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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

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

Corin Throsby

Liverpool University Press

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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