Re-Scripting Walt Whitman: An Introduction to His Life and Work / Edition 1

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This introductory guide to Walt Whitman weaves together the writer’s life with an examination of his works.

· An innovative introductory guide to Walt Whitman.

· Weaves together the writer’s life with an examination of his works.

· Focuses especially on Whitman’s evolving masterpiece Leaves of Grass.

· Examines the material conditions and products of Whitman’s “scripted life”, including his original manuscripts.

· Investigates Whitman’s “life in print” – his belief that he could literally embody himself in his books.

· Linked to a large electronic archive of Whitman’s work at

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Their Re-Scripting Walt Whitman is far more than anintroductory guide to the poet's life and work. Folsom and Pricehave produced an incisive, gracefully written book that offers animportant new approach to Leaves of Grass ... The result isa book valuable for whoever, novice or expert, undertakes to holdWalt Whitman in hand."

Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Volume Twenty-Three,Numbers Three/Four, Winter/Spring 2006

“Drawing on their extensive experience with electronicediting, more specifically, their work with the Walt WhitmanArchive, Ed Folsom and Ken Price reconstruct the details of thepoet's life and thread through that life the complex butfascinating story of Whitman's evolving master-piece, Leaves ofGrass. By emphasizing the manuscript origins of the poetry, Folsomand Price reveal that just about everything we thought we knewabout this much-discussed writer and his work is subject torevision. At nearly every turn, Re-Scripting Walt Whitman seems toproclaim, ‘Allons! the road is before us!’ ”Donald D. Kummings, Co-editor, Walt Whitman: AnEncyclopedia

“Whitman is America’s ever-fluid text. Thorough,concise, and engagingly written, Re-scripting Walt Whitmanilluminates the life and works — the poet’s sexuality,politics, and ceaseless growth — with an important newemphasis on manuscripts, revision, and the innovative onlineWhitman Archive that will startle general readers and literaryscholars alike.” John Bryant, Hofstra University

"A splendid primer to the complexities of Whitman's prose andverse. Folsom and Price expertly trace the evolution of Whitman'scareer and the gradual growth of Leaves of Grass. Scholars no lessthan novices will be inspired to read Whitman with fresh insight."Gary F. Scharnhorst, University of New Mexico

Re-Scripting Walt Whitman accomplishes twosignificant tasks at once. It ties Whitman's poetry to his life ina clear, down-to-earth narrative of biographical detail andliterary accomplishment. And it breaks new ground in its portrayalof Whitman as a working poet, one who knew his way around aprint shop and based his radical innovations on an intimateknowledge of type, print, ink, and bookmaking. Drawing on their ownexperience in constructing a new electronic Whitman archive, EdFolsom and Kenneth Price provide unique lessons in reading theactual materiality of Whitman's poems as the first step towardgrasping their meanings.” Alan Trachtenberg, YaleUniversity

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405118187
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/29/2005
  • Series: Wiley Blackwell Introductions to Literature Series , #24
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 174
  • Sales rank: 1,138,702
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Folsom is Carver Professor of English at the Universityof Iowa. He is the editor of The Walt Whitman QuarterlyReview, co-director of the Walt Whitman Archive and the authoror editor of five books on Whitman, including WaltWhitman’s Native Representations (1994) and WhitmanEast and West (1992).

Kenneth M. Price is the Hillegass Professor of AmericanLiterature at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He is theco-director of the Walt Whitman archive, editor of Walt Whitman:The Contemporary Reviews, and author of Whitman andTradition: The Poet in his Century (1990) and To WaltWhitman, America (2004).

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Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations of Whitman’s Works.


1 Growing up in the Age of Accelerating Print: Whitman asPrinter, Journalist, Teacher, and Fiction Writer.

2 “Many Manuscript Doings and Undoings”: The Roadtoward Leaves of Grass.

3 “I Was Chilled with the Cold Types and Cylinder and WetPaper Between Us”: The First and Second Editions of Leavesof Grass.

4 Intimate Script and the New American Bible:“Calamus” and the Making of the 1860 Leaves ofGrass.

5 Blood-Stained Memoranda.

6 Reconstructing Leaves of Grass, Restructuring aLife.

7 Dying into Leaves.

Appendix: What Whitman Left Us.



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