And it is singularly appropriate that Stendhal, whose first objective in his letter to Sharpe was to find out whether the latter's verdict on Armance would be favorable, should have recruited Byron's name, along with a striking instance of his "malheur passionne et deraisonnable," as a tacit validation of the novel and of its Byronically
These essays, like much of the best travel writing--and unlike the handful in the collection that are either Byronically
self-romanticizing, unfocused, or spiritually pumped up--remind us of the world's vastness, of what we can't possibly know except firsthand.
handsome in white tie and hails, he's seen in TV footage from the early '70s, a time when some conductors and impresarios saw him as the new Paganini.
Perhaps the Byronically
contrarian Cain, creation's first nostalgic firstborn son who grudges a life of toil "because / My father could not keep his place in Eden" and loiters around its closed gates at twilight "to catch a glimpse of those / Gardens which are my just inheritance" (CPW VI: 234-35), is Byron's best oblique embodiment of his British aristocratic land-leaving regret.
In his final fragment, the apocalypse, once sweet in Shelley's mouth, is Byronically
bitter in his now "excrementitious" belly.