Chapter

Introduction

David Roessel

in In Byron's Shadow

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143867
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199871872 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143867.003.0001
Introduction

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This introductory chapter begins with a description of the primary aim of this book, which is to examine the significance of what Victor Hugo called the “Greece of Byron”, or modern Greece, in English and American writing. It argues that the Romantic age constructed an image of a politicized, female, modern Greece fit for the temple of Apollo. This image dominated representations of Greece into the 20th century and was eventually transmuted by writers affiliated with modernism into an apolitical, male Greece in a Dionysian frenzy. The transition is obvious in literary works, but the reasons are not, and it certainly cannot be explained only as a modernist reaction to Romantic Greece. The literary geography of the Mediterranean is equally important. While the story of Italy or Egypt in English and American writing differs greatly from that of Greece, the perception of these three places and the adjoining areas interact and affect one another. An overview of the three parts of the book is presented.

Keywords: modern Greece; Victor Hugo; Greece of Byron; Romantic Greece

Chapter.  3880 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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