Sunday, September 20, 2009

Notes to "He recited his favourite poetry at inordinate length," or, Byron and Boswell at table

* The New Yorker closed its generally supportive "Briefly Noted" review of Byron in Love with,
Out of O’Brien’s kinetic recounting of scandal after scandal, a sense of the poet’s pathos emerges: Byron did, at times, love deeply. But by eliding his literary personality O’Brien risks voyeurism.
--which seems to border on the ridiculous: what else is one to do with Byron's life--at least in a short book--but gape?

** As O'Brien explains,
[T]he "bonnie lad" was still at the Albany alone as he said with his menagerie of birds; his morning routine a bout of sparring his boxing master, then posing in Albanian costume for Thomas Philips, the portrait painter, his only female companion being [his firelighter] Mrs. Mule. He omitted to mention the visits of Miss Eliza Francis, another putative author who believed that an audience with Byron would inspire her. She herself left a record of those trysts, all was sunshine, except for rats scurrying about.
Annabella, meanwhile, told Byron that his
delays are becoming "too like a dream" and she compares him to the procrastinating Hamlet.

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