[DWJ] Byron

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Mar 29 19:18:42 EDT 2007


>On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, Minnow wrote:
>
>> (Does anyone else notice that adoring slave-girls are a Theme in Byron's
>> Wromantic works almost as much as the sulky hero with good looks and a
>> secret sorrow or a guilty secret is?)

Kyra:

>The thing is, adoring slave-girls are just so much less exciting than your
>sister.  Also, having sex with your sister solves many more of the
>philosophical problems of solipsism than having sex with your slave-girl.

Oh yes, they were brother and sister in the unpublished original version of
"The Bride of Abydos", or half-siblings, anyway.  (Not at all
autobiographical, then.)

>My Romantic poetry course was _so_ educational!  The day that was devoted
>to _Manfred_ and _Cain_ was my favorite day ever; we just spent the entire
>period talking about incest and Satan.  It was almost like discussing Yuki
>Kaori's _Angel Sanctuary_, only it was actually in a literary course ;-).

Amazing stuff, some of that ol' poetry-loike, when you have the key of its
author's biography.  Though of course Byron spent a lot of time denying
that he identified with any of it, no, really, it was all just invention,
and when poor old Murray was going to be prosecuted for publishing "Cain"
Byron asserted most emphatically that he didn't hold any of the views it
contained.  Yeahright.  And Shelley wasn't really an atheist either.
(Actually that's not fair of me, because I don't think Shelley recanted or
whatever the word ought to be when his non-religious views proved awkward
in their consequences.)

I sometimes wish that the folk who seem so obsessed with making mildly
salacious films of Austen would turn their attention to Byron instead:
there's far more material they could use far more legitimately.

Minnow





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