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  • French Byron Society
  • Olivier Feignier, President

Year 2012 was saddened by the sudden death of André Jarry, an eminent specialist of Alfred de Vigny and vice-president of the ‘Association des Amis d’Alfred de Vigny’, and a highly appreciated member of the French Byron Society as well.

The French Byron Society assembled three times in 2012. Our society was represented at the 38th International Byron Conference, in Beirut, and at the Byron Symposium, in London. Its annual bulletin, covering the year 2011, was issued in due time.

The first meeting of the year took place on 21 January 2012, at the Arsenal Library, one of the most important places in the history of French Romanticism, where Charles Nodier, its librarian from 1824 to 1844, used to gather his friends: poets, novelists, musicians, painters, engravers, etc. Bernard Beatty gave a bilingual speech on ‘Voices, sounds, silence and text: the case of Parisina’ (‘Les voix, les sons, le silence et le texte: the case of Byron’s Parisina’). His paper was built on the analysis of Byron’s poem and of the poem’s new translation into French by Danièle Sarrat. Then, Danièle Sarrat gave her paper on Beppo illustrated by Alexandre Colin, which was followed by two ‘brief encounters’, respectively with the 3rd Lord Malmesbury (by Denis Feignier), and with Lady Charlemont (by Olivier Feignier).

After the Assembly General, on 31 March, Olivier Feignier presented the result of his research on the early reception of Byron in France, considered through the many marks it left in the French collective books between 1815 and 1840: translations, imitations, parodies and fakes, biographical sketches (real or fanciful), pieces of critique, allusions and references to Byronic heroes, and epigraphs. All these tokens delineate a lively portrait of Byron and of how he was seen during the first twenty-five years of celebrity in Paris and in France. This paper is a much enriched version of the contribution to the Boston conference in 2010. (It has been published in the 2012 bulletin: ‘C’est assez de répondre de ce que j’ai écrit !’: Un portrait évolutif de Byron dans les ouvrages collectifs français – 1815–1840.)

During the autumn meeting, the Society’s members were given an account of the two highly interesting Byron conferences of the previous summer, in Beirut (‘Byron and genre’) and in London (‘Byron and 1812’). Our ‘representatives’ insisted on the high quality of both events.

As usual during the last years, Byron himself was present at all our meetings through his poems: we enjoyed the reading of several excerpts of Mazeppa in Danièle Sarrat’s new translation.



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