By John E. Seery
The works of Walt Whitman were defined as masculine, female, postcolonial, homoerotic, city, natural, targeted, and democratic, but arguments in regards to the volume to which Whitman may possibly or can be thought of a political poet haven't begun to be totally faced. a few students forget Whitman's figuring out of democracy, insisting on isolating his own works from his political works. A Political spouse to Walt Whitman is the 1st full-length exploration of Whitman's works during the lens of political idea. Editor John E. Seery and a suite of well-liked theorists and philosophers discover the political understanding of Whitman's poetry and prose, interpreting his religion within the capability of people, his demand a revolution in literature and political tradition, and his trust within the threat of mixing heroic individualism with democratic justice. A Political better half to Walt Whitman reaches past literature into political conception, revealing the ideology in the back of Whitman's demand the emergence of yank poets of democracy.
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Additional info for A Political Companion to Walt Whitman (Political Companions to Great American Authors)
Rejection of any other human being, for one reason or another, for apparently good reasons as well as for bad ones, is self-rejection. A principal burden of Whitman’s teaching, therefore, is that the differences between individuals do not go as deep as the commonalities. Personality is not the (secular) soul. He explicitly says in “To You” that every endowment (talent) and virtue is latent in every individual, not merely every impulse or desire. If I am right in the suggestions that I am making concerning the poetic aim of “Song of Myself,” the result is rather strange (to use that word again).
I would also like to suggest that this overt, acted-out connectedness is not well illustrated by Whitman’s notion of adhesive love, or love of comrades. This is, in my judgment, too literal an application of receptivity and responsiveness. It is equality made too literal: One is dissolved in the “en 38 George K ateb masse” rather than remaining connected to others as an equal. It promises to exceed sympathy but must fall short of it and become gregariousness. ” Adhesiveness threatens to suffocate the very individualism of personality that Whitman is trying to promote, while it despiritualizes and falsifies the superior idea of oneself as composite, and hence as indefinite, and hence not properly amenable to an all-enfolding merger.
26–27) Whitman and the Culture of Democracy 45 One’s culmination is impersonal contemplation of the puzzle. For the sake of this, one must be one and only one. One’s end is found alone. As he puts it matchlessly, though still too religiously, in “Democratic Vistas”: “Alone, and identity, and the mood—and the soul emerges, and all statements, churches, sermons, melt away like vapors. ”23 Notes Originally published as George Kateb, “Walt Whitman and the Culture of Democracy,” Political Theory 18, no.