Swinburne Contra Whitman: From cosmopolitan republican to Parochial English Jingo?

Julia F. Saville

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Marking the centenary year of Algernon Charles Swinburne's death, this essay revisits the politics of his poetry - his "cosmopolitan republican" poetics - in the light of recent critical theories of "rooted cosmopolitanism." Taking as illustration Swinburne's ongoing transatlantic engagement with Walt Whitman's poetics, now regrettably exemplified for many readers by his pointedly mean-spirited critique, "Whitmania" (1887), the essay argues that the contraction of Swinburne's later republicanism is less evidence of his increasing jingoism, as Cecil Y. Lang sees it, than of the difficulties he encountered negotiating the continuing demands of being both inclusively cosmopolitan and an English-identified republican.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-505
Number of pages27
JournalELH - English Literary History
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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