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Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Conflations in Whitman's "Out of the Cradle." Stanley T. Gutman. Pp. 149-157.. Psychoanal Q., 58:511.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Conflations in Whitman's "Out of the Cradle." Stanley T. Gutman. Pp. 149-157.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:511

American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Conflations in Whitman's "Out of the Cradle." Stanley T. Gutman. Pp. 149-157.

Anita G. Schmukler

"Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" is Whitman's account of his earliest affective responses to maternal loss, his pubertal conflicts, and his feelings, as an adult, about the death of his father. Each phase resonates with the others, and Gutman underscores the mutual influence of past and current conflicts in the mind's perception of each. Whitman chose the written word to "conquer" his conflicts (confusion) over intense affective experiences primarily with respect to loss and sexuality. At times the "conqueror" fails, and the poet responds with denial, a "fetishistic repetition" of the word "death," or simply by deleting particular passages from later editions. Gutman observes the sexual sublimation in Whitman's poetry and thus identifies the reader as the poet's "secret lover." This raises the question of the relation between Whitman's exhibitionism and the voyeurism of his readers.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1989). American Imago. XLIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:511

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