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Positing a phenomenon he calls Whitman's "logic of distinction," Beach shows how the poet differentiated his work from previous literary models while, at the same time, he sought to portray daily life and the concerns of the common people in an idiomatic, rather than a high-minded literary manner. Beach focuses on two basic levels of discourse that alternate in Whitman's poems: the sociolect, or his society's communal discourse on a subject, and the idiolect, or Whitman's own distinctive and highly adaptive appropriation and expression of these sociolects.
In successive chapters, Beach draws on the sociological work of Pierre Bourdieu and Thorstein Veblen to place Leaves of Grass within the context of its mid-nineteenth-century literary and cultural environment, examines the intertextual and social contexts of Whitman's relationship to race and slavery as worked out both in his poems and particular prose writings, reads Whitman's New York as a site of Bakhtinian heteroglossia, and views Whitman's unique and complex interaction with discourses of the body in the context of relevant work by Barthes and Bourdieu. Throughout, Beach acknowledges the poems' inherent, ultimately inexplicable beauty and timelessness by recognizing both the limitations of a cultural and historical explanation of Whitman's poetry and by showing the poems' own unique idiolectic relationship to normative rules of grammar, meaning, and verbal combination.
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Christopher Beach is an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.
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Book Description University of Georgia Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. New hardcover with jacket/no remainder marks. Seller Inventory # 15520
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Book Description University of Georgia Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition.... University of Georgia Press, 1996. First edition. FIrst printing. Hardbound. New in dust jacket. A perfect unread copy. Smoke-free. New, never opened. Shipped in well-padded box. 0.0. Seller Inventory # 2840
Book Description Univ of Georgia Pr, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0820318345
Book Description Univ of Georgia Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0820318345
Book Description Univ of Georgia Pr, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110820318345