Don Juan Cantos Annotated

Blessings-of-Peace:Cruikshank-cartoon

TL;DR An up-dat­ed draft of my “Anno­tat­ed Don Juan” is avail­able. It now pro­vides notes and illus­tra­tions for Can­tos I, III and IX. Get it here and read along with the nar­ra­tion. At the end…

Why I like Don Juan

Literature

Just now there’s a lot of inter­est in the­o­ries of behav­iour as ‘sig­nalling’. For exam­ple, edu­ca­tion choic­es and cur­ric­u­la are said to be “about” sig­nalling wealth or con­for­mi­ty with cor­po­rate ethics rather than about get­ting…

The First Line of Don Juan

Byron cheek­i­ly begins his great­est poem in pre­cise­ly the wrong way for an “epic”: ”I want a hero!…” Noth­ing could be more absurd than an Epic with­out a hero. The essence of an Epic is…

Stand-up poetry

The more time I spend with “Don Juan” the more I am con­vinced that it is cru­cial, for an under­stand­ing of the poem, to remem­ber that it is a per­for­mance, not a con­ven­tion­al text. I’ve…

Canto VI and the tumult of 1822

Can­to VI begins, in full naughty-Don Juan-style, with a polit­i­cal­ly incor­rect (then as now, for diff­fer­ent rea­sons) defence of pas­sion. Byron sidles into the sto­ry-line briefly to recall the last scenes of Can­to V, then…

A sample recording Canto VI

"Odalisque" --- Adrien Henri Tanoux

This project is gath­er­ing steam… or, some­thing pos­si­bly more ener­getic than steam. Here is a sam­ple from my nev­er pre­vi­ous­ly released record­ing of Can­to VI of Byron’s Don Juan. It’s the first 61 vers­es that…