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Essay on Displacement and Don Juan

Project id 1000784
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 2791
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Displacement along with Don Juan Contrary to the fitfully epic Don Juan, I'd like to Start in medias res, with the rage of Lord Byron. We join him thick at the battle with a central issue of DJ's essay: the perils of transmission: Pray once I send you a parcel or package--do acknowledge it--I care nothing in my letters or your replies--I only want to understand, when I've taken trouble about a thing that it's arrived. From now he chased off these impatient words to his publisher John Murray at 1821, Byron had been residing abroad and publishing abroad for five years. They were years marked by drastic changes of tone in his writing -- by earnestness to playfulness in his poetry, and rather the opposite trajectory in correspondence by Murray. The relationship between bestselling poet and savvy publisher, undoubtedly the most lucrative of its own day, degenerated into recrimination and finally broke down altogether, thanks in big part to the "friction of space" The distance that Don Juan's book had to sue between author and press -- all the water and land in addition to political borders between Italy and London -- cultivated that the components of miscommunication. It invited excruciating wait, crossed signals, censorship, confusion, if not outright misplacement. Frustrating to be sure, and yet, as I hope to indicate, these travails had their unexpected payoff: they goaded DJ to an innovative grappling with displacement--an inexorable power that both exude a poet's power and revives it, as a revenant, a potently interrupted address. The kick-start to Byron's poetic career was Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Cantos I and II, motivated through an extensive continental excursion in 1809-11. Even that early work was written over...

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