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Whitman's Leaves of Grass.
Style and Subject-Matter with special

reference to Democratic Vistas.


zur Erlangung der Doktorwürde

der Philosophischen Fakultät der Königlichen
Albertus-Universität zu Königsberg in Preußen

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Gedruckt mit Genehmigung
der Philosophischen Fakultät der Albertus-Universität

zu Königsberg i. Pr.
Referent: Professor Dr. Max Kaluza.

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To anyone who has read, as such, Whitman's twin-works, *Democratic Vistas” and “Leaves of Grass”, or rather has read "Leaves of Grass" and also Democratic Vistas" as introductory and supplementary to it (without which, in fact, "Leaves of Grass” cannot be sufficiently appreciated), the close relation between speculative and imaginative literature so-called must have been unusually striking. In these works, both the speculative and the imaginative are so intermingled and often the one seems to blend so naturally into the other that it is difficult at times to distinguish between the two. The reader finds himself face to face with a speculative philosopher and poet, one who speculates upon his ideal in the literature for America's democracy and at the same time idealizes upon his speculations, for to him * Democracy is the old yet ever-modern dream of earth, out of her eldest and youngest, her fond philosophers and poets” (p. 26) ?) and a new literature, perhaps a new Metaphysics, certainly a new Poetry are to be the t only sure and worthy supports and expressions of the American democracy” (p. 70); moreover, he speaks of his own efforts in this direction as "an exploration, as of new ground, wherein, like other primitive surveyors, I must do the best I can” (p. 40). He reiterates by saying:

"I fain confront the fact, the need of powerful native philosophs and orators and bards.” (p. 77.)

" In fond fancy leaping those hundred years ahead, let us survey America's works, poems, philosophies, fulfilling prophesies, and giving form and decision to best ideals." (p. 67.)

1) See W. Scott's edition (London 1888) for all references to *Democratic Vistas”.

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