Re: [Byron] "calls for freedom" (long)
- The website at electricscotland.com lists Byron and Sir Walter Scott as the favorites of Travis, at the battle of the Alamo. It also has an extensive history of the Gordons of Gight, who sound like Scotland's Borgia. Interesting stuff!
nancy mayer <nmayer@...> wrote:
May I reiterate , the idea that many men in many countries were
influenced by Byron's works,, and quoted Byron when they looked to
throw off what they saw as chains of a foreign power is not my idea.
this is an idea I picked up surfing the net and reading literary
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> if they did find somethingI would not want anybody to say that "it never
> in Byron's works
> to inspire and encourage them, far be it from us to
> say that it never
> happened. or that Byron's thoughts on the subject
> did not go far enough.
happened." That is historical revisionism. Assuredly,
Byron facilitated Greece's independence (though mostly
by his death) and contributed to the failed efforts in
Italy before Mazzini and others realised that to
achieve pan-Italian solidarity they had to work with
the church instead of against it.
At the same time, since I like having the rights I
have that Byron's female contemporaries didn't, I do
not consider what he fought for to be universal human
rights and am sceptical of blanket calls for "freedom"
that do not include women among those who must be
freed -- especially when he RECOGNISED the
contradiction here -- as in when the Christian Giaour
says of the murderer of the lover he avenges: "Did he
but do as I had done / Had she been false to more than
one?" Meaning, in terms of women's rights, there's no
different between Venetian and Turkish ethics, and
this is tragically ironic.
I find a lot in Byron's works to inspire me, as a
writer. He told exciting stories in beautiful
language, at least in the "Turkish tales" and the
late-career tragedies. I think it's fair to recognise
areas in which his writing and actions didn't 100
percent make sense. I really like Percy Shelley's
writing, too, but would be the first to admit that
it's probably biologically impossible for Keats's
heart (as he wrote) to explode from a bad review, and
THE CENCI needs a bit of trimming to be stageable
because nothing new happens in Act II.
"So that they may overthrow the government they parade liberty. If they succeed, they will attack liberty itself."
- Justus Lipsius, POLITICA (1589)
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>I think sometimes his attitude might be described as aristocratic. he
>At the same time, his professed attitudes to the
>PEOPLE he aspired to liberate from their oppressors
>could be rather Protean.
was influenced by his succeeding to the barony especial at such a young
age. He was 10, and was bright enough to notice the way the peerage
changed the way people acted towards him. he was always conscious that
his early years were not like the other peers. I think he was too
sensitive to this. Also, the adults around him taught him that the
peers were somewhat superior to others. Even the headmaster who beat a
duke for being a duke somehow made the boys understand that dukes and
other peers were different.
Most of Byron's class mates were not peers. It was not the usual thing
for boys to inherit. His attitudes were formed by all of this. Sometimes
I think it a wonder he had as many ideas of equality and freedom as he did .