Ever since his childhood and adolescence and before he became a legendary poet, George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron, felt the sense of escaping from the anxieties of his traumatic present to the glorious worlds of Eastern history and mythology. In Eastern mythology, which he read and loved, Byron approached his own utopia and dystopia without distancing himself from current world affairs. He heard the voice of mythology in various forms: in Nature and its animate and inanimate elements, in nightingales, eagles, roses, trees, bushes, mountains, plains, oceans, stones, and rocks, and in ancient relics, among others. Nature and the ruins of the past spoke to him more truth about God, Man, and Nature than religion and history books. His immediate impressions while being on-the-spot, his mobility, his standing on the borderlines of fact and fiction, and his extensive references to Eastern mythology in his works, created a Byronic myth and enhanced the mythical quality of his works, especially Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Cantos I and II, and his Oriental Tales—The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and The Siege of Corinth. Lord Byron became an archetype of a legendary celebrity, and his works and some of his characters, especially his Byronic Heroes and Heroines, became universal mythical characters. Among several questions, the book answers two major ones: First, how does Byron use Eastern mythology, including Greek, Persian, and Arabian in the above-mentioned works to render his own poetry mythological? And second, how do his personal affairs and mythological works contribute to the generation of the still living Byronic myth?

 

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The French Byron Society is sad to announce that Christiane Vigouroux passed away on 1st Oct 2020.

She chaired our society between 2000 and 2008, eight years during which she organised two or three meetings a year, invited guest speakers – among whom the late Peter Cochran – and hosted the 2006 International Byron Conference at the Sorbonne University.

All along her terms as chair and several years after, she faithfully attended the Byron Conferences, be it in Europe, in Japan or in North America. She gave our society’s bulletin a new format, which is currently still in use, and opened it to the contributions of many scholars across the world.

We will all remember her dedication to create friendly links with other Byron societies.

 

On behalf of the IABS Joint Presidents and the Elma Dangerfield Prize Committee, we would like to congratulate Dr. Michael Steier as this year’s winner of the Elma Dangerfield Prize.

Dr. Steier’s monograph Byron, Hunt, and the Politics of Literary Engagement (London: Routledge, 2019) explicates the literary relationship between Byron and Leigh Hunt, exploring a relationship that would help define Byron’s poetry.

This study will provide an invaluable resource to Byron scholars as much as Hunt scholars.

In the words of the award committee, the book "charts the sometimes rivalrous and sometimes collaborative relationship from Byron and Hunt's earliest days of juvenilia and literary satire, to their radical political crusades, Italophile poetics and founding of a journal. It demonstrates unequivocally that the friendship between Byron and Hunt has been previously underestimated and oversimplified. An assured performance, this is a hugely enjoyable book…

This monograph will become the reference book on the Hunt/Byron connection, as well as a very useful resource on Byron generally, and on a large cast of figures, coteries, and literary-cultural phenomena from the 1810s to the 1820s."

Byron: Reality, Fiction and Madness

Edited by Mirosława Modrzewska and Maria Fengler

 Series: Transatlantic Studies in British and North American Culture-Peter Lang

ISBN: 978-3-631-80537-4

 

This book explores the amorphous, fragmented and digressive world of George Gordon Byron’s poetic works, which are pervaded by the themes of change, mutability, deformation and transgression, often presented or described as madness. The blurring of the border between fiction and reality is a matter of the author’s decisions concerning both his life and his texts, and a conscious process of construction and self-fashioning. It is also a recurring epistemological theme in Byron’s works, which make take the form of narrative dis-orientation and the dismantling of easy cultural pre-conceptions. The Authors study Byron’s artistic quixotism and his pursuit of creative freedom which reveals itself in the Romantic irony, digressiveness and self-awareness of his writings.

 More Information: https://www.peterlang.com/view/9783631805374/html/ch08.xhtml

Dear Byronists, dear friends,

You participated in the International Byron Conference these last years or were in touch with me for any other reason related to Byron. I had the privilege to present my research about "Byron at the keyboard" (Tbilisi, 2014); the Byron concert at the Institut Hongrois in Paris, during the 2016 Byron conference; my further research in Mazeppa set to music (Yerevan, 2017), and Byron's influence on music writing (Ravenna, 2018).

The July 2016 concert was welcomed with such an enthusiasm and earned the musicians such a success that I decided to extend its reach by organising a studio recording of the programme and by writing substantial presentation notes about the composers and their works.