The works of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) have been described as masculine, feminine, postcolonial, homoerotic, urban, organic, unique, and democratic. While he is widely accepted as the father of free verse, not all scholars agree on Whitman's understanding of democracy. A Political Companion to Walt Whitman examines the degree to which Whitman should be considered a political thinker.
This collection is the first anthology to analyze the works of Whitman from a primary political perspective. With original and classic contributions from editor John E. Seery and an array of prominent theorists and philosophers, this distinctive volume uncovers the political awareness of Whitman's poetry and prose.
Some critics deny the existence of political opinions in Whitman's poetry. Others regard Whitman as a political philosopher and a great teacher of individuality, finding compelling evidence of these traits in his 1871 essay "Democratic Vistas," which touches on themes such as pluralism versus solidarity, the status of the democratic individual, voting rights, republican participation, women's suffrage, and political liberty. Still others argue that although Whitman showed a clear interest in these issues, he did not necessarily hold a coherent political position.
A Political Companion to Walt Whitman is an extraordinary collection that explores Whitman's faith in American potential, his call for a revolution in literature and political culture, and his belief in the possibility of combining heroic individualism with democratic justice. Reaching beyond literature into political theory, A Political Companion to Walt Whitman reveals the ideology behind Whitman's call for the emergence of American poets of democracy.
"Whitman is indeed one of the great theorists of democracy, but is not often taught as part of the canon of American political thought, an oversight that this volume goes far to remedy." -- George Shulman, author of American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political Culture
Series: Political Companions to Great American Authors
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 11th January 2011
Publisher: The University Press of Kentucky
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24
Weight (kg): 0.72