By Frances Wilson
This number of essays through best Byronists explores the advance of the parable of Byron and the Byronic from the poet's self-representations to his a variety of appearances in 19th- and twentieth-century literature and in drama, movie and portraiture. Byromania (as Annabella Milbanke named the frenzied response to Byron's poetry and character) seems on the phenomena of Byronism via a number of serious views, and it's designed to entice either an instructional and a favored readership alike.
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Extra info for Byromania: Portraits of the Artist in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Culture
Nonetheless, as Byron understood, every social being is an actor - and simultaneously everyone is a spectator. Byron and the Myth of Mythmaking 27 But this episode of the perpetually theahical Byron acting, for once, on a professional stage rather than in the theatre of personal relationships has a complexity not yet fully acknowledged. In writing down these words among his 'Detached Thoughts', Byron re-enacts or relives that past moment of acting and living. Recording the experience, Byron authorises the moment.
By making Byron evil, he is made 'dull - which even his worst enemies rarely accused him of being', and for Cochran the erasure of Byron's celebrated wit is the oddest feature of cinematic 20 Byromania Byromania. To the seven films discussed by Ralston and Sondergard, Cochran adds Andy Wilson's bizarre Dread Poet's Society (1992) and shows how these eight films form a closed intertextual circuit in which each director draws upon other filmic myths about the life of Byron. Fuseli' s painting of 'The Nightmare', for example, which appears in the Villa Diodati of Gothic reappears in the Diodati of Haunted Summer, Elizabeth Hurley's failed attempt to remove Hugh Grant's boot in Rowing with the Wind is similarly borrowed from a scene in Gothic, and in the strangest form of cinematic self-reference the portrayal in Rowing with the Wind of Byron's Italian mistress, Margartia Cogni, by the Swedish Bibi Anderson echoes The Bad Lord Byron's representation of Byron's Italian mistress, Teresa Guiccioli, by the Swedish Mai Zetterling, 'Swedes and Italians', Cochran observes, 'being interchangeably improper'.
But if Byron intended, following Horace, to suggest that Don Juan had to do with his 34 Byromania English culture's collective affairs, he certainly must have known, as did Hobhouse, that his personal and poetic figure were among those public preoccupations. ' Reducing domestica facta to either private affairs or public events, a reader fails to recognise that for a celebrity of Byron's sort the two cannot be neatly distinguished. Only when taken together can the two translations encompass the range of Don Juan's subjects and perspectives.