- Paperback: 616 pages
- Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr (T) (March 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226014355
- ISBN-13: 978-0226014357
- Package Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,410,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Solitary Singer: A Critical Biography of Walt Whitman Paperback – March, 1985
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VERY GOOD softcover, clean text, solid binding, NO remainders NOT ex-library slight shelfwear / storage-wear; WE SHIP FAST. Carefully packed and quickly sent. 201601781 Published 100 years after "Leaves of Grass", Gay Wilson Allen's 1955 biography of Walt Whitman "The Solitary Singer" is still considered the most comprehensive study of the poet's mysterious life. In this absorbing book Allen examines both Whitman's personal and artistic aspects, dwelling on his great popularity but at the same time explaining why many readers had difficulty with Whitman's free dismissal of meter and rhyme, not to mention his sexual frankness. There were among his contemporaries those who preferred the more conventional poetry of Longfellow and Lowell; the essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson at first praised Whitman but later had reservations. Nevertheless, Whitman maintained that his two greatest influences were Emerson and -- Italian opera! (Strictly Italian. Evidently Whitman never heard "Der Freischütz" or "Lohengrin".) The first publication of "Leaves of Grass" was not the final version. Whitman kept adding to it over the years; he compared his work to the slow cumulative construction of a great cathedral. Born in West Hills on Long Island in 1819, he was still a child when his family moved to Brooklyn, and as he grew up he became fascinated by the city across the East River, working as editor on and contributor to New York's multifarious 1840s newspapers. He loved the hustle-bustle of the city, but to be alone he retreated to Coney Island, long before it became a carnival. We recommend selecting Priority Mail wherever available. (No shipping to Mexico, Brazil or Italy.)