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

Allott, Daniel. "Walt Whitman Built Free Verse and Freedom into His Poetry." Investor's Business Daily (March 21, 2016). [Offers a general overview of Whitman's career.]

Bellis, Peter J. "Reconciliation as Sequel and Supplement: Drum-Taps and Battle-Pieces." Mickle Street Review no. 21 (Spring 2016), micklestreet.rutgers. edu. [Begins with the question, "Why does Drum-Taps require a sequel, and Battle-Pieces a supplement?," and goes on to note how Whitman and Herman Melville "could simply have ended their books with the close of Civil War hostilities," but both felt "something more" was needed "to give the war shape and meaning: an additional movement toward reunification and reconciliation," though both supplements brought "formal disruption" as "reconciliation is deferred or displaced into a separate section of the text and marked by an all too visible scar or seam"; goes on to demonstrate how "the break in Whitman's text marks the point between wartime conflict and postwar reconciliation, a necessary pivot in what he comes to see as a single temporal and psychological process," while for Melville, "reconciliation is blocked by the politicized struggle of Reconstruction, a discursive shift that leaves the volume not so much temporally incomplete as structurally flawed" ("Whitman sees reconciliation as a task that poetry can still accomplish, given time; Melville fears that it may lie beyond the reach of discourse altogether"); concludes by observing that, "nearly 150 years later, it is all too clear that Melville, not Whitman, was the more prescient, for the tasks of reconciliation and reunification still remain."]

Bennett, Joe. "Finding Walt's Wisdom amid the Jakes." Dominion Post [Wellington, New Zealand] (February 10, 2016). [Recounts the experience of reading Whitman's poetry while on the toilet, finding an insect crawling on the page, quelling the instinct to kill it, and realizing that "letting the creature be" was consistent with Whitman's message.]

Black, Christopher Allan. "Lincoln's Revolutionary Rhetoric in Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals and the Historiographic Elegies of Walt Whitman." Philological Review 39 (2013), 53-83. [Examines how Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals and Whitman's Memories of President Lincoln both "paint a heroic picture of the sixteenth president as the political savior of antebellum American society," "analyze Lincoln's rise to power in the antebellum era and his ability to maintain the integrity of the union," "view Lincoln as a martyr who was sacrificed to heal the wounds of a divided country," and portray "Lincoln as possessing an almost mystical command of rhetoric that caused individuals of different political backgrounds to reconcile their differences"; concludes that, "unlike the historian, Whitman's role as national elegist was to reflect the sentiment of the American public towards the President during his time," while "Goodwin's narrative deconstructs the accepted image of Lincoln by offering the public a picture of Lincoln as a principled moral leader deeply conflicted over the pressing political issues of his day."]

Boorse, Michael J., ed. Conversations (Winter 2015-16). [Newsletter of the Walt Whitman Association, Camden, NJ, with news of association events, a timeline of "Whitman at War" (this issue's timeline goes from December 5, 1864, to December 6, 1865), and one article, listed separately in this bibliography.]

Bradford, Adam C. "Embodying the Book: Mourning for the Masses in Walt Whitman's Drum-Taps." Mickle Street Review no. 21 (Spring 2016), micklestreet. rutgers.edu. [Examines Civil War era mourning practices and notes how many family members of dead soldiers were never able to retrieve the body of their loved one, thus robbing them of the opportunity to go through traditional mourning rituals; proposes that Drum-Taps is Whitman's attempt to "mediate grief and foster successful mourning through a book that . . . not only represented the deceased, but allowed readers to imagine themselves reconnected to them through its pages," a process made possible by Whitman's "curious lack of detail, and augmented by a material construction in which binding, typography, and visual ornamentation were crafted to represent any and every lost soldier of the Civil War," thus facilitating "a collaborative process of mourning which would create what was, in essence, a community of 'readerly' mourners united in spite of geographical, political, or ideological distances," as these readers invested Whitman's "anonymous soldier images . …

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