Talk:Washington Irving

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Good article Washington Irving has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Memorial Catch-22[edit]

Is the reference to the Catch-22 subplot/theme relevant in the "Memorial" section here? It's neither a "memorial" nor really even an "honor". --96.233.82.46 (talk) 09:12, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Birthday[edit]

The headnote says April 3 but the body of article says November 3. I think it is April. Please fix this blatantly obvious mistake. 153.91.46.140 (talk) 18:21, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and fixed this - thank you for noticing. It looks like it wasn't a "blatantly obvious mistake" but a successful attempt at vandalism that went unnoticed. In the future, remember that you too can edit Wikipedia! --Midnightdreary (talk) 05:33, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Washington Irving and Myth of The Flat Earth[edit]

The British comedy quiz show "Quite Interesting" claimed about seven years ago that Washington Irving has been credited by Terry Jones, of Monty Python, with originating a myth or lie that medieval people, people of the Renaissance, and the ancient Greeks thought the Earth was flat. Would there be *any* truth to the idea of him inventing this idea, and why would he do so? -96.26.108.183 (talk) 22:21, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Well, he definitely didn't invent the idea but there might be something here... He did write a popular book about Christopher Columbus. I don't know if there's a connection with him popularizing the confusion. But, if he wasn't the first to say it, I doubt it needs a mention here. Anyone know better? --Midnightdreary (talk) 00:15, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
Re-reading the article, the origin of the idea that became the myth was indeed his "biography" of Columbus, which the article says was a fictionalized account. So, the question is about intent: did Irving just do sloppy research, believing he was writing real, accurate history? Did he intend to create a fictionalized account that he meant to be received as such? Was his intent simply overtaken by the agendas of others (that president of Princeton, for instance?) -96.26.108.183 (talk) 23:31, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

social and conversational skills? acutely socially inept[edit]

  • Contrast this (uncited) phrase with Julia Ward Howe's Reminiscences 1819-1899 (Google books will help you here), pp. 19-21, which describe him as acutely socially inept. Who should we believe? • ServiceableVillain 10:54, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
It would have been easier had you copied and pasted or linked to the quote. The scene only shows his reluctance to give a speech, not his social ineptitude. So many other sources place him as a social giant, it's hard to give much weight to this one scene. --Midnightdreary (talk) 12:48, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Then cite, cite, cite your point, since apparently I have contested it. ;-) • ServiceableVillain 08:43, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Umm... This approved good article is already cited like crazy, including the phrase, "Instead, Irving honed the social and conversational skills that would later make him one of the world's most in-demand guests." Is there a specific assertion you think lacks citation? --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:15, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
Of course a GA pass does not mean every detail is correct. Do GA reviewers look into the details.. every detail.. of an article? Of course not. So GA pass is kinda irrelevant for detailed challenges... And it should be obvious that I am contesting that he was such a great speaker etc. Julia Ward Howe has him as embarrassed and inarticulate, and not just on one occasion, but generally. I'm not sure that cite is appropriately placed, and even if it is, I'm not sure it is accurate. In other words, just look into his great conversation skills generally. This section... sniffs a bit of hagiography... • ServiceableVillain 03:01, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry you feel that way. I feel that Howe's memoir mentioning a man she barely knew written 50 years later is the problem at hand here. --Midnightdreary (talk) 12:07, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
The Jones book (the relevant cite) is not available for full-view or preview at Amazon, and I have zero access to real English-language books. I'm also terminally swamped, and just barely have enough time to spend maybe two minutes per day on Wikipedia... so I will keep this cite in mind and try to research it, but it will be a slowly-completed task. I do see there;s a YouTube Video by Jones (NYSL: Brian Jay Jones on "Washington Irving", but I don't have an hour to spend listening.. so.. thank you for your time and trouble; will check back in a few weeks if I have anything new. .. OK, I'm listening while working :-) and I hear at 24:14 or so that Irving "dreaded public speaking.. hated it". This video may be uncitable (?), and even if it is citable I would hesitate to cite something so ephemeral as a YouTube Video... but it's pretty interesting.... more at 30:20 in video about Irving's inability to speak publicly .. • ServiceableVillain 13:22, 17 April 2013 (UTC)
While Irving loathed public speaking, he was far from "acutely socially inept." Irving was a highly-sought after guest in drawing rooms across Europe, and had an ability to work his way into almost any social event, even well before he was hugely famous. It's also doubtful he could have pulled off his duties as Van Buren's aide-de-camp or his responsibilities as Spanish ambassador if he were socially inhibited. I'd be very skeptical of classifying him in such a way. Federalistpapers (talk) 21:14, 23 April 2013 (UTC)