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Walt Whitman's Mystical Ethics of Comradeship
Homosexuality and the Marginality of Friendship at the Crossroads of Modernity
Walt Whitman's Mystical Ethics of Comradeship
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Juan A. Hererro Brasas - Author
Price: $70.00 
Hardcover - 216 pages
Release Date: March 2010
ISBN10: 1-4384-3011-6
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3011-9

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Price: $25.95 
Paperback - 216 pages
Release Date: January 2011
ISBN10: 1-4384-3010-8
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-3010-2

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Recovers Whitman as a self-conscious religious figure with an ethic based in male comradeship, one at odds with the temper of his times.

A giant of American letters, Walt Whitman is known both as a poet and, to many, as an early precursor of the gay liberation movement. This revealing book recovers for today’s reader a lost Whitman, delving into the original context and intentions of his poetry and prose. As Juan A. Herrero Brasas shows, Whitman saw himself as a founder of a new religion. Indeed, disciples gathered around him: the “hot little prophets” as they came to be called by early biographers.

Whitman’s religion revolved around his concept of comradeship, an original alternative to the type of competitive masculinity emerging in the wake of industrialization and nineteenth-century capitalism. Shedding new light on the life and original message of a poet who warned future generations against treating him as merely a literary figure, Herrero Brasas concludes that Whitman was a moral reformer and grand theorist akin to other grand theorists of his day.

Juan A. Herrero Brasas teaches ethics and religious studies at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of several books in Spanish, including Primera plana: La construcción de una cultura queer en España (Front Page: The Construction of a Queer Culture in Spain).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Literature as Religion: Whitman’s Messianic Enterprise

The Building of a Reputation
Theosophy, the Occult, and Whitman’s Apparitions
The Character of Whitman’s Religion
The Creed

2. The Mystic Hypothesis

The Strong Hypothesis
The Weak Hypothesis
The Denial of the Hypothesis
Conclusion

3. A Gospel of Beauty

The Classical Roots of Aestheticism
Whitman and the Platonic Tradition
From Phrenology to Aesthetic Morality
Whitman’s Treatment of the Ugly: The “Kosmic” Vision
Whitman and Nietzsche
Whitman and Oscar Wilde

4. The Love of Comrades

A Messianic Mission
The Nature of Comradeship
Eduard Bertz: Comradeship as Veiled Homosexuality
Mystical Interpretations of Comradeship
Ethical Aspects of Comradeship
Religious Aspects of Comradeship
Social and Political Aspects of Comradeship
Whitman’s Comradeship and Symonds’s Concept of Greek Love

5. Whitman, the Moral Reformer

Poetry and Ethics: Whitman’s Moral Concern
The Character of Whitman’s New Morality
An Analysis of Whitman’s Morality: Briggs’s Theory
Whitman’s Attitudes to War
Robert K. Martin’s Theory: “Fucked by the Earth”
David Kuebrich’s Theory: Post-Christian Millennialism
Reynolds’s Theory: “Immoral Didacticism”
A Probable Synthesis: Nature, Science, and Evolutionary Theory
Conclusion

An Afterthought: Traubel, Homosexuality, and the Whitman Myth
A Queer (Theory) Postscript
A Queer (Theory) Twist: No New Species
Whitman’s Disappointment and the New Sexual Economy
Queer (Theory) Confusion and Its Uses

Abbreviations and Special References
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index


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49419/49420(NE/DG/AV)

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