Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
TelegraphiesIndigeneity, Identity, and Nation in America's Nineteenth-Century Virtual Realm$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kay Yandell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901042

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901042.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 November 2019

Engineering Eden in Walt Whitman’s “Passage to India”

Engineering Eden in Walt Whitman’s “Passage to India”

(p.129) 5 Engineering Eden in Walt Whitman’s “Passage to India”

Kay Yandell

Oxford University Press

Walt Whitman wrote odes to Morse’s telegraph that present it as a cultural “monument” speaking its nation’s mythic history in the making. His telegraph poems imagine the electromagnetic telegraph to perform a spiritual purpose: for Whitman, the disembodied nature of telegraphy’s virtual realm allows settlers’ voices, and the nation’s mythic origin stories that those voices carry, to spread across, and eventually to soak into, newly colonized American lands. In so doing, telegraphy births a new and specifically American sort of electric oral tradition, which Whitman poetically links to the power of this land’s previous Native American oral traditions to construct spiritual connections to American earth and environments. His poems imagine for American settlers a new type of indigeneity through telegraphy.

Keywords:   transcendentalism, Walt Whitman, Passage to India, indigeneity, telegraph

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .