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Byron and Italy$
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Alan Rawes and Diego Saglia

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526100559

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526100559.001.0001

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The garden of the world: Byron and the geography of Italy

The garden of the world: Byron and the geography of Italy

(p.77) 4 The garden of the world: Byron and the geography of Italy
Byron and Italy

Mauro Pala

Manchester University Press

This chapter concentrates on Byron’s relation to Italy as geography and landscape. It demonstrates that, while reading his poetry confronts us repeatedly with the poet’s digressive, fluid mobilité, studying his relationship to Italy repeatedly confronts us with his capacity for sustained attention to the given. Yet, as this chapter contends, in Canto IV of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, attending to the given is not simply a matter of ‘seizing’ the ‘colouring of the scenes which fleet along’ for Byron. By contrast, his depictions of Italian cityscapes and landscapes are ‘complex, heterogeneous and personal negotiations’ not just with ‘real places’ but also ‘their attendant histories’. In Byron’s poetry about Italy, these negotiations not only cast place as an essential component in the consciousness that observes it, but also make that consciousness ‘an essential element of place’.

Keywords:   Childe Harold IV, Cultural geography, Landscape, Cityscape, History, Place, Nature, Consciousness

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