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Byron's GhostsThe Spectral, the Spiritual and the Supernatural$
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Gavin Hopps

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319709

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319709.001.0001

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Being neither Here nor There: Byron and the Art of Flirtation

Being neither Here nor There: Byron and the Art of Flirtation

Chapter:
(p.202) Chapter Nine Being neither Here nor There: Byron and the Art of Flirtation
Source:
Byron's Ghosts
Author(s):

Corin Throsby

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846319709.003.0010

This chapter focuses on ‘social’ or ‘non-Gothic’ forms of spectrality, which is identified as a species of flirtation. For Byron, this typically involves a gesture in which ‘disclosure and veiling’ coincide, giving rise to a peculiarly fugitive presence that seems to allure the more it eludes our grasp. Such ‘flirtatious’ gestures are a feature of Byron’s poetic style as well as an extra-textual habit. Focusing in detail on The Giaour, the chapter examines the poem’s alluringly elusive narrative, with its shadowy characters and ‘curtain of asterisks’, and the equally teasing circumstances of its gradual dissemination. It shows that The Giaour is teeming with ‘radioactive’ presences, which testify to the erotic charge of the ghostly.

Keywords:   spectrality, ghosts, flirtation, poetic style, poetry, The Giaour

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