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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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Shades of Being: Byron and the Trespassing of Ontology

Shades of Being: Byron and the Trespassing of Ontology

(p.48) Chapter Two Shades of Being: Byron and the Trespassing of Ontology
Byron's Ghosts

Gavin Hopps

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines a less conspicuous form of ‘ontological trespassing’ — namely, the advent of that which ‘neither is nor is not’, to which Derrida ascribes the logic of spectrality. It focuses on three such ‘shades of being’: ghostly presences that flicker uncannily between being and not being; a numinous ‘excess’ in nature that is radically other than and yet paradoxically part of that which communicates it; and an ‘ec-centric’ mode of being, in which human nature is elevated beyond itself. In highlighting the prevalence of these shades of being, the chapter reveals a more extensive and coherent metaphysical vision than is customarily attributed to Byron. It argues that purely materialist readings are inadequate to the poet’s vision of art, nature, and human being.

Keywords:   ontological trespassing, spectrality, ghosts, beings, methaphyical vision

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