Academic journal article The Byron Journal

Editorial

Academic journal article The Byron Journal

Editorial

Article excerpt

The world of Byron Studies is continually evolving and yet is full of past echoes. Self-fashioning is one of those Byronic watchwords, like mobility and scepticism perhaps, which seem to turn up continually and yet never cease to provoke new and challenging readings of his life and verse. In this issue of The Byron Journal, Byronic self-fashioning is to the fore in a number of essays. Rolf Lessenich examines Byron's ambivalent attitude to the notion of same-sex love and his attempts to reconcile his sexuality with Calvinism and the precepts of a liberal-classical education in a period that saw the spread of normative sexual pathologies. Joselyn Almeida and Daniel Westwood both look at the different ways in which Byron's self-fashioning was complicated through his use of doubles. In Almeida's case this takes the form of a reading of Byron's use of the mask of the Cynic philosopher Diogenes in The Age of Bronze, which enables him to speak out against economic and political corruption. Westwood closely reads Byron's use of Napoleon and Wordsworth as imperfect equivalents in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto III.

Byron's cosmopolitanism and ability to reach beyond national borders is another feature with which Byronists are familiar and yet, given an uncertain post-Brexit landscape in Europe, it is pertinent that we should be reminded of this. While the IABS conference moves on from the hugely successful conference in Paris (an account of which is included in the present issue) to Armenia in 2017, two essays reflect the continuing important work being done on Byron's European impact. …

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