"I have a penchant for black"
race and orphic dismemberment in Byron's The deformed transformed and J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace
"I should like to know "who" has been carried off except poor dear "me,"" Byron wrote to his publisher, when accused of mistreating women. "—I have been more ravished myself than anybody since the Trojan war."1 The comparison is suggestive, for it links him to a tradition of men pursued and even dismembered by women, especially Pentheus in The Bacchae and Orpheus in Virgil's Georgics. In Don Juan, Byron continued the Orphic theme. He depicted his hero not as the legendary seducer but as the passive medium of female desire. Thus Juan is ravished by Don Alfonso's wife, procured by Gulbeyaz, and man-handled by Catherine. Long after Byron dies, his head continues its song. Byron is dead, Tennyson carves on a rock.2 Long live Byron.
Gross, J. (2011)., "I have a penchant for black": race and orphic dismemberment in Byron's The deformed transformed and J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace, in M. J. A. Green & P. Pal-Lapinski (eds.), Byron and the politics of freedom and terror, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 167-181.
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