Annotated Canto III of Don Juan

Here’s a download for Byron fans. An illustrated, annotated Canto III of Don Juan.

This project went into the freezer for a couple of years after the publication of the audio-book of Canto One. Alas, there were only a few sales. The iBook has been free for download from the iBook Store for the past couple of years and, still, there are only a very small number of downloads.

The Librivox recordings I made of several Cantos of Don Juan (here, here, and here) have been downloaded tens of thousands of times. But there seems to be almost zero demand for a read-aloud book of the same material, or I have failed to connect with the audience; or both.

I have, however, continued the project in other ways from time to time. I’ve recorded the audio for Cantos II and III that have not been posted to Librivox (I don’t like their insistence on ‘branding’ my work for themselves). Those recordings may appear here in due course: or I may wait until I have some more Cantos ready and release them as a group.

I have also continued to work on an approach to annotation whose motive is to help 21st century readers “get” some of the references — literary, autobiographical — that made the satire so amusing for sophisticated 19th century readers. Don Juan is not a literary puzzle like, for example, Joyce’s Ulysses. But it is a much denser composition than Byron’s apparently frivolous tone and loose structure make it appear, on the surface.

Here is the annotated version of Canto III. I hope you like it. Please contact me (there’s an email link in the PDF file) and let me know what you think.

Don-Juan Canto III Annotated

By the way: the image is a half-imaginary portrait of one of Byron’s would-be (de facto? We’ll never know!) lovers: the saturnine Ali Pasha of Tepelenë, a brigand, sadist, pederast and Ottoman tyrant of Albania and Western Greece. For more about his connection to Bryon, and role in Don Juan, please read the Annotated Canto III.

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Byron fan (not fanatic); poetry lover (not tragic); doctor of melancholia (not gloom).