This article surveys the critical debates around Walt Whitman's Calamus cluster, arguing that a queer reading of Whitmanone that does not see him as, for example, a closeted homosexual who censored his work for fear of being outedis both historically accurate and politically efficacious. While previous efforts to reclaim Whitman as our great gay poet are understandableparticularly given critical readings of Whitman that denied the homoeroticism of his poemstoday, a reading of Whitman as homosexual threatens to simplify our understanding of the history of homosexuality and to blunt the power of Whitman's poetry to continue to queer normative understandings of sex and gender identity categories and their relationship to politics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology