Fictions of Byron: An Annotated Bibliography
by G. Todd Davis



The Merciful Women. Federico Andahazi. 2000. An erotic story that borders on the pornographic, translated from the Spanish by Alberto Manguel. In yet another story about the summer of 1816, the author focuses almost exclusively on John Polidori and his quest for authorial fame. He feels desperately jealous over Byron's poetic ability and his newfound friendship with Shelley. Later in the text, the audience discover that Polidori finds Shelley sexually attractive, which allegedly explains his inordinate envy towards him. The narrative revolves around a series of secret letters sent by the monstrous Annette Legrand, who is hideously malformed and horribly ugly. On top of that, she desperately needs semen to live, rather like a vampire who needs blood. To compensate for this atrocious thirst, she relies on her incredible intelligence and offers written texts as compensation to the men from whom she needs the "vital fluid. To Polidori, she gives The Vampyre, which he claims as his own. In a twist at the end of the novel, Polidori finds a huge trunk filled with letters from already compensated authors begging Annette to give them yet another manuscript for payment of the semen: Byron has already been given Manfred, Pushkin the Queen of Spades. There are many others as well: Hoffmann, Tieck, Chateaubriand, Caballero, Planes, and even Mary Shelley, although it remains unclear whether Shelley had to reciprocate with vital fluids of her own.

Carnevale. M. R. Lovric. 2001. A novel in which Casanova and Byron take center-stage connected by the renowned female painter, Cecilia Cornaro, who has been seduced by both of them three decades apart. Casanova is described as the most exquisite lover, while she portrays Byron as the most fiendish. Cecilia says of Casanova that he never made a conquest and never had victims. Instead women were his accomplices in pleasure. She continues: [Casanova] loved one woman at a time, and properly, and then the next one, even better. Byron stands in stark contrast to this devoted lover. For Byron, love was a bitter comedy and a transaction. It gave Cecilia more joy to read about Byron than to know him intimately. Byron invented a new mechanical system of love—of taking the parts that he needed, but never the whole woman. The result of this hostile transaction was a Frankenstein monster, a love that went bad and murdered happiness.


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