‚Wir sind viele‘. Zum Konzept dichterischer Kollektivrede bei Goethe, Ralph Waldo Emerson und Walt Whitman
Pages 181 - 203
The following article explores in how far and to what extent Johann Wolfgang Goethe has influenced Walt Whitman’s poetic concepts, notably his notion of authorship. The investigation focuses on the concept of poetic language as a form of collective speech, as it is conceived of and amplified in the late self-characterizations and -commentaries of Goethe as well as in Whitman’s poetological, selfreflective poem “Song of Myself”. On the basis of these insights, the further consequences and wider implications of the poetic relationship in question – in which the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson function as a principal mediator – can be assessed. Insofar this study does not only aim at an investigation into the influences between singular author personalities, but also provides a comparative study of the German-American literary relationships.