sábado, 3 de enero de 2015

Lord Byron: Selected Letters and Journals - George Gordon Byron, Leslie A. Marchand (Editor)


When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation),—sleep, eating, and swilling—buttoning and unbuttoning—how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse.

He can be cold, detached, heartless, witty, kind, charming, sensitive. He can be a thousand men in one.

He had a beautiful style, even while writing a simple letter. You can really appreciate the power of a well-written letter, especially now, in the world of abbreviations and ridiculous acronyms (you try to write “*****ng” and just when you reach the letter “n”, my God, it's impossible to continue; we all know typing the letter “g” can be such a waste of precious seconds that you can use to stare your keyboard, INCYDK—yes, that means "in case you didn't know", I can't believe you didn't get it...).

Byron, a man that lived too fast and slept with half of the female population in 19th century England (including, maybe, a half-sister), had interesting views on life, love, politics, religion. And he wrote about all that with such an irresistible humor, insightful irony, that you can't prevent yourself from falling in love with his personality, no matter how mad, bad and dangerous he may have been. On the other hand, he really loved some of his conquests, he was able to appreciate a woman's intelligence, he's been described as a loyal friend, he loved animals and he fought against the Ottoman Empire to free the Greeks. He wasn't all that bad...

Anyway, there was a time where I found myself a bit obsessed with his life, not a Lady Caroline kind of obsession, but still. There's something in him that makes you want to know more. There's a mixture of everything; melancholy, superficiality, wit, humor. I can't imagine what people felt when they actually met him.
All in all, I don't dislike his poetry, but I love his prose. I always come back to his letters and especially, his journals, made of feelings that defy time.

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