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Crossing “Dark Barriers”: intertextuality and dialogue between Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott.

Oliver, S 2008, 'Crossing “Dark Barriers”: intertextuality and dialogue between Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott.' , Studies in Romanticism, 47 (1) , pp. 15-35.

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Abstract

Crossing “Dark Barriers”: intertextuality and dialogue between Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott. This essay discusses intertextual references as a form of poetic dialogue between Lord Byron and Walter Scott. Byron’s poetic relationships with Scotland and Scott are evident from the beginning of his career. “Elegy on Newstead Abbey,” (Hours of Idleness, 1807), has an epigraph from Ossian. In the same collection, “The Death of Calmar and Orla: an Imitation of Macpherson’s Ossian,” is a “northernized” prose version of the episode concerning Nisus and Euryalus from Virgil’s Aeneid. Byron’s affection for the “wild” parts of Scotland’s Highland interior are emphasized in “Lachin Y Gair,” a poem celebrating the Highland regions that he visited with his mother when he was a boy and where his maternal ancestors (so the poem proclaimed) lived and died in the course of Scottish history. The details of locations, topographical features and a guide to pronunciation contained in a brief introductory note establish a literary relationship between Byron and Scott. Subsequently, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (particularly cantos 1 and 2, 1812), the Eastern Tales, The Island (1823) and parts of Don Juan incorporate various reflections on Scotland and on Scott’s poetry. Scott, in the meantime, orientalized the Scottish Highlands. In setting the scene for his narrative in The Lady of the Lake (1810), he surveys the view of the Grampian Mountains from the Highland margins of the Trossachs. Scott instigates a chain of association in his reader through architectural and cultural metaphors, as his narrator describes a landscape seemingly set with cupolas, minarets and pagodas. Byron reciprocated, employing a simile likening Ali Pasha’s Tepaleen palace to Branksome, a Baronial Castle that featured in Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). Amongst the figurations considered in this essay are the return to Britain and laundering of outlaw “otherness” in Scott’s Rokeby (1813), and the perplexing, secretive “strangeness” of the communications between Europe and the East in Byron’s Lara (1814). A consideration of Byron’s use of Hebridean and Polynesian motifs in The Island leads into an exploration of his engagement with Scott in Don Juan, Scott’s acknowledgment in his journal of Byron’s example, and some brief comments on Byron’s quotations from Scott in his correspondence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Susan Oliver is Lecturer in Literature and Culture of the Long Nineteenth Century at the University of Salford. In addition, she is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, and an MLA Bibliography Fellow. A shorter version of the present article was given at the Byron Society of America Session at the 2005 MLA Convention in Washington D.C. Some of the points made here extend explorations begun in Dr Oliver’s book, Scott, Byron and the Poetics of Cultural Encounter (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2005), for which the British Academy awarded her the 2007 Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. For wider contexts relating to this article see my book, Scott, Byron and the Poetics of Cultural Encounter (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave, 2005) The author can also be contacted by email at: susanoliver@mac.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lord Byron; Walter Scott; Romantic poetry; narrative poetry; travel writing; literary dialogues; ballads; intertextuality; Scotland; Scottish literature; near east; orientalism; feudalism; Lay of the Last Minstrel; Lady of the Lake; Marmion; Rokeby; Hours of Idleness; Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage; Don Juan; The Island.
Themes: Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in Romanticism
Publisher: Boston University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0039-3762
Depositing User: S Oliver
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009 10:05
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:01
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/2563

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