Essay on the Text of <i>Bizarro</i>

J. H. Alexander, Judy King and Graham Tulloch

in The Siege of Malta and Bizarro

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780748624874
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652280 | DOI:
Essay on the Text of Bizarro

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  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)


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Walter Scott seems to have been particularly interested in the outlaw as a figure who might have led a happy life but is turned aside into a life of crime. It is likely that he was working on Bizarro when in residence at Rome, since there is an account from two sources of how he showed the incomplete story to a German visitor. Sir William Gell presents a consistent view of Scott as having little real interest in Italy and its Classical history. However, had he been able to read Bizarro, he would have found that the reality was rather different. The scenario constructed by Gell, in which Scott was largely impervious to what was going on, was distinctly misleading. Many of Scott's changes simply correct mistakes of which he became aware either as he wrote or later. Bizarro emerges as a worthy conclusion to Scott's long series of prose narratives.

Keywords: Bizarro; Walter Scott; Sir William Gell; Italy; Classical history

Chapter.  7133 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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