Byron: Don Juan
Happy birthday, Lord Byron (1788-1824)! I just re-read Don Juan, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is not only much more accessible than Byron’s only finished book length poem “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”, but is frequently laugh-out-loud funny, at least I found it so. Byron gets laughs on rhymes in PRECISELY the same way that many hip hop artists do — precisely the same way. Like Cervantes before him and Whitman who came after, Byron riffs on everything in Don Juan; the digressions are often just as rewarding as the plot. And like Shaw, Byron turns the Don Juan legend on its head. In his version, it is the women who keep pursuing the supposed Lothario, a conceit that Fielding would later steal for Tom Jones. Oh, there ain’t nothin’ better than this. And the fact that my kid’s middle name is Byron is just a coincidence.
This entry was posted on January 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm and is filed under BOOKS & AUTHORS, CRITICISM/ REVIEWS with tags Don Juan, George Gordon Lord Byron. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.