- Byron Society of America
The Byron Society of America’s annual Leslie A. Marchand lecture was delivered on 21 May 2016, by Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Professor of English at the University of Illinois, in the Trustees Room of the New York Public Library. This year’s lecture, entitled ‘Darkness Visible: Byron and Das Hungerjahr, Switzerland, 1816’, formed part of the programme of the Romantic Bicentennial Symposium’s ‘The Geneva Summer’ programme, hosted jointly by the BSA and the Keats-Shelley Association of America.
Next year’s Marchand lecturer will be Hermione De Almeida, Pauline McFarlin Walter Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at The University of Tulsa. She will deliver her lecture in New York City 20–21 April 2017, when the Romantic Bicentennial Symposium will feature another event sponsored by the BSA: Jerome McGann (University of Virginia) and Omar Miranda (New York University) will stage a dramatic reading of Byron’s Manfred by the Red Bull Theater of New York, followed by lectures and discussion. See romantics200.org for more details.
On 21 April, Drew University Special Collections Library, home of the Byron Society Collection, hosted a joint gathering of the BSA and the Jane Austen Society of North America/New York Metropolitan Region entitled ‘Austen and Byron: Together Again’, a follow-up event to the 2008 ‘Austen and Byron: Together at Last’ conference held in New York City. This year’s gathering included a robust discussion of Austen’s Persuasion led by Robert Ready, Dean of Drew’s Casperson School of Graduate Studies, followed by an exhibition of materials from the Byron Society Collection and Goucher’s Jane Austen Collection, and a lecture by Rachel Brownstein, Professor of English at Brooklyn College, on ‘Austen and Byron: Literary Taste and Judgment’. See www.drew.edu/library/2016/05/austen-byron-together-again for a full report and images of the materials on display.
At the 2016 convention of the Modern Language Association in Austin, TX, the BSA hosted a panel entitled ‘Byron and America’ organised by Noah Comet, Assistant Professor of English at the United States Naval Academy. Ghislaine McDayter, Professor of English at Bucknell University, will lead the BSA’s panel at MSA 2017 in Philadelphia. The theme is ‘Byron and Consumption’.
- French Byron Society
Three meetings, with a total of no less than six papers given made 2015 a very active year for the French Byron Society.
In January, Danièle Sarrat presented a revised and augmented version, in French, of her acclaimed paper in Tbilisi: ‘Untired, untamed and worse than wild—Byron’s Mazeppa across the Channel’. At the AGM in March, Gabriel Matzneff and Denis Feignier, two Byronists since always, celebrated Benjamin Laroche, the attractive nineteenth-century translator of Byron’s works, with two complementary papers, on the importance of a good translation in spreading literature [End Page 195] (especially poetry), and on the personality and biography of the translator, respectively. Elena Taddia gave us an account of the translation problems of some Italian manuscript material related to Byron’s biography. In October, the French Byron Society members had the great privilege to applaud Jane Stabler’s first paper in French, on a very original topic: ‘Byron and his trees’. And I presented a brief selection of nineteenth-century music pieces inspired by Byron’s poems, illustrated by a few excerpts and the announcement of some of the works which would be given at the concert organised for the 42nd International Byron Conference in July 2016. All but one of these papers can be read in the 2015 Bulletin, issued before the next international conference.
The three meetings gave Danièle Sarrat the right audience for completing the reading of her new translation of The Siege of Corinth. This poem, together with her other translations of Byron poems from 1816, will be published in Autumn 2016 by the Editions d’Otrante.
The provisional programme of the 42nd International Byron Conference, in Paris in July 2016, was presented in Gdansk, at the 41st IBC. The selected theme, Life, loves, and other climatic disorders, sparked very positive reactions among the audience, as well...