Fall 2017 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2017 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
Poetry of the Central Consciousness

Agnieszka Salska

256 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1985 | ISBN 9780812279467 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512806144 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

Agnieszka Salska 's illuminating study of the patterns of consciousness in the poetry of two major nineteenth-century American poets borrows from Northrop Frye's phrase "the structure of the poet's imagination." Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, the first extensive book comparing the two poets, builds on the shorter works by Karl Keller and Albert Gelpi and is further augmented by Salska's "outside" viewpoint from her native Poland. Her extensive research in the United States in 1984 ensures the timeliness of the work and makes the study truly valuable.

That Dickinson and Whitman shared a common ground of aspiration for existential wholeness is made clearer to twentieth-century readers by Salska's argument, which traces the poets' heritage from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although both poets begin with the same vision—that the artist's mind is solely responsible for the organization of the universe—their realizations of that image diverge radically.

Salska's keen judicious observations add much to our understanding of the poets both as individuals and as contemporaries. Her book will be of great interest to students of Whitman and Dickinson, poetry and American literature. The clarity of style makes the book invaluable to undergraduates, graduate students, and scholars in general.

Agnieszka Salska is Professor at the Institute of English Studies at the University of Lodz in Poland.

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