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|Named Person:||Edgar Allan Poe; Walt Whitman|
|Material Type:||Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource|
|Document Type:||Internet Resource, Computer File|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
Adam C Bradford; Ed Folsom; University of Iowa. Department of English.
|Notes:||Thesis supervisor: Ed Folsom.|
|Description:||ix, 334 pages : illustrations, facsimiles|
|Details:||Mode of access: World Wide Web.; System requirements: Adobe Reader.|
|Responsibility:||by Adam Cunliffe Bradford.|
It illumines how Poe's aesthetic philosophies were aligned with those that undergird many of the contemporary mourning objects of the day, how his otherwise Gothic and macabre literature nevertheless served rather conventional and even recuperative ends by exposing the necessity of and inviting readers to participate in culturally sanctioned acts of mourning, and how he sought to confirm the harmony between his work and more conventional "consolation" or mourning literature by actively seeking to bring that work (and the "self" that produced it) visibly before his readership in a medium that this culture held was a reliable indicator of the nature and intent of both that work and its producer - namely his own personal script. In its latter three chapters, this dissertation illuminates Whitman's own extensive use of mourning and memorial conventions in his work, disclosing the way his 1855 Leaves of Grass relied, in both its literary and physical construction, upon the conventions of mourning and memorial literature, detailing the way his 1865 book of Civil War poetry Drum-Taps sought to unite a national body politic by creating a poetic and material text capable of allowing a grieving public readership to reconnect with and successfully mourn their dead, and how his 1876 Two Rivulets, overtly conceived of as a memorial volume, made use of the conventions associated with mourning and memorializing to bring readers to a more democratic understanding of "self" that Whitman believed would transform America into the democratic utopia it was destined to become. In revealing the way in which these authors' works reflect and reflect upon this culture, its ideologies, rituals, and practices, the dissertation also illumines an otherwise critically underexplored connection between these two writers. It details the influence of Poe's work on Whitman's poetic project, and borrows from Whitman's critical response to Poe in order to recast our understanding of Poe's literature in the manner detailed above. Thus, this dissertation offers new interpretations of some of the period's most canonical literature, alters our thinking about the relationship of these authors to each other and to nineteenth-century sentimental culture, and, finally, exposes a curious interdependence between Gothic and more transcendental literature that has implications not only for reading the work of Whitman and Poe, but for interpreting these literatures more generally.
- Mourning customs in literature.
- Death in literature.
- Memorialization -- In literature.
- American poetry -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
- Poe, Edgar Allan, -- 1809-1849 -- Themes, motives.
- Whitman, Walt, -- 1819-1892 -- Themes, motives.
- Death -- Edgar Allan Poe -- Gothic -- Mourning -- Sentimentalism -- Walt Whitman