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Whitman, Melville, Crane, and the Labors of American Poetry – Against Vocation - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Whitman, Melville, Crane, and the Labors of American Poetry: Against Vocation

Peter Riley


This book confronts an enduring investment in the poetic vocation. It seeks to challenge a dominant cultural logic that frames contingent labor as a sacrifice that frustrates the righteous progress towards realizing that seemingly purest of callings: Poet. Incorporating the often overlooked or excluded workaday ephemera of three canonical U.S. Romantic poets—Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Hart Crane—it offers new archival insights that call for a re-examination of celebrated literary careers and questions their status as affirmatory icons of vocation. The poetry of Whitman the real estate ... More

Keywords: poetry, labor, work, Whitman, Melville, Crane, distraction, archives, vocation, precarity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198836254
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198836254.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Riley, author
Lecturer in American Literature, University of Exeter

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