The Byron Journal

'Eden's Door': The Porous Worlds of Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

The Byron Journal (2009), 37, (2), 109–120.

Abstract

Byron has been read as an ironist and a nihilist with a 'scorn for metaphysics' (Harold Bloom, The Visionary Company). Without letting go of the poet's characteristic scepticism or aversion to systems, this article seeks to call into question such an unqualified reading, tracing in Byron's verse an 'ecstatic logic' which is pervasive and consistent, and which corresponds to traditional theological accounts of ekstasis. In considering the poet's representation of ecstatic experience, the article also draws attention to related moments of 'spiritual verticality' in his poetry, which complicate Camille Paglia's reading of Byron as a poet of 'earthly horizontality'.

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Author details

Hopps, Gavin