A Companion to Walt Whitman / Edition 1

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Comprising more than 30 substantial essays written by leading scholars, this companion constitutes an exceptionally broad-ranging and in-depth guide to one of America’s greatest poets.
  • Makes the best and most up-to-date thinking on Whitman available to students
  • Designed to make readers more aware of the social and cultural contexts of Whitman’s work, and of the experimental nature of his writing
  • Includes contributions devoted to specific poetry and prose works, a compact biography of the poet, and a bibliography
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book will be indispensable to Whitman lovers and students of American literary and cultural history.” Choice

"A Companion to Walt Whitman is an erudite exploration of not only the works themselves and their reflection of Whitman’s era, but also the valuable insights they convey to present and future generations. Highly recommended."
Midwest Book Review

"A significant achievement, constituting a companion not only to the poet, but to the entire field of Whitman studies."
Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Donald D. Kummings is a Professor of English at the Parkside Campus of the University of Wisconsin. His books on Whitman include Walt Whitman, 1940-1975: A Reference Guide (1982), Approaches to Teaching Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ (1990) and with J.R. LeMaster Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia (1998). In 1990, his collection of poems, The Open Road Trip was awarded the Posner Poetry Prize by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. In 1997, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named him Wisconsin Professor of the Year.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Whitman's life and work, 1819-92 11
2 Journalism 29
3 The city 42
4 Labor and laborers 60
5 Politics 76
6 Oratory 87
7 Slavery and race 101
8 Nation and identity 122
9 A theory of organic democracy 136
10 Imperialism 151
11 Sexuality 164
12 Gender 180
13 Religion and the poet-prophet 197
14 Science and pseudoscience 216
15 Nineteenth-century popular culture 233
16 Opera and other kinds of music 257
17 Nineteenth-century visual culture 272
18 Civil War 290
19 Nature 311
20 Death and the afterlife 325
21 Twentieth-century mass media appearances 341
22 Language 361
23 Style 377
24 Literary contemporaries 392
25 The publishing history of leaves of grass 409
26 The poet's reception and legacy 439
27 The first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass 457
28 "Song of myself" 471
29 "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" 484
30 "Out of the cradle endlessly rocking" 496
31 "Live Oak, with Moss," "Calamus," and "children of Adam" 508
32 Civil War poems in "drum-taps" and "memories of President Lincoln" 522
33 Democratic vistas 540
34 Specimen days 553
35 The prose writings : selected secondary sources 566
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