Byron and the Discourses of History

1st Edition

Carla Pomarè

Routledge
Published October 31, 2016
Reference - 202 Pages
ISBN 9781138254626 - CAT# Y313395
Series: The Nineteenth Century Series

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Summary

In her study of the relationship between Byron’s lifelong interest in historical matters and the development of history as a discipline, Carla Pomarè focuses on drama (the Venetian plays, The Deformed Transformed), verse narrative (The Siege of Corinth, Mazeppa) and dramatic monologue (The Prophecy of Dante), calling attention to their interaction with historiographical and pseudo-historiographical texts ranging from monographs to dictionaries, collections of apophthegms, autobiographies and prophecies. This variety of discourses, Pomarè suggests, not only served as a source of the historical information Byron cherished, providing the subject matter for countless episodes in his works, but also and primarily supplied him with epistemological models. From them, Byron drew such trademark textual practices as his massive use of notes and paratexts, which satisfied his ingrained need for ’authenticity’ - a sentiment expressed in his oft-quoted, ’I hate things all fiction’. As Pomarè argues, Byron’s meticulous tracing of the process that links events, documents and historical representations ultimately answers his desire to retrieve what might be lost during the transmission of historical knowledge. Thus does he betray his preoccupation with the ideological uses of history writing, projecting his own discourses of history into the present of their composition.

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