The Starbucks Diaries : Discovering And Interpreting The Cold War Between Walt Whitman And Sherman Alexie

3507 Words Oct 9th, 2014 15 Pages
Shayeree Chakraborty
Ms. Wafa Hamid
American Literature
8 October 2014
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The Starbucks Diaries: Discovering and Interpreting The Cold War between Walt Whitman and Sherman Alexie

One of the most interesting dynamics of any cold war is perhaps its very existence, as difficult to point out as its predicament. The very idea of war associates itself with a certain traditional idea of glory but in the case of cold warfare, this glory is subtle: show of confidence and force is a matter of pride in war, but when served cold, the ‘show’ must be missing in action. As Martin McCauley says in Russia, America and The Cold War, cold warfare is nothing but a state of conflict between nations without direct military or political action but pursued primarily through the use of proxy wars waged by surrogates. Going by this definition, it would be interesting to look at the poetry of Walt Whitman and his “successor” Sherman Alexie, as embodying the very spirit of cold warfare. The reason why I very carefully and deliberately use the term “successor” is to denote the common themes of nativity, belonging and culture that the two great poets talk about. Although Alexie is openly appreciative of his predecessor, both are, strangely enough, two different nations within a nation; both are inherently political and both somehow embody a “struggle-for-the-microphone”: a term I shall…
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