A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Political Companions - download pdf or read online

By John E. Seery

The works of Walt Whitman were defined as masculine, female, postcolonial, homoerotic, city, natural, distinct, and democratic, but arguments in regards to the volume to which Whitman may well or might be thought of a political poet have not begun to be totally faced. a few students omit Whitman's knowing of democracy, insisting on keeping apart his own works from his political works. A Political spouse to Walt Whitman is the 1st full-length exploration of Whitman's works in the course of the lens of political idea. Editor John E. Seery and a suite of well-liked theorists and philosophers discover the political knowledge of Whitman's poetry and prose, reading his religion within the capability of people, his demand a revolution in literature and political tradition, and his trust within the risk of mixing heroic individualism with democratic justice. A Political significant other to Walt Whitman reaches past literature into political thought, revealing the ideology in the back of Whitman's demand the emergence of yank poets of democracy.

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Extra info for A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Political Companions to Great American Authors)

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The question persists: Why does Whitman not give a conventionally realistic account of himself, on the assumption that somehow he could have interested the world in his personality? The answer must be that the portrait he gives is more truly himself than any realistic account could ever hope to be. How, then, to describe this portrait? ” If the (secular) soul is potentiality, an honest portrait of oneself will register one’s ability to perceive, and to identify or sympathize or empathize with, all the actualized potentialities that one tries to take in, and will also impart the sense that no actualization is definitive of anyone.

He certainly appears reckless. In “Song of the Answerer,” he says, “Every existence has its idiom,” but immediately insists that the poet “resolves all tongues into his own,” without loss. Yet, in that remarkable poem “The Sleepers,” Whitman raises the possibility that he understands that his radical empathy is only a dream, that mobile identity is only a dream (and that only in sleep or death are people alike and equal): Whitman and the Culture of Democracy 43 I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers, And I become the other dreamers.

I believe that the setting for democratic individuality is a greatly more powerful and original idea than any of the other ideas of democratic culture that I have just mentioned. In other places, I have tried to suggest that working together with Emerson and Thoreau, Whitman tries to draw out the fuller moral and existential significance of rights. These are the rights that individuals have as persons, and that the political system of democracy exists in order to 19 20 George K ateb protect, and also to embody in its workings.

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