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Walt Whitman: A Gay Life by Gary Schmidgall

Walt Whitman: A Gay Life

by Gary Schmidgall

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452279208, Paperback)

Walt Whitman's place in U.S. letters is unchallenged: he is the poet of America, democracy, and individual freedom. Yet Whitman and his work have been misrepresented by scholars and critics during the 20th century, and it is only recently that they have begun admitting the poet's homosexuality and examining its effect on his work. Gary Schmidgall's bold and well-researched Walt Whitman: A Gay Life presents abundant and irrefutable evidence of the poet's vibrant sexuality and details Whitman's sexual and romantic affairs. More important, however, he explains how Whitman's attraction to men was at the root of his poetic vision: in Whitman's work the "body electric" is more than a metaphor. Walt Whitman: A Gay Life is a vital addition to Whitman studies and critical work on American literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:15 -0400)

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"Walt Whitman was a man of stunning contradictions. The publication of "Song of Myself" transformed him from an obscure poet into the voice of a nation. But Leaves of Grass, published in 1855, shocked the literary world with its avant-garde style and unabashed portrayal of the self. Committed to the full expression of his physical and intellectual lives, Whitman, ironically, spent much of his life masking his true sexuality behind an ambiguous cloak of respectability. Walt Whitman: A Gay Life is the first biography to illuminate the vital connection between Whitman's life as a homosexual and his legacy as a landmark literary artist." "Here is the story of his encounter with the young Oscar Wilde, one of the most intriguing meetings of minds in literary history. Here, too, are the unadorned details about Whitman's relationship with Peter Doyle, his longtime companion, as well as the explicit poems Whitman suppressed from later editions of his published work."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)

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