Walt Whitman's Mystical Ethics of Comradeship: Homosexuality and the Marginality of Friendship at the Crossroads of Modernity

Walt Whitman's Mystical Ethics of Comradeship: Homosexuality and the Marginality of Friendship at the Crossroads of Modernity

by Juan A. Hererro Brasas

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438430102
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 01/02/2011
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Juan A. Herrero Brasas teaches ethics and religious studies at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of several books in Spanish, including Primera plana: La construcción de una cultura queer en España (Front Page: The Construction of a Queer Culture in Spain).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Literature as Religion: Whitman's Messianic Enterprise 7

The Building of a Reputation 7

Theosophy, the Occult, and Whitman's Apparitions 18

The Character of Whitman's Religion 19

The Creed 29

Chapter 2 The Mystic Hypothesis 33

The Strong Hypothesis 35

The Weak Hypothesis 46

The Denial of the Hypothesis 49

Conclusion 51

Chapter 3 A Gospel of Beauty 57

The Classical Roots of Aestheticism 58

Whitman and the Platonic Tradition 61

From Phrenology to Aesthetic Morality 64

Whitman's Treatment of the Ugly: The "Kosmic" Vision 68

Whitman and Nietzsche 71

Whitman and Oscar Wilde 80

Chapter 4 The Love of Comrades 83

A Messianic Mission 83

The Nature of Comradeship 87

Eduard Bertz: Comradeship as Veiled Homosexuality 92

Mystical Interpretations of Comradeship 95

Ethical Aspects of Comradeship 96

Religious Aspects of Comradeship 102

Social and Political Aspects of Comradeship 104

Whitman's Comradeship and Symonds's Concept of Greek Love 109

Chapter 5 Whitman, the Moral Reformer 117

Poetry and Ethics: Whitman's Moral Concern 117

The Character of Whitman's New Morality 120

An Analysis of Whitman's Morality: Briggs's Theory 123

Whitman's Attitudes to War 125

Robert K. Martin's Theory: "Fucked by the Earth" 127

David Kuebrich's Theory: Post-Christian Millennialism 130

Reynolds's Theory: "Immoral Didacticism" 135

A Probable Synthesis: Nature, Science, and Evolutionary Theory 141

Conclusion 143

An Afterthought: Traubel, Homosexuality, and the Whitman Myth 151

A Queer (Theory) Postscript 155

A Queer (Theory) Twist: No New Species 156

Whitman's Disappointment and the New Sexual Economy 157

Queer (Theory) Confusion and Its Uses 159

Abbreviations and Special References 161

Notes 163

Selected Bibliography 189

Index 199

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