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Lord Byron and the History of Desire
978-1-61149-123-4 • Hardback
July 2009 • $80.00 • (£49.95)
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Pages: 266
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/4
By Ian Dennis
 
Literary Criticism | Reference
University Press Copublishing Division | University of Delaware
This book interprets a number of Lord Byron’s major literary works—Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1813, 1816, 1818), the Eastern Tales (1812–16), 'Prometheus' (1816), 'The Prisoner of Chillon' (1816), Manfred (1817), Cain (1821), Heaven and Earth (1823), and Don Juan (1819–24)—from a perspective informed by the generative anthropology of Eric Gans and the mimetic theory of René Girard. It reads these works for their developing awareness of the market world in which the poet lived—the changing nexus of socially mediated desires—but also for their modeling of attitudes and rhetorics useful for life in such a world, with particular attention to Byronic irony and its purposes. It examines the poetry’s relationship to various claims to sacral immunity in the era, and reassesses the meaning and power of Byron’s politics and celebrity.
Ian Dennis is associate professor at the University of Ottawa.
 
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