's "At the Sign of the Lark" as a publishing house which would be amicable to the type of poetry which he had written. (The Sonnets of Jose-Maria de Heredia was issued by Doxey in 1897, in a translation from the French by Edward Robeson Taylor in an edition of 550 copies.)

By 1899, however, Doxey was on the verge of bankruptcy. Given a reprieve by his eastern printers, Doxey implemented a "new policy," consisting of a "modest publication program" with a concentration on specialization, special printings, and fine bindings. (HARLAN 35) The listing of books and authors published by Doxey after 1900 in Robert D. Harlan's At the Sign of the Lark is incomplete: it does not list any books by David Park Barnitz, The Book of Jade, and indeed only mentions two New York City volumes: Shakespeare's Sonnets, and a limited edition Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam with "Beardsleyesque" artwork by Florence Lundborg, intended to be Doxey's "magnum opus". (HARLAN 36-7) Although not listed by any noteworthy bibliographers or literary critics, and published near the bitter end of Doxey's career as a publisher, The Book of Jade is a pivotal volume in the history of the American avant-garde and in the literature of the macabre -a book which has since gone on to become a "cult" volume amongst discriminating collectors and booksellers (like Richard S. Wormser). This fact, however, has long been obscured by the gradual dissolution of Doxey's own personal affairs, giving rise to ideas like those expressed by Gelet Burgess, co-originator of Doxey's periodical The Lark, who later suggested that Doxey's failure was due to his poor material, which "was not good enough." (HARLAN 38)

As poet Joseph Payne Brennan described it a 1959 article on Barnitz, "The cover of the book carries the title and a line drawing, done in red and orange yellow on a black background, of a long-haired figure, probably male, partially wrapped in a great flowing cloak or shroud and carrying a sword", while "The title page carries the volume's title over an ornate cut depicting what is presumably a mermaid among fish." (BRENNAN 17) In his letter to William Doxey preserved in the Yale edition of The Book of Jade, Barnitz writes: "I have received the twelve copies of my book and I have to say that I am very much pleased with the care you have given to its printing, and with the result. The result is entirely admirable, the square form, the title-page, and the cover are particularly novel and happy."

The Book of Jade is dedicated "To the memory Charles Baudelaire," Baudelaire being invoked in both the opening and the ending dedications, as well as in some of the verses in between. The book itself is divided into two parts, the first part dealing generally with love and female beauty, the second dealing with death, anguish, madness and corpses, some of them with an almost Elizabethan, Websterian tone. Barnitz's "Sonnet of the Instruments of Death", for example, somewhat resembles Webster's soliloquy from The Duchess of Malfi:

"What would it pleasure me to have my throat cut
With diamonds? Or to be smothered
With cassia? Or to be shot to death with pearls?
I know death hath 10,000 several doors
For men to take their exits..."

In Barnitz's version, however all of the "Instruments of Death" are subverted and inverted aspects of the regalia used by his father and other Lutheran clergy: "communicants", "purple-robes", "gold volumes" (Bibles given as gifts), "crucifixes", "sacristies" (a repository for the priesthood's vestments), "baptismal waters", and "ciboriums" (a canopy raised over the high altar, and a receptacle for the reservation of the Eucharist)—the poem functioning as an outright attack on Lutheran notions of salvation, before finally concluding: "All these, brave souls, are of one sanctity;/ All ways are good whereby ye pass to God." (BOJ 85) Clearly, Barnitz was the equal of his father in spouting the imagery of salvation, albeit in a purely negative sense.

In his obituary, it states that "Mr. Barnitz …detested shams of any kind, and in some of his criticisms would have been regarded severe." In The Book of Jade, this disposition finds expression in such epic chants as "Prayer/In Time of Plague", in which the poet calls upon "Holy Pestilence" (much in the same way that he speaks, elsewhere, of "Holy Baudelaire" [BOJ 36]) to " come on the cities, come and strike down,..." (BOJ 80) In "Mad Sonnet", Barnitz calls the masses of mankind "dead things that crowd into my sight" (BOJ 75), (an idea which will later be echoed in the works of H. P. Lovecraft, who will transform the Hogarthian crowds of immigrants of New York City into the decayed and fish-like "hybrid" masses of Innsmouth), while the sun itself Barnitz describes as a "lidless Eye/ That comes and stares at me, O God of light!"

Barnitz's intellectually-based misanthropy perhaps reaches its pinnacle in "Hegel", a poem of four lines, in which Barnitz describes his own despairing loneliness, and then seemingly assuages it by reading the German philosopher Hegel: not, however, because Hegel's "Philosophy of Right" gives the poet hope, but rather because Hegel was even more blind and deluded than himself:

"Because my hope is dead, my heart a stone,
I read the words that Hegel once did write—
An idiot gibbering in the dark alone—
Till on my heart and vision fell the night."
[emphases mine]
     (BOJ 87)

(Barnitz will later use this word, "idiot", used here to describe Hegel, to describe God himself in his long poem, "Fragments".) For Hegel, as Will Durant puts it, "God is the system of relationships in which all things move and have their being and their significance." (DURANT 224) Although "evil" exists for Hegel, it is all to the eventual and ultimate good, since they are, as Durant explains, "in wisdom's perspective, stages to fulfillment" in a series of dialectic oppositions. "'The history of the world is not the theatre of happiness;'" Hegel says, "'periods of happiness are blank pages in it, for they are periods of harmony'" (DURANT 224-25) with opposing periods of dissonance. Barnitz, however, in his rejection of the divine supernaturalism of his father's Lutheranism, goes even so far as to mock the secularized faith in divine providence hypothesized by Hegel. For Barnitz, life has no meaning: although he finds condolence and amusement in Hegel's "gibbering" nonsense. (Note, too, Barnitz's reference to his heart in relation to the falling of "night", Barnitz later and unexpectedly succumbing to a congenital heart ailment.)

In many ways, indeed, Barnitz seemed to predict his early death in his poems. As poet Joseph Payne Brennan observed, "Did Barnitz actually experience premonitions of an early death? It seems not unlikely." (BRENNAN 16) Mark Valentine, in his 1998 introduction to the Durtro Press edition of The Book of Jade, concurs, writing, "…we must suppose that a consciousness of the imminence of death was ever in the poet's thoughts as he wrote the volume; that he meant it to outlive him, to stand as his sole summation of the strong, sardonic truths he had discovered for himself." In his poem "Harvard", Barnitz writes: "Let us step into the great world ere long/ We shall be very grand in the great world" –Barnitz leaving it unclear whether by "Great world" he means the select world of America's Ivy-League elite, or rather the world of the dead; indeed, as we shall see, for Barnitz, the world of the dead and the world of society were often confused, and often synonymous. In "Song of Golden Youth" he writes: "Allah akbar! O great world, o golden tower'd cities gay,/Into all your gates with laughter and roses enter I!" He writes in "Envoi": "Wait no longer, O heart, O heart that art strong, for before thee/Lieth the pomp of the great high world." [emphasis mine] (BOJ 118) As we know, Barnitz's heart was not at all strong –a fact which makes it doubly ironic that Barnitz's obituary in the Lutheran church papers would speak of the misanthropic Barnitz as being "a noble hearted man."

Like his brother in pessimism, melancholy, and atheism, James
Thomson (B.V.), Barnitz's view in some of the poems is bleak. Thomson, however, unlike Barnitz -although he saw personally life as ultimately pointless- never espoused such an active and perverse misanthropy as Barnitz does in The Book of Jade. In "The Grave", Barnitz absurdly uses Poe's onomatopoeia to cement the finality of his own demise, writing, "I am full of worms and rotten utterly, /Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead dead…" (BOJ 92) In Barnitz's "Rondeau", life is "A little darkness, a little light,/Sorrow and gladness, a weary mass,..." (BOJ 38) In "Mad Sonnet" the world is a "dead blur" (BOJ 75). The "kings" and "prophets" of the world are seen as "puppets" in a "puppet show". (BOJ 109 & 110) The populations of the earth are "dead corpses" (BOJ 97), "blatant dead that howl and scream and roar" (BOJ 98). In the poem "Mummy", the poet is speaking to a mummy, describing the people of the earth as being like him, mummies –"Green mummies that walk above thy walled gloom,/ Unripen'd mummies..."(BOJ 94) The world's people, meanwhile, speak with "pesty breath" "Of Love, and Honour, and great Victory" (BOJ 95)—the very words which no doubt figured so prominently in the sermons of his father and those of his father's colleagues: the same pious, submissions Lutherans who collected sizeable donations to ensure eventual Christian domination over the Earth (while at the same time setting aside enough money to send their sons to Harvard.) Elsewhere, in his essay "The Art of the Future", Barnitz will express the same ideas, albeit in less morbid terms, observing wearily, "…we are very tired of disproved and shameless lies; we are tired of patriotism, of legality, and of the betise of false morality; we are tired of so many things!" (POET LORE 365)

Perhaps not surprisingly, there are thus several poems in The Book of Jade in which the poet hopes for the end of the world, which will then become Death's kingdom. In "Consolation", the poet finds relief from sorrow in the end of the world: "...I know that earth shall be for death a throne, / And evermore within their burials deep/ The banded nations of the earth shall sleep, ..." (BOJ 47) In "Mankind", the poet finally asks: "...How long, O God, shall these dead corpses rave?/ When shall the earth be clean of humankind?/ When shall the sky cease to behold this death?"(BOJ 97) And in "The Defilers", he cries: "...When shall the grave the last dead carcass bind?/ O shameless humankind! O dead! O dead!/ When shall your rottenness be buried?" (BOJ 98)

One can perhaps see a similarity between these attitudes toward death and that of the poet Thomas Lovell Beddoes, in such poems as Beddoes's chant to Satan, his "By my hatred swear I...," his visions of the end of the world, and his explorations of the kingdom of Death in his Death's Jest Book. The utmost bounds of paradox which Barnitz explores in The Book of Jade, however, owe more to Barnitz's Harvard Asian Studies than to Beddoes -Barnitz, like Eliot after him, fully conversant with the Hindu and Buddhist ideas of "Maya", and the illusory nature of existence. In "Ennui" Barnitz writes: "Naught really is; all things are very old, ..." Everything wearies him, including himself: "Myself wearieth me." Beddoes' fictional world is Elizabethan, satirical, while Barnitz's is abstract, philosophical, theological.

Barnitz's philosophy in The Book of Jade, that of the futility
of all religions, all philosophies, all politics, and in fact all
earthly endeavors closely resembles that expressed in the poetry of Mallarme, as well as Philippe Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Axel (1890). In that play, Axel and his true love Sara, both of them superhumanly handsome, unfathomly wealthy, clever, strong and skillful, and potentially both very powerful, kill themselves rather than become part of "the lies of the external world", saying: "May the human race, finally free of its vain imaginings, vain despairs, and all the lies that dazzle eyes which are made to grow dim— no longer willing to play the game of solving this bleak riddle —yes, may it end, slipping away unconcerned, like us, without so much as bidding you (the earth) farewell." (de l'ISLE-ADAM 189) In his description of the world and the vanity and loathsomeness of its glories, Axel sounds very much like Barnitz:

"Just now, you were speaking of Bagdad, Palmyra, and
where else? —Jerusalem. If you but knew what a heap of
uninhabitable stones, what a barren and burning soil, what
loathesome beasts those paltry villages in reality are, though
they appear to you all aglow with memories, far off in that
Orient which you carry within yourself! And what tiresome
sadness the mere sight of them would cause you!..."
     (de l'ISLE- ADAM 184)

But the feelings of Barnitz, though similar to those of Axel, are not the same, as Barnitz's essay "The Art of the Future" clearly demonstrates. Axel feels that imagining is enough, is far better than the external world, and that in death the "infinite" will suffice. Axel and Sara then kill themselves, saying, like Gods: "Now, since the infinite alone is not a lie, let us —-forgetful of the rest of man's woes— rise into our one and the same Infinite!" Axel and Sara believe, then, that they will be together in eternity, which will be far superior to the world. De l'Isle Adam, the author, and no doubt many of his audience, too, which included such notables as Yeats and Maud Gonne, and contemporaries like Maeterlinck and Remy de Gourmont, thought that this attitude of renunciation was the most modern —-this attitude of

"disillusion and weariness which we recognize as characteristic of the
eighties and nineties [which] were in reality the aspects of a
philosophy...implicit in the writings of the Symbolists..."
     (WILSON 285)

But Barnitz's attitude of negation is the death of these attitudes: the pinnacle that one reaches before grasping the modern.
de l'Isle-Adam thought that life, and, by extension, that art could go no further, and that therefore renunciation was the only act that could possibly have any meaning any longer. Barnitz, on the other hand, renounces everything—- but then renounces renunciation, paradoxically
finding peace in nothing. Barnitz was quite literally burning his bridges behind him, bridges which led to an abyss in front of him. For Barnitz saw the future as an abrupt break with the past. Unlike de l'Isle-Adam, who saw nothing further as being possible, Barnitz saw in the abyss the beginning of something entirely different. Tellingly, the Catholic de l'Isle-Adam was planning, right before his death, to alter the ending of Axel to an avowal of Christian faith, de l'Isle-Adam wanting to "conform to the orthodox doctrines of the church."
(GUICHARNAUD 197) Barnitz would no doubt have seen this as an example of how a faith in infinity, as shown by the sacrificial deaths at the end of Axel, reflect a return to the old mythologies. As the paradoxical last line of Barnitz's poem "Fragments" makes clear, however, Barnitz's intention was not to recapitulate the mistakes of old faiths, but rather to reflect his own rupture with the past, and his vision of the ungraspable conundrum which Barnitz faces: the future.

We do not yet know the specific reactions The Book of Jade
enjoyed among the reading public, although volumes in libraries across the United States, including the New York Public Library, the Harris Collection of John Hay Library at Brown University, The Yale Beinecke Library, and the University of California Library -as well as the book's possession by two noted macabre poets, Donald Wandrei (SMITH 78) and Joseph Payne Brennan, as well as well-known antiquarian bookseller Richard S. Wormser- show that its limited edition of 600 copies was at least well-distributed. (One wonders what happened to the twelve complimentary copies of the book sent to Barnitz by William Doxey.) Certainly, however, the all-encompassing silence which quickly surrounded both Barnitz and his volume, in both the realms of literary criticism and literary history, is suggestive of what must have been the general reaction. Clearly, writers such as Barnitz: witty, erudite, absolutist, uncompromising, clear-sighted, classical and radical at the same time, as anti-commercial as he is anti-Christian, have no place in orthodox histories of American literature.

Architectural historian and writer Douglass Shand-Tucci, the author of The Art of Scandal, a biography of Boston art patron Isabella Stewart Gardner, told me in telephone conversation that The Book of Jade was once mentioned in a review in an issue of the 1890's Harvard periodical The Chap-Book, but I have not yet undertaken a search of The Chap-Book to locate it. In an undated letter bound within the Yale Book of Jade, Barnitz writes to Doxey, "I shall be glad to hear from you whenever desirable of the impression made by the book; but I do not care to subscribe to a clipping agency, as I shall see all the magazines, and I do not want to see the newspapers." -Barnitz no doubt referring here to the magazines which he viewed daily in the Des Moines libraries, Barnitz's phrase "as I shall see all the magazines" echoing similar jaded and Mallarmean phrases throughout The Book of Jade, such as:

"With all of the sciences I am acquainted,
Alas! I know quite all the languages,
All the philosophies.
Alas! and all the pictures that are painted,
And all the palac'd captitals that be
Have wearied me."
     (BOJ 15)

From Barnitz's evasive obituary, we do know that The Book of Jade (not mentioned by name in Barnitz's obituary) "was spoken of as of unusual merit," which at least bespeaks of some wide comment or discussion. H.P. Lovecraft, writing thirty-two years later, perhaps gives some evidence of the tenor of these reactions in a remarkable letter in Volume IV of his Selected Letters. Reminiscing about the world of his childhood, Lovecraft gives wide ranging and ironic snatches of conversation from the turn of the century, including: "...and who could have written that nasty, cynical Book of Jade? –internal evidence indicates a Harvard student" (LOVECRAFT 66)(internal evidence, no doubt, such as the poem "Harvard", previously cited) Conceding the fact that Lovecraft lived mainly in the world of the early 1900's and felt deeply that everything after that time was somehow unreal, this tidbit gives a hint at some vocal discussion of Barnitz's work –although it could just as easily reflect Donald Wandrei's recent enthusiasm for the work at the time of his 1932 visit with Lovecraft, Lovecraft apparently never having made reference to The Book of Jade before Wandrei's introduction to him of the volume.
One wonders, too, what Barnitz's family –his mother, his reverend father, his "devoted" sisters- thought of his poems: referred to guardedly in obituary as being "of unusual merit". That his father was aware of his book is perhaps revealed unconsciously by Samuel Barnitz's repeated references to weariness and exhaustion in his later letters and church correspondence: references which have their perfect mirror in Barnitz's Baudelairean references to "Ennui" and "weariness" in his poems. In 1900, for instance, we have Rev. Samuel Barnitz writing to wealthy benefactor and voluminous correspondent Emma Stork of Philadelphia, "To-day I am a little weary, and have a jaded feeling, and in a little while will go out among the flowers…" –Samuel going on, however, to compare the beauteous California oasis around him to "the descriptions of the Garden of Eden", the "flowers and beauty" around him reminding him of the "beauty of our Father's handiwork." (PARSON 139) -Or perhaps the opposite is true, and Park Barnitz was unconsciously reflecting in his verse the weariness of that non-decadent priest, his father, as he slowly and inevitably worked himself to the bone.

As for Barnitz's own opinion of his poems, we have adequate testimony of his own egoistic high regard for his verse in both his later essay "The Art of the Future", as well as in The Book of Jade itself, whose "paltry rhymes, which loftier shall pursue/ Than aught America of high or great/ Hath seen since first began her world-wide state, …"(BOJ 129) In his "Prelude", moreover, Barnitz observes, as we have seen: "I, in sweet golden rhyme.../ ...Wrote masterpieces starry-beautiful." (BOJ 13) Elsewhere, discussing the Parisian decadent movements, Barnitz observes: "…Were it not better to write a masterpiece one's self rather than to review things which are not masterpieces, and which consume time better spent with women and wine?… (…)…the important thing is not to belong to a school, but to produce a masterpiece." (POET-LORE 363)

In Barnitz's letter to Doxey in the Yale copy of The Book of Jade, he warns Doxey that "It is not necessary to remind you that I wish my
anonymity strictly preserved for the present" –an attitude which perhaps reflects that climate of fear, or at least of caution, which affected literature in the period during, and for a long while after, the Wilde trials on both sides of the Atlantic -Douglas Shand-Tucci, in his Boston Bohemia, describing how this cautious prudence was affected by authors even before Wilde's trial. Ralph Adams Cram's friends, for example, attempted to distance themselves from his anonymous 1892 volume The Decadent: Frederick Holland Day (The Decadent's publisher, no less!) writing in 1893 that Cram "will probably not put his name to it, but no persuasion of Herbert's or mine has had the least effect to leave it in M.S. It will appear most 'queer' before Christmas" (SHAND-TUCCI 368), and Louise Imogen Guiney writing to Cram in 1894, with feminine squeamishness, "I don't believe I ever told you how 'The Decadent' stuck in my throat. I am glad I made up my mind about you before I read that." (SHAND-TUCCI 366)

Attribution of the anonymous The Book of Jade to Barnitz by the reading public would have been facilitated by his other writings during 1901, Barnitz having two poems published in the Overland Monthly under his own name. The Overland was a magazine which featured many "up and coming writers" of the time period, such as Jack London, Barnitz's "After-Life" appearing in the January 1, 1901 issue, and "To the Mona Lisa of Da Vinci" in the March 1, 1901 issue. The first, an epitaph-like poem, seems to predict Barnitz's approaching death, Barnitz writing, "My heart is still at last, mine eyes no more/ Their lids unclose;/ I lie low in the house without a door;…" (emphasis mine) (OVERLAND 595) Significantly, again, Barnitz signals his death with reference to his heart –both a truism and a common expression, to be sure, but also an ominous one, given Barnitz's apparent heart-condition. The title, meanwhile, would seem to derive, again, from Barnitz's Orientalist and Persian readings, specifically quatrain LXXI in the later editions of Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which begins, "I sent my soul through the Invisible,/ Some letter of that After-Life to spell;…"

The second poem from the Overland is actually a re-titled poem from The Book of Jade, where on page forty-three it is entitled "Madonna". Perhaps the publishers of Overland thought it sacrilegious to refer to the Madonna by saying: "...And as with frankincense and tropic myrrh—/ Her face is fragrant with utter woe;…", etc. Perhaps, however, in re-titling the poem, however, Barnitz was taking a cue here from English arch-aesthete Walter Pater, whose decadent description of the Mona Lisa in the 1880's was very similar. (William Butler Yeats would later become dubious about Pater's influence on his peers, wondering whether Pater's "'attitude of mind'" "'had not caused the disaster of my friends.'" [McCORMACK 36])

Interestingly, according to Barnitz's obituary, "A second edition [of The Book of Jade] was about to be issued at the time of his death, which the publishers desired should be an autographed edition", which suggests that Doxey was still active as publisher as late as October 1901 -though perhaps the only author in his roster was Barnitz. It may be, then, that Barnitz's unexpected death extinguished not only his own young life, but also Doxey's publishing enterprise, as well.

Just a few months before Park Barnitz's sudden death, his father celebrated, on June 1, 1901, the twentieth anniversary of his election to be Western Secretary. The event was held at St. John's Lutheran Church on a Saturday night, and although, according to biographer Rev. Parson, the function was attended by "Dr. and Mrs. Barnitz, Dr. and Mrs. J. A. Wirt, Dr. J. A. Clutz" (PARSON 118), and other friends and dignitaries, Park Barnitz is conspicuous by his absence. (Rev. Wirt was shortly to preside over the funeral ceremonies for both father and son.) As biographer Parson writes, "As the papers of the city, reporting the occasion fully, declared it –'TO-DAY BELONGS TO BARNITZ.'" (PARSON 121) It was in 1901, too, however, that Rev. Samuel Barnitz began to show the debilitating effects of what was diagnosed as Bright's Disease, a Dr. Leisenring of San Diego suggesting that Rev. Samuel Barnitz be allowed three months leave from his duties as Western Secretary to recuperate, after which time Samuel was attended to at his home by "his faithful and patient wife", denying visits "to all but a few intimate friends." (PARSON 115)

Then, in July, 1901, Park Barnitz's visionary essay "The Art of
the Future" was published in Poet-Lore magazine, this essay, too, being signed "Park Barnitz". In it we find the same turns of phrase, the same wearied, languorous expressions as in The Book of Jade; except that here
the "languor" and "weariness" of decadence from his poems are used to describe the "impasse" in art, which Barnitz sees as part of a worldwide religious, artistic, and literary decay, and which constitutes what we would now recognize as an "abyss" between decadence and modernism. Barnitz's poem "Envoi At the End of the Century" from The Book of Jade could easily fit into this essay. (Interestingly, H. P. Lovecraft will later use this same "device" of decadence, in the form of "languid" sculptors like Henry Wilcox in "The Call of Cthulhu", and degenerate painters like Richard Pickman in "Pickman's Model", as symbols within a larger Spenglerian polemic criticizing Western societal and racial decay. The traditionalist Lovecraft, however, will contrast his own grudging acceptance of artistic decadence, with his contrasting and outward opposition to political and social decay, of which artistic decadence was but an inevitable symptom.)

Barnitz's message, therefore, in The Book of Jade, however morbid, is not doom; rather it is the abyss, out of which the "new" will be born –Barnitz being both the messenger and the symbol of this change, of which "Mallarme wrote: 'the whole age is full of the trembling of the veil of the temple,'" Yeats copying the phrase into his journal. (CARDOZO 116) Indeed, even in 1901, Barnitz is able to foresee and describe nearly all of the most significant aspects of modernist artistic movements and literary development, whether it be the tendency toward greater abstraction, along with a concomitant technical imperfection in the visual arts ("The fact most obvious in all the arts at the end of the century is the breaking up of the boundaries which distinguish them from one another. The second and equally obvious fact is that the exponents of this breaking up, who number all the important exponents of art at all are none of them of the first technical importance" [POET-LORE 357]); or the importance of both Richard Strauss and Germany to later musical development, leading to the later growth of expressionist dissonance in the works of such composers as Berg and Webern (Strauss, Barnitz writes, "does not mind filling the earth with cacophonies, if he can manage at the same time to express a few ideas." [emphasis mine] [POET-LORE 358]). Indeed, as musical historians John C. and Dorothy L. Crawford later observe, "Alban Berg was one of the many young people 'whose only baggage was a piano score' of [Strauss's] Salome when he arrived in Graz to attend its first performance in Austria in 1906" (CRAWFORD 34), Strauss' use of dissonant "chromatic movements at two differing speeds" in Salome later providing "a model for famous passages in Schoenberg's Erwartung and Berg's Wozzeck." (CRAWFORD 32) Barnitz's earlier statement, meanwhile, regarding the "breaking up of the boundaries" in the arts, would later be echoed by Wassily Kandinsky in 1912, who wrote of "'A great revolution, the displacement of the center of gravity in art, literature, and music. Diversity of forms, the constructive, compositional character of these forms; an intensive turn to inner nature.'" (CRUNDEN 320) Later, in 1913, Robert Crunden notes, Kandinsky observed how "'various arts of today learn from each other and often resemble each other'" (CRUNDEN 323) –something which Barnitz had foreseen over a decade earlier.

Passing on to the subject of literature, Barnitz significantly finds his "one idol in the person of Mr. Henry James, who long ago made delicacy sublime, and who continues—in writings continually more subtile, more wonderful, and more unknown— to be our one writer of perfection. The other writers of English have no certainty of style at all." (POET LORE 360) As Robert M. Crunden observes in his study American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, "The last three completed novels" by Henry James in the 1890's "were landmarks on the path to an American modernism" –works which, Crunden writes, "fused the artistic attitudes which Henry had been developing with the philosophical bias of William [James]" (CRUNDEN 72-3) –the latter of whom was, as we have seen, one of Barnitz's professors.

Speaking of France, meanwhile –and echoing the tone of his own Book of Jade, significantly, as he does so- Barnitz laments: "And one wonders if it is worth while to have produced so much ennui and to have gone such a little way". (POET LORE 360) Barnitz's then goes on to discuss the French decadents, and in doing so provides an interesting clue as to why he chose their school as an idiom worthy of emulation, writing, "An obvious exception to the statement that there is nothing new in Paris is the existence of that school who are not recognized at all by their recognized fraternity,… I allude to the decadents, to the symbolists, to the hydropaths, to the trombonists, to M. Gustave Kahn, to M. Jean Moreas, and the one hundred poets of Paris." [emphasis mine](POET LORE 361) Here is the clue as to why Barnitz chose the decadents as his model –the decadents, and the decadents alone, being "An obvious exception to the statement that there is nothing new…" The decadents, in addition to typifying and embodying the decay which Barnitz saw in all of the religions, philosophies, and arts, were also the only aesthetic advanced enough to describe it. As Douglas Shand-Tucci and others have later observed (SHANT-TUCCI 428), there is a point at which decadence, despite its apparent archaisism to our eyes, becomes indistinguishable from the modern –and it was this incipient modernism which the unrelieved bleakness of The Book of Jade's poems attempts to convey.5

After going on to consider, each in its turn, the rest of world literature and finding nothing but decay, stagnation, or triviality, Barnitz concludes (his Classical and Orientalist background coming to the fore as he does so): "…there is a commercial dulness and petty triviality about fin-de-siecle art which must make a person who is at home with Pindaros and Aiskulos ask himself whether it be worth while to review it at all." (POET LORE 363) Still, Barnitz writes, he believes that "The depressed conditions of art in all its branches seem to point with unmistakable finger, like the paling stars of morning, to a new future and to a great dawn. It is certain that the art of the future will be, from all the standards of the past, a vast change, and a regeneration; and in this new youth, if any nation more than the whole earth is to be distinguished, it is certain that nation shall be America." (POET LORE 365)

And although poet Joseph Payne Brennan supposed, in his 1959 essay on Park Barnitz and The Book of Jade, that Barnitz "may have respected Whitman, but the native literary soil of his age must have seemed stony and infertile" (BRENNAN 17), in truth Barnitz looked upon Whitman as a great fertilizing force in American life and letters. "The one man belonging no more to America than to the world, who has announced the future with a great voice," Barnitz writes, "is Whitman; and in him, with colossal roughness and colossal eloquence, America speaks. He is our Homer and our prophet. He has, as it were, foretold, in its height and its breadth, our music, our art, and our literature." (BOJ 17) The essay ends with Barnitz quoting Whitman himself, "'that the strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.'" (POET LORE 365)

But Barnitz never lived to sing these songs, or to see his predictions come true. Barnitz typifies everything about the turn of the 19th century in this thing also: what Holbrook Jackson, in his 1913 book The Eighteen Nineties, described as those "strange and bizarre artists who lived tragic lives and made tragic end of their lives" (JACKSON 71) -"mad priests" who died before and yet predicted the ascendancy of the modern. Barnitz died on October 10, 1901, at his home, from a heart attack. According to Barnitz's obituary:

"Young Barnitz has been affected with enlargement of the heart, but the family had no idea of his condition being serious. He has been unusually well this autumn, up to last Saturday night when he complained of severe pain. Tuesday he was much better and Wednesday feeling so well that he told his mother to accompany Dr. Barnitz to the synod and missionary convention at Iowa City. Wednesday evening he read for several hours, and Thursday breakfasted and lunched with his sisters, seemingly quite better. After lunch he decided to rest, but after reaching the second story fell and in an instant life was extinct. Medical aid was summoned at once, but to no avail.

(…) …Mr. Barnitz was devoted to his parents, sisters, and brother, and was what is often termed a home boy. The family are bowed down with grief, but know the source of comfort.
The funeral took place from his home on Eighteenth Street, Tuesday afternoon. Rev. John A. Wirt, D.D., of St. John's Lutheran Church, pastor of the family, conducted the services, assisted by Rev. Luther P. Ludden. A.M., of Grace Evangelical Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, a devoted
friend...(...)...The rendering of the chants and hymns was very beautiful, clear, and effective. Everything was plain and simple in taste; display and ostentation being scrupulously avoided. The deceased was dressed in the student's gown of the degree of A.M., the cap being by his side. Vases of autumn leaves, of which he was very fond, were placed about the parlor, and a bunch of chrysanthemums on the lid of the plain, cloth-covered casket. The service was that of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, rendered in full. There was no sermon or address. The
internment was private, an hour after the public services."

In "Sombre Sonnet", from The Book of Jade, we catch a glimpse of Barnitz's love for "autumn leaves", Barnitz writing: "I love all sombre and autumnal things,/ Regal and mournful and funereal, …" (BOJ 23) Ironically, just a few months after the above funeral, Rev. Ludden was likewise to be a pallbearer at Rev. Samuel Barnitz's funeral own- Ludden later being selected after the death of Samuel Barnitz to be Samuel's replacement as the Western Field Secretary for the Board of Home Missions.
There was a notice regarding Barnitz's death the obituary listings for the 1902 Proceedings of the American Oriental Society. It reads: "Finally, your secretary has to report the names of members of the society who have died since the last meeting: (...) Corporate members (...) Mr. David P. Barnitz, Des Moines, Iowa (...) Professor Lanman (spoke) on Dr. Rice and Mr. Barnitz." (MOORE 363)

Barnitz's death was also noted in the Proceedings of the Forty-First Convention of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church(1903), which notes that

"...a number of homes have been visited by sickness and
shadowed by death.

"A few months after the convention at Des Moines, Iowa,
on October 10th, 1901, David Park, the oldest son of our Western
Secretary, Dr. Samuel Barnitz, was suddenly called to his eternal
rest, at the age of twenty-four years. The bereavement was a
very sore one, especially so to the father, whose health was
somewhat impaired at the time, and called forth the warmest
sympathy of the many friends of the afflicted family."
     (PROCEEDINGS 136)

Rev. Samuel Barnitz's pastor and associate, Rev. J. Wirt, confirmed this in his funeral oration at the time of Rev. Samuel Barnitz's death, saying, "'From the meeting of the General Synod in Des Moines a decline in Dr. Barnitz's health was quite noticeable. The sudden death of his eldest son was a severe shock. From this time the dissolution of his earthly house was perceptible.'" (PARSON 132)

IV. Aftermath

Circumstance was not kind to Barnitz's family after his death.
Rev. Samuel Barnitz died a year after his son, after obtaining an honorary degree Doctor of Divinity from Carthage College. According to Dr. G G. Burnett, "When Dr. Barnitz was offered the degree of D.D., he hesitated a long time before accepting it. He felt the degree should be earned by hard study, and not received as a compliment from the institution rendering it, but the urgent request of friends, as well as the importance of the position he filled as Western Secretary, finally induced him to consent to its acceptance." (PARSON 114)
During Samuel's final visit to California, during which his wife accompanied him, "The suffering he endured during the effort [of giving a sermon] was painfully apparent." Later, in May 1902, Samuel Barnitz gave his last sermon in Boulder, Colorado,

"so weak in body that he could hardly stand,… (…) It was a most pathetic service. It was the sacred sadness such as the disciples had when Christ told of his departure… (…) His face lighted with more than earthly light, and his voice, trembling with bodily weakness, told the truth as strongly as thunder tells the lightning's way… (…) As he went away, one said, 'We will never see Dr. Barnitz again.' Another said, 'I wonder if he can reach home?'" (PARSON 122-23)

Three weeks before his death, Samuel Barnitz took out an ad in his friend Dr. William Rosenstegel's German church paper, the Zions-Bote, in which he reported his "condition as very little improved by my California trip, and am now ordered by my physicians and Board to remain at home for absolute rest." (PARSON 108) He eventually died at his home at 8 A.M., June 12, 1902 (PARSON 172), "surrounded by his beloved family". (PARSON 199) As biographer Parson observes, "The memorial resolutions, tributes by synods, conferences and missionary societies, in memory of Dr. Barnitz would fill a large volume." (PARSON 180) According to Mrs. S. F. Breckenridge, "…on the day of his death the Executive Committee had just finished reading the report of his late visit to California, when the message came, 'Dr. Barnitz is dead.' This was his final report. Think you, there was not a pause, a silent weeping?'" (PARSON 184) The Proceedings of the Forty-First Convention of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church(1903)notes:

"…He was possessed of an unusual faculty for stimulating interest and arousing enthusiasm in behalf of the cause he represented. His commanding presence was the fit expansion of his large heart and generous sympathies. His trumpet-like voice was the adequate instrument of an enthusiastic advocate and intrepid leader. He made the church ring with the note of his appeals, and he made his place larger and mightier by the vigor and energy with which he filled it. His freshness of speech, his attractive mode of address, his courage and hope amid discouragements, pre-eminently designated him as the man for his place and work. He had an ear for every plea, and if not a gift, then a helpful and cheering word for every claim. Men, women, and children, a great multitude, knew him and loved him. Such a personality is not easily forgotten; the fact and influence of such a work will be projected into the future generations. In that quick oblivion which in these days buries men, great and small, so swiftly out of sight, the Board claims the privilege of placing this brief tribute on record in loving appreciation of the friend and fellow worker whom it has lost."      (PROCEEDINGS 136-137)

Immediately after Rev. Samuel Barnitz's death in 1902, we find Frederic, Susan, and Eliza Park Barnitz living at their usual 18th Street address in the city, but soon we find Frederic moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1903, with his mother and sisters following him in 1904.

That "quick oblivion", mentioned above, "which in these days buries men, great and small, so swiftly out of sight", extended far more to Rev. Samuel Barnitz's son Park Barnitz, than it did to Rev. Barnitz himself, who had memorial plaques erected to him in churches in both Denver and Des Moines (PARSON 124, PARSON 200), bound volumes of his letters collected by correspondents (PARSON 134-35), enough eulogistic encomiums written about him to fill two volumes (PARSON 180), and all of his papers for the Lutheran church collected at the Gettysburg Theological Seminary, where they were intended to form the basis of an archive on the development of the American Lutheran Church. (PARSON 87-88) In Rev. Samuel Barnitz's sermon, "The Work and Rewards of the Sunday School teacher" –one paragraph of which biographer Rev. Parson describes as "unintentionally descriptive of himself" (PARSON 143)- Rev. Barnitz spoke of the means by which Christians are able, through their good deeds, to perpetuate "our influence and our work after we are gone, by the multiplying forces for good. The widow who gave all that she had, has been preaching benevolence for eighteen centuries. The good Samaritan is still journeying, binding up wounds, building hospitals, opening orphanages." (PARSON 143-44)

In much the same way does the work of his son, Park Barnitz, live on, in the undying pessimism and despair of The Book of Jade –though this influence be, as Barnitz' obituary reported, of "unusual merit", and though no stone tablets or memorials have been erected to its memory, and though no book of literary criticism or history bears either Barnitz's image nor his name. In this conspiracy of silence, Park Barnitz remains ever conspicuous, perhaps because he exemplifies why things are silenced, and silenced forever, while men who utter the endless Christian mediocrities of his father live on, and on, the same pious platitudes being uttered in slightly different ways by slightly different mouths century after century, in sermon after sermon, in tract after tract. Silence Park Barnitz's work received, perhaps because silence is the only possible reaction to the unwavering stare of The Book of Jade, Barnitz tearing to pieces the concepts of piety, charity, goodness, love, and patriotism, and doing so fearlessly –if anonymously- and directly in the wake of the Wilde trials, amid the general retreat from decadence which characterized those associates and followers of Wilde in English-speaking countries on both sides of the Atlantic.

But those who ignored Barnitz did so, and do so, at their own peril; for Barnitz did more than the Dadaists were later to do, by flinging a hand-grenade into the arena of the arts; for Barnitz's bomb was wrapped in the works of Whitman, pointing the way toward a newer and more realistic mode in the arts, a mode which would, only much later, be realized by such writers as Hemingway, Robert McAlmon, and Henry Miller. Others, like Wallace Stevens, whose early development so closely parallels that of Barnitz, would later go one to write poems in which, as Robert M. Crunden puts it, "…he looked out the window at nature," but saw only "himself instead of the presence of the Deity. Like [William] James, he willed to believe; unlike James, who thought he could commune with his distant or even dead friends, Stevens knew he was always talking to himself. Faith was merely the faith one had in oneself to make poetry out of one's feelings of dislocation." (CRUNDEN 439) The Book of Jade, too, is pervaded with this incipient feeling of dislocation, Barnitz's voice echoing through the decedent void in which he chose to place himself. Barnitz enacted his own death in his book of poems; but, like Isidore Ducasse before him, he never lived to engineer his own literary rebirth.

Perhaps the greatest value, of Park Barnitz and The Book of Jade however, is that in him we have a decadent poet who fulfills the promise which the very term "decadence" asserts and instills. Previously, searching for works of decadence, the curious student of literature would instead find only French translations which were incomprehensible, or the conservative Catholic poems of Lionel Johnson; the bleak love poems of Ernest Dowson; the staid sonnets of Lord Alfred Douglas, the clever society dramas of Oscar Wilde –the works of those who, as T. S. Eliot observed in 1920, put all of their romance into their life, rather than allowing it to shape the idiom of their work. (RICKS 403) With his early death, however, combined with his bleak outlook, his obscure and literally "underground" reputation, and his charnel, funeral poems, Barnitz is, in short, what one would expect a decadent poet to be. Moreover, he is an American poet, and one who, adopting Poe's pose as a mask, took Poe's vision to the brink of modernism, and created a functional idiom of decay within an English, rather than French, framework.

V. Underground Reputation

Barnitz had written that the decadents did not "lecture at Harvard," and were "far-off" from his "Cantabrigian divan," which suggests that he was perhaps unaware of those Boston decadents and aesthetes which gathered around the poetess Louise Imogen Guiney, the architect Ralph Adams Cram, the wealthy patron Isabella Stewart Gardner, and who were connected with such "vagabond" poets as Thomas Meteyard, Canadian Bliss Carman, and Richard Hovey. Many of these aesthetes, their youthful "indiscretions" behind them, would go on to become the new "establishment" in the twentieth century, their audiences unaware of the extent to which decadence still informed the contextual basis of their work.

Aside from this, there appears to have been no "fully-fledged" decadent movement at Harvard until the early teens of the past century.
These "Harvard aesthetes", who were influenced by such writers as
Arthur Machen (SWEESTER 139), would no doubt have been viewed with dismay by Barnitz as a step backward. John Dos Passos, for example, the noted American novelist, who later wrote the trilogy U.S.A., "...entered college," as Malcolm Cowley has pointed out,

"at the beginning of a period which was later known as that of the
'Harvard esthetes.' The intellectual atmosphere there was that of
young men who read Pater and The Hill of Dreams, who argued
about St. Thomas in sporting houses, and who wandered through the
slums of South Boston with dull eyes for 'the long rain slanting
on black walls' and eager eyes for the face of an Italian woman
who, in the midst of this squalor, suggested the Virgin in
Botticelli's Annunciation. Dos Passos went to the slums; and he
could find the Botticelli Virgin there. The Harvard Monthly was
publishing his first pieces: a free-verse poem, an editorial, and
an essay on industrialism entitled 'A Humble Protest.'" (KAZIN 346)

One is reminded of Barnitz's going out to see "What driveth all these
at such exstatic pace," seeing many "sitting in a lowly place," in his poem "Fragments," though Barnitz's vision is marked by transcendent
pessimism in that poem, rather than idealism, and he felt no longing
for the world of St. Thomas, as is shown by the aesthetes

In the 1920's, there was a general revival of interest in the writers of the 1890's, and several members of what has since been called "the Lovecraft circle", surrounding horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, knew of Barnitz, and perpetuated an interest in that writer. In Volume IV of his Selected Letters, Lovecraft writes in 1932 about a "nasty, cynical" (SLIV 66) book of poems, published, Lovecraft says, in "1902", and written by a turn-of-the-century "Harvard youth" named "Park Barnitz" who had subsequently "killed himself" (SLIV 69) –Lovecraft's intimation of suicide on Barnitz's part, while congruent with the content of Barnitz's poems, as well as his early death, being tempered by the fact that he is also wrong on that date of The Book of Jade's publication.6 Lovecraft had been apprised as to the existence of The Book of Jade by a visiting youthful friend, Donald Wandrei, himself a macabre writer and poet of note, whose various works of erotic/macabre poetry, including Ecstasy and other Poems (1928), Dark Odyssey (1931), and Poems for Midnight (1964), show marked signs of Barnitz's influence. As scholar S.T. Joshi observes, although "heavily influenced" by Clark Ashton Smith, Wandrei's poetry "is perhaps somewhat more horrific" than Smith's, Wandrei's philosophical verse, Joshi writes, being "tinged with the misanthropy and pessimism Wandrei felt in his youth" [JOSHI 426] -these twin key signifiers, of course, the horrific and the misanthropic, likewise being the keynotes of Park Barnitz's earlier book of poems.

Certainly, it is hard not so see the influence of Barnitz in such poems of Wandrei's as "Somewhere Past Ispahan", with its "weary", "Persian" and "languorous" terminology:

"I turn away from diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls,
I finds no surcease in the unrelieving wine;
I clap, and at the sign
Come forth my slaves and eunuchs and the dancing girls;
I hear the music's plaintitive sob, watch spins and whirls.
But ennui is still mine.


"I only find more ennui in philosophies,
Doubt everything, doubt that I doubt, and wearily
With all things disagree.
Or quite agree—it's all the same; no virtues please
Me, and I sicken with the languid unsurcease
Of earthly ecstasy."
     (COLL POEMS 69)

One can also see a similarity to Barnitz in Wandrei's brief "Chant to the Dead", which recalls Barnitz's "The Defilers", "Mankind", "Mummy", and "Prayer/ In Time of Plague":

"Blessed be the dead for they are dead.
Blessed be the living for they will be dead.
Blessed be the unborn for they shall be dead."
     (COLL POEMS 77)

Wandrei, a St. Paul, Minnesota native, possessed a copy of The Book of Jade at least as early as the summer of 1925, when he lent his copy to the Baudelairean West Coast poet, macabre writer, and artist Clark Ashton Smith, who commented, "You are right about the mortuary poems being the best:… (…) …Ennui and sheer corruption are both extremely difficult subjects to handle. If I am ever in a position to edit an anthology, I will certainly include at least half-a-dozen of these poems." (SMITH 78) Wandrei was later introduced to Lovecraft through Smith (JOSHI 426), Lovecraft first referring to Wandrei in a January 1927 letter to Smith, in which he favorably discusses Wandrei's prose-poems. (SLII 98) Intriguingly, it is possible that Lovecraft was first introduced to the existence, at least, of Barnitz's work at around this time, Lovecraft referring shortly thereafter, in a February 1927 letter to Smith, to the land of "Cocaigne", a word which parallels Barnitz's own usages of the word in The Book of Jade -although, as we have seen, Lovecraft never actually saw the book in question until Wandrei's visit to Providence in 1932, when he accompanied Wandrei on a visit to the Harris Collection of poetry at the John Hay Library in Providence, Rhode Island.

Exactly when Wandrei himself discovered the works of Barnitz is unclear, although Wandrei's adulatory early essay "Lotus and Poppy" suggests that he encountered The Book of Jade perhaps during his adolescence, as part of a reading programme which included such works as Thomson's The City of Dreadful Night, Machen's The Hill of Dreams, and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. (DON'T DREAM 355-56) At age fifteen, Wandrei had begun "part-time work after classes as a page-boy in the Circulation Room of the St. Paul Public Library" (COLOSSUS viii), and perhaps, like Joseph Payne Brennan later on, Wandrei discovered the volume during the course of his many hours spent "exploring the shelves" of the library.

Joseph Payne Brennan, another contributor to Weird Tales magazine and a fine New England poet in his own right, later came upon a significant copy of The Book of Jade during his work at the Yale Beinecke Library in the 1940's, already described above. According to Brennan, in an article on Barnitz written in 1959, the photograph of Barnitz in the Yale Book of Jade,

"which must have been taken not long before the poet's death reveals a serious-appearing young man with large, brilliant, dark eyes, a generous mouth, and a somewhat prominent nose. He wears spectacles and a high starched collar; his long hair is middle-parted, very precisely. He might be a firm accountant or a young mathematics professor. The strident melodrama and dedicated decadence of his verses is nowhere apparent." (BRENNAN 15)

In a strange coincidence, on October 10th, 1947 (the 40th anniversary of Barnitz's death), Brennan acquired his own copy of The Book of Jade, book number 146.

For Brennan, unlike for Wandrei and Clark Ashton Smith –for whom Barnitz's "mortuary poems" and "misanthropy" were primary- it was Barnitz's "melancholy" lyrics which were "worth salvaging" (BRENNAN 18), and not his macabre verses, which have, said Brennan, the "outright reek of the charnel house." (BRENNAN 16) Brennan writes, "When contrasted with the best, the worst are really bad. One poem, 'Danse Macabre', is in such atrociously bad taste that it was finally omitted from the book…"(BRENNAN 18) Barnitz was, Brennan concludes, the author of "a scant handful of successful poems", and is notable only as an American exemplar of Baudelairean decadence.

According to the Yale donation bookplate in the front endpapers of the Yale Book of Jade, the book was a gift of "Richard S. Wormser In memory of M. Ray Sanborn". Richard S. Wormser (b. 1898-d. 1975) was a major American antiquarian bookseller situated in New York City and Bethel, Connecticut, described by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) as one of "the leading figures of the time [the 1940's] in the [book] trade." According to Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade (2004), Wormser had an interest in "off beat books", "which he characterized as 'Cockeyediana' and 'uncommon rare books'" (MONDLIN 211) –a description which fits The Book of Jade, and particularly the annotated Yale Book of Jade, almost precisely. Wormser was a President Emeriti of the ABAA -of which he was a founding member- from 1952 to 1954, and a President of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) from 1957 to 1960. An important collector of 19th century English caricaturists, his Richard S. Wormser Collection of Graphic Satire forms part of The Harry A. Chester Collection of Cartoon and Graphic Satire at both Drew University in New Jersey (www.drew.edu) and at the Farleigh Dickinson University Library. An expert, likewise, on hoaxes and forgeries, Wormser also amassed a "Collection of Printed Ephemera and Miscellaneous Manuscripts on Literary Fraud's and Forgeries, ca. 1915-1973". (www.grolierclub.org) Wormser, whose other collections included "Americana, bibliography, cryptography" (MONDLIN 211), also authored numerous articles and gave numerous talks on bibliophilic topics. Wormser also authored at least two rather testy letters to Time magazine during the 1920's and '30's on bibliographic topics. In the first, Wormser disputes a Time article's low estimation of the library of Lord Leverhulme; in the second, a letter written on the eve of WWII, the bookish Wormser quotes from a rare book from 1795, entitled One Thousand Valuable Secrets, in the Elegant and Useful Arts, to bolster his isolationist contention that the Europeans be left alone to destroy "'one another'".

M. Ray Sanborn -in whose name Wormser donated the Yale Book of Jade to the Beinecke Library- appears to have been a Connecticut genealogist associated in some way with the Yale Library, and the author of a genealogical treatise "on the descendents of James Cate of Portsmouth, New Hampshire" in 1906. (NEW ENGLAND 84, 408) Why Wormser should have donated the book in Sanborn's memory is unknown, although Sanborn is listed in a Report of the Librarian of Yale University, July 1, 1915-June 30, 1916, as a donor to the Yale University Library between the years of 1915-1916. (REPORT 10)

Barnitz's writings went on to become a little known pleasure for connoisseurs of the macabre. In a limited-edition tribute dedicated to Clark Ashton Smith, for example, published in the sixties, one of the contributors, Litterio Farsaci, in an adulatory essay entitled "Poet of Eternity", speaks of the "rare collection of books and fantasy poetry" in his possession, listing: ""Dark Odyssey, Night, The Singing Flame, The Book of Jade, Ecstasy, The Flowers of Evil, The Man From Genoa." (FARSACI 52)

In 1996, I submitted an essay on Barnitz, entitled "Poet at the End of the Century", to Lovecraft scholar and editor S. T. Joshi, who, it turned out, along with David E. Schultz, had long cherished an interest in Barnitz –Schultz having likewise commenced research on Barnitz along much the same lines that I had followed. Beginning in Winter 1996, the essay was printed in issues 19 and 20 of Joshi's Studies in Weird Fiction. In between these two issues, Kevin Darren Shields, a completionist collector and meticulous bibliographer of the poet Joseph Payne Brennan, informed me of the wonderful fund of information on Barnitz and The Book of Jade housed in the Yale Beinecke Library.

In 1998, London's Durtro Press brought out a new edition of The Book of Jade in a limited edition of 300 copies, with an introduction by Mark Valentine and an afterward by horror writer Thomas Ligotti. Calling Barnitz's Book of Jade "a book of power", Valentine equates it, with "its sustained extremities of idol-breaking and bourgeois-baiting", to such works as "Le Comte de Lautreamont's Les Chants de Maldoror, or with Aubrey Beardsley's impudent pictures", a "volume which must be considered in its entirety to appreciate the intensity and consistency of the poet's vision." The "implacably dark stance" of these poems, Valentine goes on, would appear to be, "not the occasional verses which were the popular fare of the time, nor the chronicle of a spiritual struggle which one might expect from a thoughtful youth's first book: they are all aspects of a tenaciously held philosophy".

Ligotti, meanwhile, in an afterward entitled "Thoughts Concerning a Decadent Universe", explores the idea of the "forbidden book" as depicted in the realm of weird fiction in such works as the Necronomicon, and as embodied, in the real world, in certain works of decadent poetry. As he does so, Ligotti convincingly suggests that H. P. Lovecraft's fictional decadent poet Justin Geoffrey from "The Thing on the Doorstep" (1933) -a "Baudelairean" poet and the author of a fictional book of verse entitled The People of the Monolith- was "perhaps inspired by David Park Barnitz's volume" –which suggests that, by the time of the writing of "The Thing on the Doorstep", Lovecraft had by then subsumed Park Barnitz himself, along with such fictional Lovecraftian artists as Henry Wilcox, Richard Pickman, Edward Marsh, et. al., within the general rubric of his Spenglerian polemic against decay.
Aside from some copies of The Book of Jade available on the Internet at various library websites, the limited edition Durtro press reprint of The Book of Jade, original copies of the book which are offered at exorbitant prices, and of course this website, www.BookofJade.com, produced by Mr. Boyd Pearson and myself, a softcover, easily affordable edition of this pivotal work of American poetry has not been available. It is to fill this void that David Schultz and S. T. Joshi, together with publisher Derrick Hussey of Hippocampus Press, are currently producing a new American edition of The Book of Jade, with a biographical afterward by myself. Park Barnitz's second American edition of The Book of Jade, "which was about to be issued at the time of his death, which the publishers desired should be an autographed edition", is finally about to be issued.


1. As Rev. W. E. Parson observes, Samuel Barnitz's "love for the Germans was deep-seated. It ran in his blood. His words of encouragement on the floor of the German synods were greatly appreciated." (PARSON 171) Samuel Barnitz would later, in 1867, while at Wheeling, accept applications for church membership from two German members of an Ohio Synod German church, writing "I feel that these young Germans will receive much more good with us than in their own church." (PARSON 59) Later, shortly before Samuel Barnitz's death, during his final, busy trip out west, Samuel would visit the German Lutheran Church near Sacramento, where Pastor Oehler would take the last photograph of Samuel Barnitz and his wife. (PARSON 109) At Samuel Barnitz's funeral, Rev. J.A. Wirt, D.D. remembered the pathetic stories which Samuel sometimes told of the Germans and the Scandinavian their struggle for a church of their fathers." (PARSON 130) Even so, Samuel Barnitz did not restrict his missionary work to solely a Germanic milieu, writing, "The success in San Francisco shatters to pieces the idea that 'Lutheran material' consists only of persons of Lutheran parentage, Lutheran training or Lutheran countries." (PARSON 153) In his early work at Wheeling, too, Samuel Barnitz was distrusted by "the older and more staid Germans, who often spoke of his Yankee methods." (PARSON 177) Samuel Barnitz's Germanism extended to a lively interest and support for The German Literary Board –the same body which later published Rev. Parson's biography of Samuel Barnitz. (PARSON 170)

2. According to the History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania (1886), Jacob Barnitz was under the command of Col. Swope, whose entire command was either killed or taken prisoner during the battle at Fort Washington. According to Revolutionary War veteran Michael Smith, quoted in John C. Dunn's book The Revolutionary War Remembered (1983), after lying naked on the battlefield all night, "having been stripped by the Hesians or their trulls", Jacob was discovered by men sent on a burial detail. (DUNN 118) Jacob was thence taken on a litter to New York, where his body was lain upon on the damp and unhealthy earth of a Sugar House (DANDRIDGE), thus beginning what would eventually become fifteen months of enemy captivity. (KETCHUM 119) According to Michael Smith, although one leg was quickly cured, Jacob "would not suffer the British surgeons to amputate the other. He carried the ball a little below his knee for 32 years, when it became so painful, he was obliged to have his leg amputated above his knee." (DUNN 118) After that, Jacob wore a false leg. (GENEO LEMON) According to Robert M. Ketchum in his The Winter Soldiers (1999), Jacob Barnitz was eventually carried home to York on a litter. (KETCHUM 119) According to the Colonial Records (1853) of Samuel Hazard, Jacob Barnitz went on to become Collector of Excise for York, County, and a Registrar for the Probate of Wills. Jacob eventually married a Catherine Wagner. (DAU REV 183) In 1806, along with other Revolutionary War veterans, Jacob was examined by a panel of physicians appointed to study those injured during the War of Independence. (BIO DIR CONGRESS)

3. In 1899, Stevens was the editor of the Harvard Advocate (BRAZEAU 8), and there exists a group-photograph of the Advocate staff in the Harvard Archives (later published in Peter Brazeau's Parts of a World: Wallace Stevens Remembered [1983]), which I had at first thought appeared to show Wallace Stevens and Park Barnitz together. According to some photocopies from the 1899 Harvard Class Album (HUD 299.04.5) sent to me by Kyle DeCicco-Carey, a Reference Assistant at the Harvard University library, however, Barnitz is not in the picture, although there is unfortunately no way at present to determine the exact names of all the people in the photograph.

4. There is also an interesting resemblance between Stevens and Barnitz in Crunden's description of Stevens' wide-ranging interest in and relation to world literature. Stevens, Crunden writes, "Had he not had his Harvard connections, …might well have had trouble finding his voice, not to mention his place in cultural history. Because of the Arsenberg salon, Stevens didn't need to go abroad: like Henry Thoreau, who traveled very much in Concord, Stevens traveled very much in New York and then in Hartford: over China and Japan, over Paris and Key West, and over the achievements of world literature." (CRUNDEN 439) Like Stevens, Barnitz also traveled very much in Des Moines: via "the magazines" and the books of the library, which he frequented "daily", and, as his essay "The Art of the Future" shows, was equally able to assimilate and digest "the achievements [or the lack thereof] of world literature". Barnitz was his own salon.

5. As John and Dorothy Crawford observe regarding the turn-of-the century Russian mystical composer Scriabin -although not in any sense an isolated figure, "it was his misfortune to be so much in tune with his pre-World War I era, its elements of decadence, and its mystical interests, that his importance as a musical innovator and as a liberating influence on other composers has yet to be fully recognized." (CRAWFORD 63) Elsewhere, speaking of John Gray's important volume of decadent verse, Silverpoints (1893), Jerusha Hull McCormack observes how, despite its seemingly "reactionary" archaisms, its "taste for pastiche as a literary form" anticipates "the modern/visual montages of the next generation". (McCORMACK 114) Significantly, such later modernist movements as Futurism and Expressionism would often be made up of former decadents and aesthetes.

6. It will be noticed that Wandrei gave Lovecraft the wrong date for the book's publication, which was 1901, not 1902. In fact, there are several conflicting dates in relation to both Park Barnitz's death, and his father's. According to the Alumni lists of the Atchison College Yearbook for 1916, for example, Barnitz died on October 11, 1901. All other sources say he died on October 10. Dr. William Rosenstengel mistakenly writes, meanwhile, that Rev. Samuel Barnitz "died at his home in Des Moines, Thursday, June 12, 1895" (PARSON 172) rather than 1902, the correct year. For the record, too, in my original essay "David Park Barnitz: Poet at the End of the Century", I mistakenly give the date of Rev. Samuel Barnitz's marriage to Eliza Smyser as 1860, when it was 1868.


Anonymous. (Barnitz, David Park), The Book of Jade. Doxey's, At the Sign of the Lark. New York. (1901). Limited Edition of 600 copies.

Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Delacorte Press, 1982.

Barnitz, David Park, "After-Life: A Poem," "To the Mona Lisa of Da Vinci." Overland Monthly. Jan. & March 1901.

Barnitz, David Park, "The Art of the Future." Poet-Lore. July, 1901.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. "Peters, Richard Jr. (1744-1828)" http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/guidedisplay.pl?index=P000255 The Peters archive includes of 3 boxes of Jacob Barnitz's papers, 1786-1806.

Brazeau, Peter. Parts of a World: Wallace Stevens Remembered, an Oral Biography. Random House, New York. (1983)

Brennan, Joseph Payne. "David Park Barnitz, America's 'Yellow Nineties' Poet", FRESCO: The University of Detroit Quarterly. Vol. IX, No.4. Summer 1959. pp. 15-19.

Cardazo, Nancy, Maud Gonne. New Amsterdam, New York. 1990.

"College Community Withstands long history of..." Vol. 71, No. 10. Nov. 30, 1984. Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska, Page 1.

Crawford, John C. and Dorothy L. Expressionism in Twentieth Century Music. Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis. (1993)

Crunden, Robert M. American Salons: Encounters with European Modernism, 1885-1917.     Oxford University Press, New York. 1993.

Dandridge, Danske. American Prisoners of the Revolutionary War. (1910) Digitized by Dave Maddock, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. books.google.com

D'Ambrosio, Vinnie-Marie, Eliot Possessed. New York University Press, New York. (1989)

Dunn, John C. The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence. (1983) books.google.com

Encyclopedia Brittanica. Volumes 7 & 23. 1974.

Farsaci, Litterio. "Poet of Eternity". "In Memorium Clark Ashton Smith, ed. Jack L. Chalker. p. 51-56. Baltimore, 1963.

Flores, Angel. An Anthology of French Poetry, from Nerval to Valery.Anchor, New York. 1958.

Geneological Information for George Barnitz. Lemon Township, Ohio. www.rootsweb.com

Guide to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Second edition. Boston Massachusetts. 1976.

Guiney, Louise Imogen. Letters sent (ZAL), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556.

Hall, Donald. Remembering Poets. Harper and Row., 1978.

Harlan, Robert D., At the Sign of the Lark, William Doxey's San Francisco Publishing Venture. The Book Club of California, 1983.

Hazard, Samuel. Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA. State of Pennsylvania, Publishers. (1853) books.google.com

History of Cumberland and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania. Chicago, IL. Warner, Beers, and Co. (1886). Digitized by Kathy Francis, US Gen. Web Archives, 2005. ftp.rootsweb.com

Holloway, John. Widening Horizons in English Verse. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 1967.

Jackson, Holbrook, The Eighteen-Nineties. Jonathan Cape, London/Toronto. 6th printing, 1931.

Joshi, S. T.. H.P. Lovecraft: A Life. Necronomicon Press. Warwick, R.I. 3rd printing, September, 2004.

Ketchum, Robert M. The Winter Soldiers: The Battles for Trenton & Princeton. (1999) (books.google.com)

Kazin, Alfred, On Native Grounds: an Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature. Harcourt, Brace, & Co. Third Harvest Edition, 1995.

Lovecraft, H.P., Selected Letters, Vol.'s II, IV, &V. Arkham House, Publishers. 1968, 1976.

Daughters of the American Revolution, Lineage Book. (1897) University of Michigan. Digitized, 2005. books.google.com

Lowry, C. E., "Dr. Carl W. Belser." The Columbine. Homerian Literary Society, University of Colorado. May 1, 1893, p.35

McCormack, Jerusha Hull, John Gray: Poet, Dandy, and Priest. Brandeis University Press. University Press of New England, Hanover/London. (1991)

Mondlin, Marvin & Roy Meader. Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade. Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York. (2004)

Moore, George F., editor. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 1898-1900, New Haven, Connecticut.

The New England and Genealogical Register. Published by the New England Genealogical Society. (1908) books.google.com

Proceedings of the 41st Convention of the general Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Lutheran Publication Society. Baltimore Maryland. June 3 to 11, 1903.

Report of the Librarian of the Yale University Library July 1, 1915-June 30, 1916. (Reprinted from the Report of the President of Yale University, 1915.) Published by The University, New Haven. Digitized October 12, 2006. books.google.com

Ricks, Christopher, editor. T.S. Eliot: Inventions of the March Hare; Poems 1909-1917. Harcourt and Brace. 1996.

Rumi, Selections from his writings. Translated from the Persian with Introduction and Notes by the late Reynold A. Nicholson. London, George Allen and Unwin, Ltd. (1950)

Shand-Tucci, Douglass. Boston Bohemia: Ralph Adams Cram, Life and Architecture. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA. 1995.

Simon, Linda. Genuine Reality: A Life of William James. Harcourt, Brace, and Co., New York, (1998)

Sweetser, Wesley D. Arthur Machen. Twayne Pub., New York. 1964.

Starke, Aubrey Harrison. Sidney Lanier. Russell & Russell, Inc. 1964.

The Tatler, No. 7. West Des Moines High School. 1896.

Tomkins, Calvin. Duchamp: A Biography. A John McCRae Book; Henry Holt and Company: New York. 1996.

Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Axel. tr. June Guicharmaud. Prentice Hall, Inc. New Jersey. 1970.

Wandrei, Donald. Collected Poems. Illus. Howard Wandrei. Ed. By S. T. Joshi. 1988 Necronomicon Press.

Wandrei, Donald. Colossus. Fedogan & Bremer, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Second edition. (1999)

Wandrei, Donald. Don't Dream. Fedogan & Bremer, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (1997)

Weigman, Ann. "Midland College".

Wentz, Abdel Ross., editor. Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary Alumni Record, Volume Two. Harisburg, PA. Page 52.

Wilson, Edmund, Axel's Castle. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1931.

Content © 2007 - 2008 The Book of Jade
Design © 2007 -2008 Thaumaturgic: Web Development