Academic journal article Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

Walt Whitman: A Current Bibliography

Academic journal article Walt Whitman Quarterly Review

Walt Whitman: A Current Bibliography

Article excerpt

Aberbach, David. National Poetry, Empires and War. New York: Routledge, 2015. [Chapter 9, "Walt Whitman, American Nationalism and the Revolutions of 1848-49" (203-225), explores what factors "caused Whitman to abandon the xenophobia of his age and, instead, define American national identity as inclusive of many foreign immigrants with their diverse cultures," and argues that "Whitman's bitterness" over the failure of the European revolutions of 1848-49 was a major contributing factor to his own revolutionary poetry, noting "striking parallels between the young Whitman and the young Karl Marx in the year of revolution, 1848," and proposing that "the defeat of European revolutionary liberalism was a trigger of Leaves of Grass between 1848 and 1855 and affected Whitman's perception of the Civil War in his later poems as he saw American internal discord as in international blow to democracy"; also analyzes how Leaves, though "composed in the revolutionary spirit of 1848-49," "is at the same time the poetry of a man driven from American politics in despair at its corruption," but ultimately "America, dynamic, growing, prospering and increasingly diverse, impressed the idealistic Whitman as a source of good, identical with the divinely blessed individual self'; concludes that "Whitman spoke for the uncertainties of American national identity after 1848," and that he, "more than most national poets, came to embody the thorny paradoxes of nationalism and internationalism, public man and tormented artist, Self and Universe."]

Acamovic, Bojana, ed. "Medjasi: Volt Vitman" ["Landmarks: Walt Whitman"]. Polja, casopis za knjizevnost i teoriju [Fields: A Journal of Literature and Theory\ 59, No. 493 (May-June 2015), 62-90. [This section on Whitman contains three pieces: Bojana Acamovic, "Budenje americke poezije Vitmanovim varvarskim krikom" ("The Awakening of American Poetry by Whitman's Barbaric Yawp"), 62-69; Walt Whitman, "Vlati trave 1855 - Predgovor" (Preface to 1855 Leaves of Grass, translated by Bojana Acamovic), 70-84; and Ed Folsom, "Knjige koje je pravio Vitman" ("The Books Whitman Made" and "The First Edition of Leaves of Grass," from Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman, translated by Bojana Acamovic), 85-90; in Serbian.]

Anderson, Fiona. "'A Trail of Drift and Debris': Traces of Whitman in the Correspondence Art of Ray Johnson." Journal of American Studies 49 (February 2015), 55-75. [Examines "New York Correspondence School" artist Ray Johnson's 1987 Long Island performance called "Smile," which "both elevated and mocked Whitman's equally personal approach to the art and practice of correspondence"; in his performance, Johnson (1927-1995) munched on peanut butter cups while reading Whitman's "thoughts on 'personal' correspondence" (as recorded by Horace Träubel), "much of which, in Whitman's case, consisted of what we might call romantic letters to young men," allowing Johnson to "call attention to questions of hidden, or coded, homosexual desire in Whitman's work [and] to its resonances with his own homosexuality": "By invoking Whitman and his thoughts on correspondence, Johnson was keen to respond to descriptions of him as 'Dada Daddy' to a younger generation of correspondence artists," and Johnson's "reappraisal of Whitman ... considered the ephemerality of his poetic method and opened up a queer line of communication and anti-teleological influence that would disrupt Johnson's own artistic reception."]

Barnat, Dara. "'Women and poets see the truth arrive': Muriel Rukeyser and Walt Whitman." Studies in American Jewish Literature 34 (2015), 94-116. [Argues that "the vision that Rukeyser drew from Whitman was largely a liberal corrective to the conservative elements she perceived in her family's community of German Reform Jewry," and that she adopted "aspects of Whitman's work to create a more democratic, socially informed, and inclusive America in general and Jewish America in particular," drawing from Whitman key notions about "the Bible, the prophetic voice, the intimate relationship between poet and reader, poetry's ethical role in society, the act of bearing witness, the contradiction of good and evil, 'courage and possibility,' and the body," all demonstrating "how a Jewish minority writer, in order to negotiate [her] position in America, turns to a non-Jewish American majority writer": "That Rukeyser employs Whitman, the representative American poet, to counter the influence of America on Jews, is an interesting paradox. …

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