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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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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Parisina, Mazeppa and Anglo-Italian displacement

Parisina, Mazeppa and Anglo-Italian displacement

(p.149) 8 Parisina, Mazeppa and Anglo-Italian displacement
Byron and Italy

Peter W. Graham

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines Parisina (written in England but on an Italian topic) and Mazeppa (written in Italy but on a non-Italian topic) as exemplary instances of Byron’s creation of an Anglo-Italian poetics based on displacement in his narrative verse. It considers them separately and together as a useful way of understanding the ‘intricate fabrication of Byron’s Anglo-Italian identity’. It also considers them ‘in dialogue’ and in relation to Italy in order to throw new light on two works that are generally sidelined in the Byron canon. In Parisina, Byron offers an Italian cautionary tale to Regency England,one in which he can ‘poetically release’ things in his own life that he had to publicly suppress in England. In Mazeppa, instead, Byron explores key aspects of his life in Italy in an imagined location that is displaced from Italy rather than to it. As this essay shows, both narrative poems demonstrate, in contradiction to much critical thinking about Byron, the importance of ‘not being on the spot’ to both the poet’s narrative method and his poetic self-fashioning.

Keywords:   Byron’s narrative art, Parisina, Mazeppa, Anglo-Italian identity, Poetic displacement, Byronic Self-fashioning, Place

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