6 x 9
This collection of new articles aims to answer the fundamental questions of Byron’s attitude to fiction and to the limits inherent in this art form and in life itself. The book’s purpose, as well as celebrating the bicentennial of Byron’s birth, has been to assemble a collection of scholarly and informed articles round a particular theme. In this work the theme (given in the title) arises in two ways; first, Byron himself was passionately concerned with the nature and status of fiction and yet often sceptical of its importance. Secondly, it is a major topic of current literary criticism which is increasingly preoccupied with fictions as completely autonomous structures. Byron’s poetry should be seen as a version of these concerns but also as one of the earliest deliberate challenges to them. All of Byron’s major poems, together with his forays into prose fiction, are considered in this volume. Contributors pursue their own approaches but a particular emphasis of the volume as a whole is the strange immediacy of Byron’s poetry, which seems to arise from both the self-consciousness of his undertaking and from his fidelity to what is rather than what is merely known or stated. The method of most contributors is to address these important topics, but substantiate their arguments by detailed reading of texts.