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Archive for September, 2009

As frustrated as I grow as a non-procreator while reading “Children of Adam” and its “Singing the song of procreation” (248), I’m trying to keep in mind nineteenth-century contexts of reproduction. Whitman would have been surrounded by what we in the twenty-first century would likely deem “excessive” procreation. In part to combat  high infant mortality and to […]

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Whitmanic Fireman

Ah, so much for a sustained, methodical relating of my family’s nineteenth century to Whitman’s! (Perhaps a quick Burns quotation … just to show that we’re not wholly Amero-centric: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promised joy.”)   But, […]

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Walt Whitman and Allan Gurganus

I think that, like most of the folks in the seminar, I am seeing Whitman “everywhere” now. I most recently encountered a Whitmanic echo in contemporary southern fiction writer Allan Gurganus’s collection of short stories and novellas White People. That collection features the 1989 story “Reassurance.” The story’s first half is a full quotation of Whitman’s letter […]

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Sooo Not Funny

This borders on the obvious, but it nevertheless struck me forcefully coming straight from today’s humor classes (ENGL 375XX: American Humor) and returning to the last half of the 1855 “Song of Myself” to finish for tonight: there is not a shred of humor in Whitman here. Both in the poem and in the preface, […]

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