Chapter

The Democratic Muse

Günter Leypoldt

in Cultural Authority in the Age of Whitman

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635740
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651658 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635740.003.0008
The Democratic Muse

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This chapter takes a look at Whitman's programmatic connection of political freedom and free verse, introducing the ‘Whig histories’ of democratic progress, and discussing liberty and culture in the British Enlightenment. It studies the Whig aesthetics, US discourse, and Alexis de Tocqueville's democracy in America. The chapter also considers the relationship between romanticism and transcendentalism, before finally discussing the involvement of the Democratic Muse in the liberalist notions of variety or diversity as sources of cultural health.

Keywords: Democratic Muse; Whig histories; British Enlightenment; Whig aesthetics; Alexis de Tocqueville; romanticism; transcendentalism; liberalist notions; cultural health

Chapter.  15409 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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