Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present

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David Haven Blake, Michael Robertson
University of Iowa Press, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 188 pages
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Whitman’s poetry is full of places where he directly addresses his future readers, acknowledges the time span between them, then shrugs it off. “The greatest poet,” he writes in his preface to Leaves of Grass, “places himself where the future becomes present.” By celebrating the complex legacy of Leaves of Grass, the ten essayists in this spirited collection affirm the truth of its premise: “Past and present and future are not disjoined but joined.”

Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present
invigorates Whitman studies by garnering insights from a diverse group of writers and intellectuals. Writing from the perspectives of art history, political theory, creative writing, and literary criticism, the contributors place Whitman in the center of both world literature and American public life. The volume is especially notable for being the best example yet published of what the editors call the New Textuality in Whitman studies, an emergent mode of criticism that focuses on the different editions of Whitman’s poems as independent works of art.

Written one hundred fifty years after the book’s publication, these timely, innovative responses to Leaves of Grass confirm that the future of Whitman’s poems is vital to our present.

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Loosd of Limits and Imaginary Lines
The Visionary Whitman
The Aegean the Nile and Whitman
Walt Whitman and the Poetics of Reprinting
Debris Creative Scatter and the Challenges of Editing Whitman
Civil War Religion and Whitmans DrumTaps
Walt Whitmans Song of Democracy
The TwentiethCentury Artistic Reception of Whitman and Melville
So Long So Long Walt Whitman Langston Hughes and the Art of Longing
Whitman and the Idea of Infinity
Walt Whitman Latino Poet

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About the author (2008)

The author of Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity, David Haven Blake is an associate professor of English at the College of New Jersey. Michael Robertson is a professor of English at the College of New Jersey and the author of Stephen Crane, Journalism, and the Making of Modern American Literature and Worshiping Walt: The Whitman Disciples.

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