Literary Criticism Theory

Communities of Death: Whitman, Poe, and the American Culture by Adam C. Bradford PDF

By Adam C. Bradford

ISBN-10: 0826220193

ISBN-13: 9780826220196

To twenty first century readers, nineteenth century depictions of dying glance macabre if now not maudlin—the mourning photographs and quilts, the postmortem daguerreotypes, and the memorial jewellery now hopelessly, if no longer morbidly, distressing. but this sentimental tradition of mourning and memorializing supplied possibilities to the bereaved to say deeply held ideals, forge social connections, and suggest for social and political swap. This tradition additionally permeated the literature of the day, in particular the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman. In Communities of Death, Adam C. Bradford explores the ways that the guidelines, rituals, and practices of mourning have been primary to the paintings of either authors.

While either Poe and Whitman have been seriously motivated via the mourning tradition in their time, their use of it differed. Poe inquisitive about the tendency of mourners to grasp to something which could remind them in their misplaced family; Whitman centred now not at the mourner yet at the soul’s immortality, positing an inevitable reunion. but Whitman time and again testified that Poe’s Gothic and macabre literature performed a valuable function in spurring him to supply the transcendent Leaves of Grass.

By unveiling a heretofore marginalized literary dating among Poe and Whitman, Bradford rewrites our figuring out of those authors and indicates a extra intimate courting between sentimentalism, romanticism, and transcendentalism than has formerly been famous. Bradford’s insights into the tradition and lives of Poe and Whitman will switch readers’ knowing of either literary icons.

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Communities of Death: Whitman, Poe, and the American Culture of Mourning by Adam C. Bradford


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