Walt Whitman: a current bibliography.
Beltran, Cristina. "Mestiza Poetics: Walt Whitman, Barack Obama, and the Question of Union." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 59-95. [Proposes that "Whitman's poetics provide valuable insights into Barack Obama's political appeal," and argues that "the mass gatherings surrounding Obama's campaign and election can be understood as 'Whitmanesque' spectacles of diversity whereby participants experienced their collective heterogeneity as a form of democratic enchantment"; goes on to examine how Whitman's "adhesive voice" and his "conjoining language of juxtaposition and fusion" stand behind Obama's "tendency to create a sense of community through . . . a poetics of equivalence,' highlighting Whitman's and Obama's "shared ability to neutralize ideological differences and transform political contradictions into a poetics of equivalence and spectacle," though "Obama's racialized subjectivity creates a politics of union distinct from Whitman's," understood best by comparing Obama's "approach to identity" to the "mestiza consciousness" found in "the poetry of the Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldua."]
Bennett, Jane. "The Solar Judgment of Walt Whitman." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 131-146. [Investigates "solarity" in Whitman, the ability not to be judgmental, not "to apply to life a satisfying but falsifying logic of either/ or, good/evil, friend/enemy," but rather to judge (as Whitman puts it) "not as the judge judges but as the sun falling around a helpless thing," a "strangely open-armed, projective, impersonal, elemental judging" that requires one to find "ways to undo, suspend, or confound the default self's restless and persistent urge to rank order (what it currently tends to perceive as) a world of stable subjects and mute objects," to exist in "a world where human beings are positioned not as potential masters of, but as co-participants with, other bodies in a world that vibrates," a world of "vibrant matter ... in which the poetic self apprehends its outside with equanimity, and does so long enough to detect the voices of peoples, pavements, and leaves of grass, and then to note how some of these voices have been literally, physically incorporated into one's own body," necessitating the use of a "middle voice," a "grammatical form of expression prompted by the existence in the world of multiple modes and types of agency"; thus finds in Whitman's "difficult practice of judging without becoming the judge" a "peculiar perceptual antidote that Whitman enacts in his poems and seeks to induce in his readers," as he urges us to "not judge as the judge judges but be judgment."]
Berman, Marshall. "'Mass Merger': Whitman and Baudelaire, the Modern Street, and Democratic Culture." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 149-154. [Suggests how Whitman and Charles Baudelaire "played crucial roles" in "the task of making people feel at home in the modern city," and analyzes Whitman's city poems that make the urban street the site of "the liberation of sexual fantasy" where we can "feel the continuity between what we do when we sleep together and what we can do in public as citizens on a democratic street"; argues that Whitman and Baudelaire share the "crucial theme" of "mass merger," seeing "the urban crowd as a source of vitality, of enchantment, of sexual radiance, a vista of possibilities for the expansion of the self."]
Blake, David Haven. "Los Angeles, 1960: John F. Kennedy and Whitman's Ship of Democracy." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 60-64. [Recounts and analyzes actor Edward G. Robinson's recital of part of "Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood" just before John F. Kennedy's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 1960.]
Blake, David Haven. "Whitman's Ecclesiastes: The 1860 'Leaves of Grass' Cluster." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 613-627. [Examines the cluster called "Leaves of Grass," appearing in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, finding "a markedly personal tone" in the poems and rejecting earlier readings of the cluster as "a refined and polished entity," seeing it instead "as an emerging aesthetic arrangement that Whitman eventually elected not to pursue," "a set of partially developed themes and possibilities," "a spiritual and emotional EKG, a record of the poet's struggles with time, doubt, personal failings, and the nature of the universe," "Whitman's Ecclesiastes, with its preacher divided between lamentation and praise."]
Blalock, Stephanie M. Review of Mark A. Lause, The Antebellum Crisis and America's First Bohemians, and Joanna Levin, Bohemia in America, 1858-1920. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 75-78.
Carver, Terrell. "Democratic Manliness." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011) , 220-241. [Questions our tendency to "iconize" both Whitman and democracy and looks at the contradictions and contestations in Whitman's democratic views and the democratic traditions in the U.S., especially the ways that "the entire exercise of politics has been--and still is--not just male-dominated but masculine-inscribed," and goes on to examine the "two major problems" that "Whitman's democratic manliness" poses: "it excludes women, and it pushes manly sentiments toward a supposed equality in homoeroticism"; seeks to explore "how varied masculinities are constructed within Whitman's verse, and how these are mapped onto power relations, which is where politics necessarily lies," concluding that a "closer reading" of Whitman's manliness "reveals that this concept generates its hierarchies--industry over office, sweat over society, macho-butch over whatever else"--and generates its own "exclusions--notably over race and alleged foreignness--balancing order and unity over racial diversity and individual mobility."]
Corrigan, John Michael. "Visions of Power and Dispossession: Emerson, Whitman, and the 'Robust Soul.'" Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 122-140. [Investigates how "Emerson's adaptation of the Platonic ladder of ascent and his metempsychotic self of 'History' inform Whitman's evocation of how the soul educates itself by climbing the ladder of being in an attempt to reach the end of the sequence to attain the power of creation," as Whitman "engages in an American reinterpretation of the mystical tradition of ascent in terms of selfhood"; argues that Emerson and Whitman "depict the expanding self by radically transforming the traditional ladder of ascent into an ontological and poetic structure of power, and they locate this power in the site of textuality."]
Ferguson, Kennan. "Morbid Democracies: The Bodies Politic of Walt Whitman and Richard Rorty." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 296-309. [Examines philosopher Richard Rorty's "version of Whitmanesque patriotism," "a Rortian Whitman, who by inspiring the ideals and possibilities in the American imaginary, can transform the future"--Whitman as a "Deweyan progressive"--and goes on to probe how there is another Whitman, "a poetic Whitman, one who attends to the present more than does Rorty's prosaic Whitman," a poet of "a dramatic presentism" for whom "redemption is always already here, walking among the democratic peoples who make up the country," and for whom death is not something to be feared but embraced and celebrated; argues that Rorty's "future-oriented model for the achievement of 'our' country must end in failure," while "Whitman's poetry reminds us that human lives, nations, and ideas exist within the present (whatever that present may be)," and "their value is not reducible to their permanence or their upkeep."]
Folsom, Ed. Review of Walt Whitman, Song of Myself and Other Poems, ed. Robert Hass, and C. K. Williams, On Whitman. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 65-68.
Folsom, Ed. "'A spirt of my own seminal wet': Spermatoid Design in Walt Whitman's 1860 Leaves of Grass." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 585-600. [Examines Whitman's use of spermatic tropes and spermatic design in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, showing how even the decorative motifs in the volume underscore his notion that "his words were the seeds for new ideas, a new nation, a new conception of democracy, but, to have an effect, his words would need to penetrate readers and fertilize their imaginations"; goes on to examine how Whitman's "representations of the ejaculation of seminal fluid and sperm, a taboo subject," got him in continual trouble with reviewers, publishers, and moral crusaders, even though he was not the only writer of his era to equate words with sperm.]
Folsom, Ed. "Walt Whitman: A Current Bibliography." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 79-86.
Folsom, Ed. "Walt Whitman: A Current Bibliography." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 147-152.
Frank, Jason. "Promiscuous Citizenship." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 155-184. [Argues that "Whitman's image of promiscuous citizenship was his way of responding to a familiar dilemma of democratic theory: how to affectively bind citizens together as a self-authorizing people while mitigating the violence done to the plural constituencies that make up a democratic people; it was his way of navigating the dilemmas of democratic 'binding' and 'boundary'"; investigates how "Whitman aspired to a poetic tradition of the ordinary and commonplace as the vehicle for political attachment," developing "his remarkable aesthetics of urban encounter" in which "the erotic energies among and between nonintimates were the very stuff of democratic spirit," as he deflated "the value of the intimate and domestic spheres" in favor of "the powerful valences of public love" ("the love that can exist between strangers as strangers," "an erotic attachment to a common and public world comprised of vital differences"), reacting to and rejecting a long tradition--including Jefferson, Emerson, and Thoreau--of "democratic anti-urbanism."]
Fuller, Randall. "'Daybreak Gray and Dim': How the Civil War Changed Walt Whitman's Poetry." Humanities 32 (January/February 2011). [Essay based on excerpts from Fuller's From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature (2011).]
Fuller, Randall. From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. [Chapter 1, "Beat! Beat! Drums!" (11-33), reviews Whitman's situation just before the Civil War began, examining the publication of his 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass by Thayer and Eldridge and the subsequent demise of their publishing firm as the war approached, and goes on to examine Whitman's early responses to the outbreak of the war; later chapters return to Whitman to recount his experiences at Fredericksburg during the war (136-140; featuring a reading of "A Sight in Camp in the Daybreak Gray and Dim"), his work in the Washington, D.C., hospitals (150-156; featuring a reading of "The Wound-Dresser"), and his reaction to the war's end (215-219; featuring readings of "O Captain! My Captain! " and "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd").]
Gagnon, Gregory. "Continuities." 2011. [Choral setting of Whitman's 1888 poem "Continuities"; premiered by Kansas City Chorale in March 2011.]
Genoways, Ted. "'Scented herbage of my breast': Whitman's Chest Hair and the Frontispiece to the 1860 Edition of Leaves of Grass." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 693-702. [Examines Stephen Alonzo Schoff's frontis-piece engraving of Whitman for the 1860 Leaves of Grass--"the image of Walt Whitman most widely circulated during his lifetime"--and analyzes the "hidden sensuality" of the portrait; traces the origins of the image to, first, an 1859 photograph of Whitman by Thomas Faris, then an 1860 painting by Charles Hine based on the photograph, pointing out that the painting was a faithful reproduction of the photo except that it removed Whitman's arm and hand that had covered his neck and open collar, allowing Hine to create an image of Whitman consonant with Whitman's self-descriptions in the 1860 Leaves ("costume free, neck gray and open," with "the white wool, unclipt upon my neck"), and pointing out that Schoff's engraving of the painting is a faithful reproduction of Hine's painting except for the addition of "tendril-like sprigs of chest hair," which seem to portray the "herbage of my breast" that Whitman describes in "Calamus."]
George, Bill. The Whitman Piece. 2010. [Play about a small theater company trying to create a play about Whitman and the Civil War; premiering at Touchstone Theatre, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in April 2011, with an advance "concert reading" in January 2011.]
Goodheart, Adam. "In Whitman's Pocket, an Imagined Lincoln." New York Times [online edition] (December 15, 2010). [Describes and reprints a facsimile of Whitman's 1860-1861 notebook in which he writes notes about an imagined dialogue between himself and Abraham Lincoln; includes accompanying commentary on the notebook and its mysterious drawings of Whitman.]
Guedes de Oliveira, J. R., ed. Walt Whitman: Um Poeta Brilhante [Walt Whitman: A Brilliant Poet]. Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo, Brazil: privately printed, 2009. [Gathers and comments on Brazilian responses to Whitman and his work by numerous Brazilian writers (including Domicio Coutinho, Gil Francisco Santos, Gustavo Dourado, Eduardo Pitta, Jose Castello, Irineu Monteiro, Gilberto Freyre, Luiz Angelico da Costa, Maria Clara Bonetti Paro, Luis da Camara Cascudo, Anibal M. Machado, Pedro Melito, Max Silva Moreira); reprints translations of Whitman's work by several Brazilian translators (including Gentil Saraiva Jr., Ronei A. Bossolan, Jorge Pontual, Oswaldino Marques, Geraldino Brasil, Luciano Alves Meira, Mario D. Ferreira Santos); with several contributions by the editor, including "Notas Introdutorias" (19-25), chronicling the editor's recent visit to Whitman's Camden home; "Uma Saudacao ao Brasil" (27-29), commenting on Whitman's 1889 poem "A Christmas Greeting," addressed to "Brazilian brother"; "A Sociedade dos Poetas Mortos" (29-32), recounting the author's response to the movie Dead Poets Society and its use of Whitman's poetry; "Influencia sobre Autores Brasileiros" (179-188), analyzing the "extraordinary influence" of Whitman's poetry on Brazilian writers, especially Mario de Andrade (1893-1945), Rodrigues de Abreu (1897-1927), and Octavio Brandao (1896-1980); "Monumento de Washington, Fevereiro de 1885" (189-190), commenting on Whitman's 1885 poem "Washington's Monument, February, 1885"; brief biographical notes about Whitman (193-194); a selected bibliography (197-198); and a gallery of photographs of Whitman taken from the Walt Whitman Archive (199-258); in Portuguese.]
Haile, Adam. "Imagined Democracy: Material Publishing, War, and the Emergence of Democratic Thinking in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass." Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2010. [Traces "the evolution of Whitman's democratic thinking across the first four editions of Leaves of Grass," noting that, "while democracy is the master political term within Whitman's later editions, it was nearly devoid from the original one, in which republican political concepts were still regnant," and arguing that, "in the space of twelve years, Whitman's relationship to democracy went through a strikingly classic dialectic trajectory: emergence, consolidation, fissure," forming "a chronicle of the archetypal democratic poet's struggle with democracy during U.S. democracy's most critical decade," moving him from the artisanal/early-industrial "print room" through a growing encounter with "modernization's expansion of markets" and on into an encounter with "the dead bodies of the Union soldiers," prompting a move from "his immediate social world (America) to a political philosophy (democracy)" and ultimately to "an inversion of democracy's promise, democracy become nightmarish and zombie-like"; DAI-A 72 (August 2011).]
Handley, George. Review of Georg Schwarzmann, The Influence of Emerson and Whitman on the Cuban Poet Jose Marti. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 145-146.
Henry, Barbara. "The Design and Typography of Leaves of Grass (1860)." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 601-612. [Offers background information on nineteenth-century printing practices, identifies and analyzes the typefaces Whitman used in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass (including the Caslon typeface, "used to evoke the revolutionary period"), and discusses the ornaments and illustrations in the 1860 edition.]
Karbiener, Karen. "Camerado, this is no book: Walt Whitman at the Huntington Library." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 559-584. [Introduces this special issue of the Huntington Library Quarterly devoted to essays on Whitman's 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass; describes the Whitman holdings at the Huntington Library, including the Huntington copies of the 1860 edition and materials related to this edition; focuses on and reprints the Huntington's copies of two manuscript newsletters (titled Jamaica Journal and Reporter and dated November 1846 and November 1847) written by Whitman's early friend Abraham Paul Leech; offers background information on Leech and his relationship with Whitman; and suggests how the manuscript newsletters (there are two additional, earlier extant issues at the Library of Congress) can be important to Whitman scholars.]
Karbiener, Karen, ed. Sesquicentennial Impressions: A Celebration of Leaves of Grass (1860). Huntington Library Quarterly 73, no. 4 (2010). [Special issue of the Huntington Library Quarterly featuring nine essays about the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, along with two poems, each listed separately in this bibliography.]
Killingsworth, M. Jimmie. "'As if the beasts spoke': The Animal/Animist/ Animated Walt Whitman." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/ Fall 2010), 19-35. [Examines how "Whitman's treatment of animality in the poems of the 1850s ... anticipates several cultural developments of our own time: in environmental and egalitarian politics, in animal activism, and in the rhetoric of genre and media," and argues that Whitman is an early participant in "a reconditioning of the modern imagination that results in an ethical, political, and spiritual re-enchantment or re-animation of nature in a post-religious and post-scientific world"; examines Whitman's poetic use of animals throughout his poetry, finding that his poems of the 1870s (like "Song of the Redwood-Tree") abandon "science and religion for animistic mythology as the source of his imagery and his inspiration."]
Hong Kingston, Maxine. I Love a Broad Margin to My Life. New York: Knopf, 2011. [Memoir written in free verse, inspired by and frequently quoting Whitman.]
Kummings, Donald D. Review of Robert Roper, Now the Drum of War: Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War. Choice 46 (August 2009), 2323-2324.
Lawler, Peter Augustine. "Whitman as a Political Thinker." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 245-271. [Seeks to "present and assess Whitman as a political thinker" by looking at "the prose he wrote after the Civil War," where we find his "most mature thought," where he probes the possibilities of finding--in contrast to Alexis de Tocqueville--"the resources in democracy itself to generate a wholly new religion"; focuses on Whitman's "democratic political principle," his ideas of "moral character and political life," his notions of "war and greatness," his concept of "average identity," his thoughts on "material prosperity and the ordinary practice of virtue," his concerns with "our present hollowness of heart," his call for a "democratic poetry," his embrace of and struggle against pantheism, and his hope for "the great positive, democratic poem about death"; concludes that "Whitman was incapable of writing the most important part of the democratic poem, of being the founder of the true democratic religion, of providing what's required both to justify and to bring into being democracy as a great moral and religious civilization," and that "Whitman knew all too well that his own personal longings pointed way beyond the democratic world of politics and business he could actually see, but he just wasn't at all clear where."]
Loving, Jerome. "Whitman Surprised: The Poet in 1885." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 141-144. [Reprints and discusses an 1885 article from the New York Times about the presentation of a "surprise gift" of a "handsome horse and phaeton" to Whitman, paid for by donations from friends and admirers, including Mark Twain, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.]
McMaster, J. L., and Donald D. Kummings, eds. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Walt Whitman. London: Routledge, 2011. [Paperback reprint of Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, originally published in 1998 by Garland.]
Meehan, Sean Ross. "'Nature's Stomach': Emerson, Whitman, and the Poetics of Digestion." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 97-121. [Examines "the physiology of digestion within the poetics" of Emerson and Whitman and probes "Whitman's 'Emersonianism' at the end, rather than the beginning of these writers' careers," focusing on "two neglected yet important works, Whitman's Two Rivulets (1876) and Emerson's "Poetry and the Imagination" (1875), both of which use the word "chyle" and the figure of what Emerson calls "intellectual digestion," a metonymic process that suggests "a paradox of identity through change, of composition by way of decomposition"; includes a reading of "Out From Behind This Mask" as it appears in Two Rivulets (printed directly above prose that comments on "chyle").]
Miller, Jon. "'Father Walt': Frances Willard and Walt Whitman." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 54-60. [Examines three accounts--by Whitman, by Kate Sanborn, and by Frances Willard--of Whitman's December 1882 visit to the Germantown, Pennsylvania, home of his friends, Hannah Whitall Smith and Robert Pearsall Smith and their children Mary, Logan, and Alys, and analyzes the differences in the various guests' memories of the event, at which Whitman and Willard had an argument about temperance but patched things up and became friends.]
Neruda, Pablo. "Ode to Walt Whitman." Translated by Martin Espada. Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 553-557. [New translation of Neruda's 1954 "Oda a Walt Whitman"; poem.]
Mantyjarvi, Jaakko. "To a Locomotive in Winter." 2010. [Musical setting of Whitman's poem, commissioned by Westminster Choir College (Princeton, New Jersey) for the Westminster Choir's 2011 concert tour of Florida.]
Packard, Chris. Queer Cowboys and Other Erotic Male Friendships in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. [Chapter 3, "American Satyriasis in Whitman, Harris, and Hartland" (71-93), proposes that Whitman, Frank Harris, and Claude Hartland all "associate a literary version of satyriasis, also known as Don Juanism, or more recently, sex addiction, with American manhood and nation building in the West," and argues that "this motif of perpetual erotic arousal is best articulated in Whitman's poetry and prose about 'camaraderie' in the West," where "Whitman finds the spirit of his imaginary nation" in the "free and easy robust spirit" of "Western men," as he preaches that "joyful sex should be the responsibility of every citizen," and "being American ought to mean having multiple partners, temporary liaisons, and bonds between such lovers based on easy physicality, not emotional entanglements--regardless of gender, class, or profession."]
Paprzycki, Joe. Nick of Time ... Nick of Time. 2011. [Short play featuring Whitman as the ghost mentor and confidant of Camden, New Jersey, haiku poet Nick Virgilio; produced by South Camden Theatre and performed at Waterfront South Theatre in Camden and Centre Theatre in Norristown, Pennsylvania, in January 2011.]
Pierson, Stephen W. "A Bakhtinian Reading of a Selection of Poems by Holderlin and Whitman." Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University, 2010. [Chapter 3, "Dialogism and Monologism in Holderlin's and Whitman's Poetics and Poetry," reads the work of Whitman and German poet Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843) in terms of Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of "reading lyric poetry dialogically and monologically at the same time," especially "the lyric's author-hero relationship," finding the poetics of these poets "dialogical as utterances, yet monological in their conceptions of poetry, which are grounded in their beliefs in the superiority of their own (svoi) understanding of society and culture to that of all others (chuzoi)"; DAI-A 72 (September 2011).]
Price, Kenneth M. "In Memoriam: James E. Miller, Jr." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Winter 2011), 155-156. [Memorial tribute to Whitman scholar James E. Miller, Jr. (1920-2010).]
Price, Kenneth M. "Love, War, and Revision in Whitman's Blue Book." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 679-692. [Examines how Whitman's Blue Book--his "copy of the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass in blue paper covers that [he] heavily annotated and used as the basis for a never-published future edition"--"was a locus for Whitman's substantive and stylistic changes" and how it "illuminates Whitman's poetic practice, particularly as it changed during (and in response to) the Civil War," arguing that "the Blue Book is one of the most dramatic manifestations of Whitman editing himself," and analyzing his increasing use of the word pensive as "a useful barometer of his outlook" at this time.]
Redding, Patrick. "Whitman Unbound: Democracy and Poetic Form, 19121931." New Literary History 41 (Summer 2010), 669-690. [Explores "what happens when we uncouple Whitman's theory of democratic poetics from the force of his poetic example," thus "framing the issue as a theoretical problem" and reversing "the usual critical emphasis on the effects of Whitman's practice, turning us away from traditional questions of Whitman's 'influence'" and looking instead at "how modernist critics applied Whitman's theory in ways that depart from his original ideas, or, in some cases, how these critics explicitly rejected his views"; argues that during the 1910s and 1920s, "the literary movement known as modernism ... was actually quite preoccupied with forging a connection between poetry and political democracy," revealing that Whitman's "program was never that coherent in the first place and could be put to many different uses," since describing "a poem as 'democratic' does not characterize an object so much as expose a particular way of reading that has become deeply internalized and, thus, unexamined"; points out that the various modernist poets and critics who look to Whitman--including Harriet Monroe, Ezra Pound, Josephine Preston Peabody, James Oppenheim, Max Eastman, Louis Untermeyer, James Weldon Johnson, Sterling Brown, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, and William Carlos Williams--actually "call Whitman's authority into question" because of "the variety of their responses," teaching us "that the 'democratic' qualities of poetry need not reside primarily in the use of free verse, idiomatic language, plain style, or relationship to mass culture, but can be found in the development of political ideas within an individual career, or even across the stanzas of an individual poem," allowing for "a more capacious formulation: that poems articulate democratic beliefs not just through a consistent facet of style, but also by reflecting the complex arguments, images, and shifts in tone and rhythm by which the voice of democracy declares itself on and off the page."]
Reynolds, David S. "'Affection shall solve every one of the problems of freedom': Calamus Love and the Antebellum Political Crisis." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 629-642. [Proposes that Whitman "directed every aspect of the 1860 edition--typography, binding, and contents--toward his overriding goal of moving the public," thus making this edition "the most conventional of the six major editions of Whitman's poems," despite its inclusion of "Enfans d'Adam" and "Calamus"; analyzes the "deep political significance" that "same-sex affection" took on for Whitman at this time as he sought to forge "national unity through magnetic, passionate friendship"; argues that "Whitman's expressions of Calamus love, far from being shockingly transgressive or out of step with his era, were in fact a main means of his gaining widespread acceptance and veneration among the mainstream readers he had long sought to attract," because "passionate intimacy between people of the same sex was common in pre-Civil War America," where "it was common among both men and women to hug, kiss, and express love for people of the same sex," and where "friends could [even] have genital contact without necessarily feeling different."]
Richardson, Todd H. "From Syphilitic to Suffragist: The Woman's Journal and the Negotiation of Walt Whitman's Celebrity." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 36-53. [Traces the references to Whitman in "America's most prominent and long-lived suffragist periodical," the Woman's Journal (1870-1917), to demonstrate that "the influential suffrage community supported by this periodical first configured Whitman as a recalcitrant sensualist and later reconfigured him as an inspired suffragist whose appropriated poetry encouraged women to carry on the suffrage fight"; analyzes the roles figures such as Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Elizabeth Porter Gould played in shaping Whitman's reputation within the women's rights community.]
Roberts, Kim. "American Herring Gull." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 703-704. [Poem, with a four-line epigraph from "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," each line of which is used as a final line in each of the four stanzas of this poem.]
Ruprecht, Louis A. "Walt Whitman's Sacred Democracy." Religion Dispatches (January 9, 2011), www.religiondispatches.org. [Examines Whitman's concept in Democratic Vistas of a "religious democracy," meaning not a "Christian conception of the nation" but rather "a radically new democratic religion."]
Schmidgall, Gary. Review of Juan A. Herrero Brasas, Walt Whitman's Mystical Ethics of Comradeship. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 69-74.
Schoolman, Morton. "Democratic Enlightenment: Whitman and Aesthetic Education." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 310-339. [Analyzes "the structural logic of Democratic Vistas by focusing on "the three questions [Whitman] struggles with most": "What constitutes the uniqueness of democracy in America? What is required for American democracy to develop its unique potential and break with all past societies, their cultures, and the principles on which they are based? How would global history be altered if America's unique democratic potential were to reach fruition?" Examines how Whitman balances "equal rights as sameness and individual rights as difference" as he struggles to reconcile "the individual and the mass," and tracks the "roughly twelve topics" or "concepts" around which Whitman builds his essay: individual, mass, equality, artwork of the future, nativity, cultural revolution, hegemony, poetry, reconciliation, identity, the unknown, and death; examines Whitman's poetry as work "that teaches reconciliation as the realization of the all-inclusiveness of social differences by overcoming the construction of Otherness, a project of democratic enlightenment through aesthetic education, democratic enlightenment as democracy's barrier to evil"; concludes that "aesthetically valorizing appearances to oppose the evil of converting difference to Otherness, poetry teaches reconciliation by opposing the marginalization and exclusion of difference and the more extreme forms of violence victimizing difference, genocide the most horrifying."]
Seery, John E., ed. A Political Companion to Walt Whitman. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011. [Collection of essays that "bring[s] together political theorists to ponder Walt Whitman as a political writer"; contains three reprinted essays--George Kateb, "Walt Whitman and the Culture of Democracy" (19-46), originally published in Political Theory (November 1990); Nancy L. Rosenbaum, "Strange Attractors: How Individualists Connect to Form Democratic Unity" (47-58), originally published in Political Theory (November 1990); and Martha C. Nussbaum, "Democratic Desire: Walt Whitman" (96-130), originally published in Nussbaum's Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of the Emotions (2001)--and ten original essays, each listed separately in this bibliography, and arranged in Seery's book in three groups--"Individuality and Connectedness," "City Life and Bodily Place," and "Death and Citizenship"; with an introduction, "Introduction: Democratic Vistas Today" (1-15), and a selected bibliography (343-352), both by Seery.]
Shapiro, Michael J. "Walt Whitman and the Ethnopoetics of New York." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 185-219. [Compares Whitman's "poetic subject" to Immanuel Kant's "philosophical subject," finding in Whitman "a mentality that achieves what Kant refers to as 'enlarged thought' as a result of its engagements with the sensations of experience"; also compares Whitman's poetic subject to Walter Benjamin's philosophical subject with its emphasis on "transitivity," similar to the way "Whitman's philosophy of experience ... emerges from his city observations" in a "body-city relation ship"; compares Whitman's city "ethnopoetics" to works by Ralph Ellison, Chinese-American poet John Yau, M. M. Bakhtin, Langston Hughes, and Nuyorican poets, and analyzes three "Whitman-inspired" novels (Richard Powers's Gain and The Time of Our Singing, and Colin Harrison's Bodies Electric).]
Thomas, M. Wynn. "'Till I hit upon a name': 'Calamus' and the Language of Love." Huntington Library Quarterly 73 (2010), 643-657. [Argues that in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass we can see "the emergence of a new Whitmanian poetry--an authentic poetry of love," a poetry that reveals "the 'demonic' side of love," evident most clearly in "A Word Out of the Sea" and "Calamus," where the speaker is "haunted by passion," and in which "Whitman may be regarded ... as attempting to establish a male-male socio-erotic axis to offset the heavily heterosexual American society of his own time," creating "a language for recognizing, comprehending, and sharing the deepest, the richest, and in some ways, too, the darkest ranges of same-sex relationship," extending "the existing language of love to make possible the full recognition of the whole continuum of male-male relationships," reworking Wagner's "liebestod theme," and extending that language of complex love to address "the political crisis of the period."]
Trachtenberg, Alan. "'Undrape!': On Naked Readers in Melville and Whitman." Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 28 (Summer/Fall 2010), 1-18. [Seeks to discover "the image of writing" that Whitman and Melville projected, "an image that serves as a provisional guise or set of clothing for the reader"--the "full content of the image is the actual work the reader performs and in this sense is coextensive with the text itself"; argues that both writers have "designs upon the fire-side readers" they address, seeking "to devise methods to persuade readers to recognize that all thoughts and conceptions are garments, that all tools of knowledge, all systems of explanation, are, in a manner of speaking, the cloth men wear"; proposes that, for both writers, "the subject or matter of their work includes the specific difficulties of the work itself," and, while Whitman "is always invitational even when evasive," Melville "becomes increasingly forbidding," finally performing in The Confidence-Man "an act of aggression against the gullible reader"; concludes that "Whitman seemed more confident than Melville that experience ultimately made sense, made sense especially in the ultimate experience of death," while "Melville's efforts were more de-creative, to dissolve literature into metaphysical components," offering his readers access to the "inscrutability" of experience.]
Trubek, Anne. A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. [Chapter 2, "Trying to Find Whitman in Camden" (15-26), records the author's visits to Whitman's Camden, New Jersey, home on Mickle Street in 1991 and 2004, where she "rediscovered Whitman's poetry, as well as the history of Camden," though she is unnerved to find "the house is set up ... to fool us into thinking that Whitman was still living there" and is struck that "there isn't much to look at, since Whitman never owned much and the house is architecturally ordinary."]
Turner, Jack. "Whitman, Death, and Democracy." In John E. Seery, ed., A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2011), 272-295. [Analyzes Whitman's "three visions of death in his antebellum work"--"organic transformation" ("there is no death, only change of form"), "inspiration to creative immortality" (the poem itself acts as the "vessel of immortality," since "consciousness of our mortality inspires us to make memorable words out of our experience so that we may live and converse with future generations"), and "a human condition" ("even if death is a full stop, it still deserves our affirmation")--and the ways this "tripartite poetics of death" plays a "crucial role in Whitman's quest to inspire democratic culture," enhancing "our appreciation of the radicalism of Whitman's democratic theory, a theory that not only acknowledges but also celebrates human finitude": "citizens agnostic about death ... are more likely to confront difference with equanimity, to let it speak, and to revise their worldviews in light of it, than to prematurely categorize difference within a rigidly held, totalizing worldview."]
Vander Zee, Anton. "Whitman, Lately." Agni, no. 72 (October 2010), 97-112. [Argues that "an honest re-reading of his late work shows how strained and damaged Whitman understood his own vision to be" and that "such an understanding brings Whitman closer, makes him a partner in our loss rather than a stranger to it," revealing him as "a poet not of enabling affirmation, but of disability, and the difficult knowledge of crisis, even if that knowledge is compacted in the alternately unassuming and obscure forms that his late work takes"--"a strange, difficult and discomfiting music with a strong critical undertow for those prepared to hear and explore it"; goes on to discuss poet C. K. Williams's new books--On Whitman and Wait--seeing in the first the usual dismissal of Whitman's late poetry but finding in the latter a "quiet admission of late Whitman's more complex, conflicted, and insinuating music."]
Wachtell, Cynthia. War No More: The Antiwar Impulse in American Literature, 1861-1914. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010. [Chapter 6, "Walt Whitman: 'That Hell Unpent'" (80-99), examines how Whitman "struggled to come to terms with the Civil War," vacillating "between supporting and questioning the war," presenting "an uplifting and inspiring image of the war, and of wartime America, to his public readership," though engaging in "self-censorship and circumspection," since in his "personal writings" he recorded "some of the darkest observations and verses to spring from the Civil War," revealing that "he did not publicly acknowledge the extent of his dismay and ambivalence," leaving in his journals and notes "some of the most overtly antiwar lines of the entire Civil War generation"; suggests that Whitman decided to "censor his response to the war" in his Civil War poetry in order "to serve his patriotic purpose," to help "protect his readers, especially his female readers," and "to convince himself, and to convince posterity, that the war was not fought in vain."]
Williamson, Vincent. Whitman. San Francisco: Piktor Duende, 2010. [Feature-length film portraying Whitman on his deathbed, as he takes an imagined final journey through his past and his poetry, traversing a haunted landscape populated with an assortment of figures, including Civil War soldiers, a muse, a cantatrice, and an American Indian representing the earth; starring Jack Minor as Whitman; screenplay by Vincent Williamson and Jeremy Obertone, with additional writing by Robert Ahola.]
The University of Iowa Ed Folsom
"Walt Whitman: A Current Bibliography," now covering work on Whitman from 1838 to the present, is available in a fully searchable format online at the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review website (ir.uiowa.edu/wwqr/) and at the Walt Whitman Archive (whitmanarchive.org).
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||Walt Whitman Quarterly Review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2011|
|Previous Article:||Walt Whitman. Democratic Vistas: The Original Edition in Facsimile. Ed. Ed Folsom.|
|Next Article:||Whitman's Columbia: the commemoration of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in "A Thought of Columbus".|