Walt Whitman and His Caribbean Interlocutors: José Martí, C.L.R. James, and Pedro Mir
Song and Counter-Song
Published by: Haymarket Books
Imprint: Haymarket Books
Walt Whitman and His Caribbean Interlocutors: José Martí, C.L.R. James, and Pedro Mir explores the writings of Whitman (1819-1892) and of three Caribbean authors who engaged with them. These three interlocutors—the Cuban poet, essayist and revolutionary José Martí (1853-1895); the Trinidadian activist, historian and cultural critic C.L.R. James (1901-1989); and the Dominican poet Pedro Mir (1913-2000—all saw in the famous American poet and pacifist a key lens through which to understand North American capitalism and is imperial projections.
Whitman and his Caribbean interlocutors are discussed against the backdrop of capitalist modernity's contradictions, as exemplified by the United States between the 1840s and the 1940s. Bernabe deftly uses Marx's exploration of the liberating and oppressive dimensions of capitalist expansion to frame his discussion of each individual author and of Martí's, James's, and Mir's responses to Whitman.
1 Marx and the 'Transformation of History into World History'
2 'Within Me Latitude Widens, Longitude Lengthens': Whitman and the World Created by Capital
3 'In Paths Untrodden': Whitman, Nature, Democracy and the 'Average Man of To-day'
4 The 'Emptiness' of the Present: Marx, the 'Bourgeois Viewpoint' and Its 'Romantic Antithesis'
5 'This All-Devouring Modern Word': Whitman's Critique of Business
6 From Brooklyn Ferry to Brooklyn Bridge: José Martí and the 'Modern Multiple Life'
7 'The Final Culmination of This Vast and Varied Republic': Whitman's Failed Transcendence of the Present
8 Whitman: Inconsistent Democrat, Yet More Than a Democrat
9 A 'Damaged and Alien Civilization': Martí's Search for an Alternative Modernity
10 C.L.R. James's Notes on American Civilization, or the Song of the C.I.O.
11 'Now Has Come the Hour of the Countersong': Pedro Mir and Walt Whitman