The pragmatic Whitman [electronic resource] : reimagining American democracy / Stephen John Mack.

Mack, Stephen John, 1952- [Browse]
Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, c2002.
1 online resource (207 p.)


Summary note
In this surprisingly timely book, Stephen Mack examines Whitman's particular and fascinating brand of patriotism: his far-reaching vision of democracy. For Whitman, loyalty to America was loyalty to democracy. Since the idea that democracy is not just a political process but a social and cultural process as well is associated with American pragmatism, Mack relies on the pragmatic tradition of Emerson, James, Dewey, Mead, and Rorty to demonstrate the ways in which Whitman resides in this tradition.Mack analyzes Whitman's democratic vision both in its parts and as a whole; he
Description based upon print version of record.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Language note
  • Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction: The Evolution of Whitman's Democratic Vision; Part I: The Metaphysics of Democracy: Leaves of Grass, 1855 and 1856; Chapter 1 "My Voice Goes after What My Eyes Cannot Reach": Pragmatic Language and the Making of a Democratic Mythology; Chapter 2 "What Is Less or More Than a Touch?": Sensory Experience and the Democratic Self; Chapter 3 "The Simple, Compact Well-Join'd Scheme": Whitman's Democratic Cosmos; Chapter 4 "Not Chaos or Death . . . . It Is Form and Union and Plan": Laissez-faire and the Problem of Agency
  • Part II: Crises and ReVisions: "Sea-Drift," "Calamus," Drum-Taps, and Sequel to Drum-Taps, 1859-1867Chapter 5 "The Most Perfect Pilot": The Problem of Desire and the Struggle for Poetic Agency; Chapter 6 "To Learn from the Crises of Anguish": Tragedy, History, and the Meaning of Democratic Mourning; Part III: Prophet of Democracy: Democratic Vistas, 1871; Chapter 7 "The Divine Literatus Comes": Religion and Poetry in the Cultivation of Democratic Selfhood; Conclusion: Toward an Organic Democracy; Notes; Bibliography; Index
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