In this Book

The Evolution of Walt Whitman
summary

Now, nearly forty years after its original translation into English, Roger Asselineau's complete and magisterial biography of Walt Whitman will remind readers of the complex weave of traditions in Whitman scholarship. It is startling to recognize how much of our current understanding of Whitman was already articulated by Asselineau nearly half a century ago. Throughout its eight hundred pages, The Evolution of Walt Whitman speaks with authority on a vast range of topics that define both Whitman the man and Whitman the mythical personage. Remarkably, most of these discussions remain fresh and relevant, and that is in part because they have been so influential.

In particular, The Evolution of Walt Whitman inaugurated the study of Leaves of Grass as a lifelong work in progress, and it marked the end of the habit of talking about Leaves as if it were a single unified book. Asselineau saw Whitman's poetry “not as a body of static data but as a constantly changing continuum whose evolution must be carefully observed.” Throughout Evolution, Asselineau placed himself in the role of the observer, analyzing Whitman's development with a kind of scientific detachment. But behind this objective persona burned the soul of a risk taker who was willing to rewrite Whitman studies by bravely proposing what was then a controversial biographical source for Whitman's art—his homosexual desires.

The Evolution of Walt Whitman is a reminder that extraordinary works of criticism never exist in and of themselves. In this expanded edition, Roger Asselineau has provided a new essay summarizing his own continuing journey with Whitman. A foreword by Ed Folsom, editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly, regards Evolution as the genesis of contemporary Whitman studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. CONTENTS
  2. p. vii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. FOREWORD
  2. pp. ix-xiv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. pp. 3-15
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. FOREWORD to The Creation of a Personality
  2. pp. II-iv-II-vii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CONTENTS to The Creation of a Personality
  2. pp. II-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. THE CREATION OF A PERSONALITY
  2. pp. II-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. pp. II-1-II-16
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER I YOUTH - THE UNSUCCESSFUL QUEST
  2. pp. II-17-II-46
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER II THE 1855 EDITION - BIRTH OF A POET
  2. pp. II-47-II-79
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER III THE 1856 EDITION
  2. pp. II-80-II-91
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER IV NEW UNCERTAINTIES: CONTEMPLATION OR ACTION? JOURNALISM OR POETRY?
  2. pp. II-92-II-114
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER V THE 1860 EDITION
  2. pp. II-115-II-136
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VI THE WOUND DRESSER
  2. pp. II-137-II-176
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VII HAPPY BUREAUCRAT AND TORMENTED POET
  2. pp. II-177-II-211
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VIII THE HEROIC INVALID (1873-1876)
  2. pp. II-212-II-227
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER IX NEW VICTORIES (1876-1882)
  2. pp. II-228-II-251
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER X THE DECLINE (1883-1890)
  2. pp. II-252-II-262
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER XI LAST MONTHS AND DEATH (1891-1892)
  2. pp. II-263-II-270
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. NOTES
  2. pp. II-271
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE NOTES
  2. pp. II-272
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. NOTES
  2. pp. II-273-II-362
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. GENERAL INDEX
  2. pp. II-363-II-370
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INDEX OF POEMS AND PROSE-WRITINGS
  2. pp. II-371-II-376
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. THE CREATION OF A BOOK
  2. pp. III-i
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. FOREWORD
  2. pp. III-iii-III-iv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. III-v-III-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART ONE THE MAIN THEMES OF LEAVES OF GRASS
  2. pp. III-1
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER I MYSTICISM AND THE POETRY OF THE BODY
  2. pp. III-3-III-20
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER II THE IMPLICIT METAPHYSICS
  2. pp. III-21-III-77
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER III THE ETHICS
  2. pp. III-78-III-90
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER IV THE FUNDAMENTAL AESTHETICS
  2. pp. III-91-III-107
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER V SEX LIFE: "The Love that dare not speak its name."
  2. pp. III-108-III-128
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VI "THESE STATES" — EGOCENTRISM AND PATRIOTISM
  2. pp. III-129-III-144
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VII DEMOCRACY — "MYSELF" AND MAN "EN-MASSE"
  2. pp. III-145-III-178
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER VIII DEMOCRACY AND RACIALISM — SLAVERY
  2. pp. III-179-III-191
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER IX INDUSTRIAL CIVILIZATION
  2. pp. III-192-III-204
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART TWO THE PROGRESS OF HIS ART
  2. pp. III-205
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER X STYLE: FROM MYSTICISM TO ART
  2. pp. III-207-III-224
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER XI LANGUAGE: INNOVATIONS AND TRADITIONS
  2. pp. III-225-III-238
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CHAPTER XII PROSODY: ORDER WITHIN DISORDER
  2. pp. III-239-III-252
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. CONCLUSION
  2. pp. III-253-III-260
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
  2. pp. III-261-III-271
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE NOTES
  2. pp. III-272
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. NOTES
  2. pp. III-273-III-380
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. GENERAL INDEX
  2. pp. III-381-III-387
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. INDEX OF POEMS AND PROSE-WRITINGS
  2. pp. III-388-III-392
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.