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Description - Walt Whitman by David S. Reynolds

From the great events of the day to the patient workings of a spider, few poets responded to the life around them as powerfully as Walt Whitman. Now, in this brief but bountiful volume, David S. Reynolds offers a wealth of insight into the life and work of Whitman, examining the author through the lens of nineteenth-century America. Reynolds shows how Whitman responded to contemporary theater, music, painting, photography, science, religion, and sex. But perhaps nothing influenced Whitman more than the political events of his lifetime, as the struggle over slavery threatened to rip apart the national fabric. America, he believed, desperately needed a poet to hold together a society that was on the verge of unraveling. He created his powerful, all-absorbing poetic "I" to heal a fragmented nation that, he hoped, would find in his poetry new possibilities for inspiration and togetherness. Reynolds also examines the influence of theater, describing how Whitman's favorite actor, the tragedian Junius Brutus Booth-"one of the grandest revelations of my life"-developed a powerfully emotive stage style that influenced Leaves of Grass, which took passionate poetic expression to new heights. Readers will also discover how from the new medium of photography Whitman learned democratic realism and offered in his poetry "photographs" of common people engaged in everyday activities. Reynolds concludes with an appraisal of Whitman's impact on American letters, an influence that remains strong today. Solidly grounded in historical and biographical facts, and exceptionally wide-ranging in the themes it treats, Walt Whitman packs a dazzling amount of insight into a compact volume.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195170092
ISBN-10: 0195170091
Format: Hardback
(216mm x 147mm x 20mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 20-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - David S. Reynolds

David S. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Baruch College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among his many books are Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography, which won the Bancroft Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Beneath the American Renaissance, winner of the Christian Gauss Award. A regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review, he lives in Old Westbury, New York.

Books By David S. Reynolds

Lincoln's Selected Writings by David S. Reynolds
Paperback, September 2014
$26.06
Mightier than the Sword by David S. Reynolds
Paperback, June 2012
$23.36
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass by David S. Reynolds
Hardback, April 2005
$61.18
Historical Guide to Walt Whitman by David S. Reynolds
Paperback, December 1999
$51.26