Essays

Whitman's End of History: "As I sat Alone by Blue Ontario's Shore," Democratic Vistas, and the Postbellum Politics of Nostalgia

Author: Thomas F Haddox

  • Whitman's End of History: "As I sat Alone by Blue Ontario's Shore," Democratic Vistas, and the Postbellum Politics of Nostalgia

    Essays

    Whitman's End of History: "As I sat Alone by Blue Ontario's Shore," Democratic Vistas, and the Postbellum Politics of Nostalgia

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Abstract

Examines the 1867 poem "As I sat Alone by Blue Ontario's Shore" and compares it to its antebellum version ("Poem of Many In One") and to Democratic Vistas, interrogating Whitman's "refusal to engage with the complexities of the present moment" as, with "Hegelian logic," he "proposes the end of history in the rise of the United States," conflating poet, people, and nation in a kind of transcendence of history, a transcendence that is troubled (but not defeated) by the Civil War and the social unrest of the Reconstruction period: "both his antebellum and postbellum poetry in fact show a frustration with politics that flows directly from his desire to identify himself with the nation, to unite his poetic will with an American democratic essence."

How to Cite:

Haddox, T. F., (2004) “Whitman's End of History: "As I sat Alone by Blue Ontario's Shore," Democratic Vistas, and the Postbellum Politics of Nostalgia”, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 22(1), 1-22. doi: https://doi.org/10.13008/2153-3695.1744

Rights: Copyright © 2004 Thomas F Haddox

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Published on
01 Jul 2004
Peer Reviewed