Fellow Sinners: Byron’s Influence on Twentieth-Century Poets
18th April, IN-PERSON
6.30pm-8.00pm, Art Workers Guild
Ticket Price: £5.00
Wine reception 6.30 pm
Lecture at 7.00 pm
Dinner from 8.00 pm
In the twentieth-century, Byron becomes the Romantic poet who offers particularly modern poetic opportunities. However, critics have rarely chosen to explore the contours and content of this influence. This talk understands Byron’s influence not as subconscious but as self-fashioned by his inheritors, where each featured poet chooses the way in which Byron functions as a model in their poetry. Byron is neither forbidding ancestor nor kindly father. What Byron offers to his twentieth century descendants would not be a shared manner or a collective talent for a well-placed echo or allusion to their precursor. Byron offers a multi-faceted example that his followers would explore and exploit.
Moving from Eliot and Pound to Yeats’s example, to the work of Auden and MacNeice, to the American confessional poets, Plath, Lowell, and Berryman, this talk explores how Byronic Romanticism becomes central to twentieth-century English, Anglo-Irish, and American poetry. Byron’s cosmopolitanism offered each of his inheritors a version of an Anglophone poet far removed from the parochial model. Byron becomes an alternative version of Bloom’s ‘exemplary Modern Poet’ especially adapted for twentieth century purposes.
Art Workers Guild
6 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AT
There will be a dinner for those who wish to join, details will be confirmed closer to the time.