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Editors: Alan Rawes and Diego Saglia

Byron’s connection with Italy is one of the most familiar facts about British Romanticism. A considerable portion of his legend is linked to his many pronouncements about the country (where he lived between 1816 and 1823), its history, culture and people, as well as about his own experiences in Italy and among Italians. Offering new insights into Byron’s relation to Italy, this volume is concerned with the real, historical ‘Anglo-Italian’ Byron, and his ‘almost Italianness’ as a poet. Its essays bring together different critical perspectives to take the pulse of current debates and open up new lines of enquiry into this crucial theme in Byron Studies and Romantic-era Studies more widely. In doing so, they explore how Byron’s being in Italy affected his sense of his own individual identity and of the labile nature of the self. It affected his politics – both in theory and in practice – and, of course, his whole development as a writer of lyrics, dramas, narratives, satires and letters. Moreover, the essays show how Italy affected, changed and informed Byron’s thinking about matters far beyond Italy itself. As the book shows, the poet’s relation to the country and its culture was complicated by a pervasive dialectic between familiarity and distance, and thus neither stable nor consistent. For this reason, among many others, the topic of ‘Byron and Italy’ remains an endless source of intellectual, literary, historical and existential fascination.

Byron and Italian Catholicism
Bernard Beatty

112 6 ‘Something sensible to grasp at’: Byron and Italian Catholicism Bernard Beatty Byron, aged ten, moved from Presbyterian Aberdeen to Newstead Abbey in 1798. The abbey was despoiled at the Reformation but still bore witness to ‘the old faith and the old feelings’ (DJ, XV, 46) that had shaped it. It was, presumably, Byron’s first direct exposure to any kind of Catholicism. Some twenty-​five years later and in Italy, he is still writing about it and presenting it as a secular house that still preserves something of its sacral, specifically Catholic, character

in Byron and Italy
Andrew Lynch

Catholicism at face value, including the apparent outlook and discourse of his religious tales, that his ‘attitude toward prevailing religious values is most basically one of protest against a controlling, inquisitorial Church, or against a credulous, sensual piety’, and that in various ways the mainstream of modern criticism ‘presupposes Chaucer’s privileging of rational [what she calls ‘Protestant’] religion over “simplicity of belief”’.2 There is no need to go all the way back to the Reformation to find the basis for views of this kind. Rarely did critics of the long

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
The Virgin of Flames
Annalisa Oboe and Elisa Bordin

city of angels, one of its protagonists being a transfiguration of the archangel Gabriel, and whose subject is the Virgin in different forms – the Virgin of Guadalupe, Fatima as the Virgin whom Black paints, and the Virgin of Flames he eventually becomes. Because almost half of its population is of Hispanic origins, Los Angeles culture is in fact imbued with Catholicism and, specifically, Latin American Catholicism, a religious expression which gives primal importance to the figure of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Abani

in Chris Abani
Catholicism, gender and race in two novels by Louise Erdrich
Sinéad Moynihan

In this chapter I unpack the ways in which Erdrich’s novels privilege religious belief over her characters’ raced and gendered identities (though they are connected) by challenging readers to consider the possibilities and limitations of Native/Christian (specifically, Catholic) syncretism. If, as Dennis Walsh asserts, the clear opposition Erdrich draws between Catholicism and shamanic religion in her first novel Love Medicine (1984) yields to a perceptible blurring of the two in Tracks (1988), published four years later, I take Walsh’s hypothesis further to

in Passing into the present
Marginal annotation as private commentary
Federica Coluzzi

Commedia : a perspective in contrast with Gladstone’s own spiritual appropriation of the text. As Pite observed, in Cary ‘Dante’s Catholicism and the religious significance of the allegory is toned down’ as Cary insisted on interpreting The Vision according to ‘the eighteenth-century meaning of the word, as of fiction or dream rather than “religious experience”’ ( Pite , 1994: 14–16). Despite these tensions, however, for

in Dante beyond influence
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The Love Medicine tetralogy and Tales of Burning Love
David Stirrup

individual and community, of holding together the fragile shell. It is a metaphor for survival. The novels For all the nuances and diversions of the first five novels, these books are unified by both location, common characters, ‘the intersection of Catholicism and the shamanistic religion of the Ojibwe’ (Chapman 2007: 149), irony, and other elements to be explicated here that are explored to varying depths in each book. That location, a fictional ‘non-space’ resembling an amalgamation of several reservations and the

in Louise Erdrich
Contemporary American fiction of racial and gender passing

This book is a full-length study of contemporary American fiction of ‘passing’. It takes as its point of departure the return of racial and gender passing in the 1990s in order to make claims about wider trends in contemporary American fiction. The book accounts for the return of tropes of passing in fiction by Phillip Roth, Percival Everett, Louise Erdrich, Danzy Senna, Jeffrey Eugenides and Paul Beatty. These writers are attracted to the trope because passing narratives have always foregrounded the notion of textuality in relation to the legibility of black subjects passing as white. The central argument of the book, then, is that contemporary narratives of passing are concerned with articulating and unpacking an analogy between passing and authorship. The book promises to inaugurate dialogue on the relationships between identity, postmodernism and authorship in contemporary American fiction.

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Sexuality, Catholicism and literature in twentieth-century Ireland

This book studies the twentieth-century Irish Catholic Bildungsroman. This comparative examination of six Irish novelists tracks the historical evolution of a literary genre and its significant role in Irish culture. With chapters on James Joyce and Kate O'Brien, along with studies of Maura Laverty, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern, this book offers a fresh new approach to the study of twentieth-century Irish writing and of the twentieth-century novel. Combining the study of literature and of archival material, the book also develops a new interpretive framework for studying the history of sexuality in twentieth-century Ireland. The book addresses itself to a wide set of interdisciplinary questions about Irish sexuality, modernity and post-colonial development, as well as Irish literature.

Matthew Schultz

struggle for a 32-county Republic, and recurring debates about whether Protestantism or Catholicism constitutes the ‘true’ Irish national character. By reimagining ancestral voices that endorse absolution rather than retribution, Deane and Burns break from popular political and social discourse that draws upon Ireland’s ghosts as a way of justifying recurrent political violence. Both authors employ the familiar trope of the-pasthaunting-the-present, but reverse typical outcomes. By focusing on the domestic consequences of the Troubles, specifically trauma experienced by

in Haunted historiographies