By David S. Reynolds
Few authors are so compatible to historic learn as Whitman, who's commonly thought of America's maximum poet. This consultant combines modern cultural reviews and ancient scholarship to light up Whitman's varied contexts. The essays discover dimensions of Whitman's dynamic dating to working-class politics, race and slavery, sexual mores, the visible arts, and the belief of democracy. The poet who emerges from this quantity isn't any "solitary singer," distanced from his tradition, yet what he himself referred to as "the age transfigured," absolutely enmeshed in his occasions and addressing matters which are nonetheless important this present day.
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Additional info for A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman (Historical Guides to American Authors)
After he suffered severe strokes in 1888, he was attended by a series of male nurses. He was visited almost daily by a young socialist friend, Horace Traubel, who wrote down their conversations in thick books that A Brief Biography 39 later appeared as the multivolume With Walt Whitman in Camden. In these conversations, Whitman reminisced endlessly and expounded on virtually every topic of the day. In the meantime, expurgated, parlor-table editions of his poems were published, including Ernest Rhys's "Leaves of Grass ": The Poems of Walt Whitman (1886) and Elizabeth Porter Gould's Gems from Walt Whitman (1889).
76. Oliver Stevens to James R. Osgood, letter of March 1, 1882. Feinberg Collection, Library of Congress. 1 But Whitman was a poet embedded in his times, and his times—not unlike our own—were a period of intense disagreement about the significance and importance of racial difference. His career demonstrates his struggle with his times—and with himself—over the issue of race in the United States, and, because of that, his work offers important insight into the ongoing struggle in America to create a unified society that nonetheless maintains and celebrates its diversity.
His connection with the Daily Times lasted two years, until June 1859, when he left the paper apparently after a dispute with its owner over articles in which he recommended legalized prostitution and condoned premarital sex for women. In the summer of 1858, he had the first of many "sunstrokes," or dizzy spells, which would plague him for the next decade. He also evidently had an ill-fated love affair with either a woman or a man. Evidence for the latter is contained in "Live Oak with Moss," a cluster of poems he wrote in 1859 that traced a relationship that involved love, renunciation, and loss.
A Historical Guide to Walt Whitman (Historical Guides to American Authors) by David S. Reynolds