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Cultural Authority in the Age of WhitmanA Transatlantic Perspective$
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Gunter Leypoldt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635740

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635740.001.0001

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Whitman and the ‘Lawless Music’ of American Culture

Whitman and the ‘Lawless Music’ of American Culture

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Whitman and the ‘Lawless Music’ of American Culture
Source:
Cultural Authority in the Age of Whitman
Author(s):

Günter Leypoldt

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635740.003.0001

This introductory chapter discusses Walt Whitman and his ‘lawless music’. This musical trope is considered significant because it relates a ‘pure’ aesthetic form to a political practice. This implies that Whitmanian poetry not only talks about democratic issues, but that it also transforms the essence of democracy. The chapter furthermore looks at the American-Renaissance construction, Whitman's cultural parallelisms, and the division between Whitman and the poets of gentility.

Keywords:   Walt Whitman, lawless music, musical trope, aesthetic form, Whitmanian poetry, democratic issues, essence of democracy, American-Renaissance construction, cultural parallelisms, poets of gentility

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