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Atlantic CitizensNineteenth-Century American Writers at Work in the World$
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Leslie Eckel

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748669370

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748669370.001.0001

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Standing Upon America: Whitman and the Profession of National Poetry

Standing Upon America: Whitman and the Profession of National Poetry

Chapter:
(p.153) Chapter 6 Standing Upon America: Whitman and the Profession of National Poetry
Source:
Atlantic Citizens
Author(s):

Leslie Elizabeth Eckel

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748669370.003.0007

Walt Whitman celebrated the pluralistic nature of American society, which he called a ‘teeming nation of nations.’ Whitman claimed that his poetry was a transparent ‘reflection and representation’ of the nation, and most scholars have taken Whitman at his word by reading his poetry as a chronicle of United States culture. However, Whitman looked more nationally representative from abroad. He secured his professional reputation as a uniquely American poet with the help of positive responses from British writers such as William Michael Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, and D. H. Lawrence. By studying its roots in his training as a newspaper editor, in his reviews of his own work, and in his transatlantic publicity campaigns, this chapter exposes Whitman’s American identity as an elaborate international fiction.

Keywords:   Whitman, Walt, Rossetti, William Michael, Nationality, Publicity, Editor, Reviews, Transatlantic

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