Emerson, Whitman, and the New Poetry
John Michael Corrigan
A Fordham University Press Publication
- Yes, nineteenth-century Americans were just as New Age as Americans are now (or maybe more so): this fascinating book traces Emerson's and Whitman's involvement with the notion of the transmigration of souls, a doctrine that has in fact been part of Western thought since Plato, though we tend to associate it with Hinduism and Buddhism. Both these classic American writers took it very seriously, and did very creative things with it.
- Whitman's poetry, in particular, is transformed if one takes in full literalness the notion that writing and reading involves a sort of transmigration of souls--from the writer into those he writes about, and into the reader.