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About This Book
"Nathanson addresses with renewed insight a problem that has vexed Whitman scholars at least since James E. Miller, Jr.'s A Critical Guide to Leaves of Grass turned Whitman into a respectable academic subject; that is, the unusual status of Whitman's poetic voice.... The overall result is the finest articulation of Whitman's project in existence."
—Donald Pease, Department of English, Dartmouth College
"What enables Nathanson to perform a feat no other critic has accomplished depends as much on his awareness of a range of thinkers from Wittgenstein to J.L. Austin and Derrida as on his sense of the qualities of poetry: he gives the term presence a cultural as well as poetic significance which opens out to cultural history, and makes Whitman as much a representative presence in the culture as our unequalled poet. I see this as a central book about our literature."
—Quentin Anderson, J.C. Levi Professor in the Humanities Emeritus, Columbia University