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Tuesday (2/21)

For our next virtual class:

Whitman didn’t so much produce a book of poetry, Leaves of Grass, as an ongoing iteration of a poem and book.  Leaves of Grass is more like a “versioned” text (LoG 1.0, LoG 2.0, etc.) than a stable, finished document.  Let’s explore a bit of this de-re-composing process.

For Tuesday:

1) compare the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass to the 1860 edition.  What significant changes to the whole volume – – the whole collection – – do you notice?  What do these changes tell us about how Whitman was rethinking his poems and his ambition?  Do you notice any significant changes to “Song of Myself”?

2) the “blue book” version of the 1860 Leaves of Grass is full of Whitman’s own annotations and emendations. Focusing on “Song of Myself,” look for several high activity zones – – places where Whitman is scribbling and striking out and adding a lot, pages full of pencil marks.  Having located a couple of high activity zones, take a look at the next edition of Leaves of Grass – – 1867.  What big changes – – additions, re-organzations – – do you notice to the new edition? Focusing on the zones you’ve discovered in the “blue book,” what’s happened to the changes Whitman pencilled in his previous 1860 edition?  Has he made all the changes he marked in the “blue book”?  What difference do these changes make to the 1867 version of “Song of Myself”?  How has the poem changed from it’s original 1855 version?

Blog your answers and reflections!

3)  don’t forget our tweet-of-the-week: “Bowery b’hoy.”  (Always available first through out tweetstream: #whitmansfsu. (Due Thursday, February 23)

4) check out the class wiki to discover the fantastic work your comrades, Erick and Mia.  I need a new secretary to digest the Oneida Community posts.  Volunteers?  Email me.

5) let’s take a break this week from Specimen Days.  E.g. no need to blog a Specimen Days entry this week.

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