‘Stories Somehow Lengthen’: Narrative and Play in Beppo and The Witch of Atlas (Seminar, 4th November)


Inventions of the Text Seminar, November 4Join Professor Michael O’Neill for the inaugural Inventions of the Text seminar of 2015, in which he will look at Byron’s long poem, Beppo and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Witch of Atlas. All postgraduates and staff from relevant departments around the UK are welcome to attend. The seminar begins at 17:30 on 4th November, in the Department of English Studies, Hallgarth House.

‘Pontifications about “play” by academics are liable to make even a tolerant reader wince’, writes Brian Nellist; but, his wise warning notwithstanding, this talk will explore ‘play’ in two poems written in ottava rima: Byron’s Beppo (published 1818) and Shelley’s The Witch of Atlas (composed 1820; published 1824). It’ll look at the fate and function of ‘story’ in the two poems and consider (or re-consider) whether the poems represent, in their different but allied ways, a significant shift in Romantic poetry in English – towards fictionalising, a parade of imaginative freedom.

Future seminars in this series will follow the broad theme of Religion, Secularisation, Transcendence. Follow this blog or the Inventions of the Text website and Facebook page for more details, or contact the convenor, Sharon Tai.

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