This chapter tries to recreate the heterogeneity of Whitman's contemporary reception. It mentions the postbellum ‘Whitman myth’, which emerged and recombined with the modernist American-Renaissance construction. The chapter takes a look at the concept of ‘Whitmanian authority’, or a discursive space that guides the enunciation of nationality within professionalizing sites of cultural production. It also considers the cultural parallelisms and contradictory meditations on poetics that were highlighted by Whitman's modernist readers.
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