In a manner that echoes how the Parisian public first encountered the artist's genius at the Salons of the 1820s, visitors to The Met's exhibition are confronted by two monumental canvases representing the poles of Delacroix's imagination: an allegory of war, "Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi
" and a Biblical subject, "Christ in the Garden of Olives" (182426).
However, during the Easter of 1824, when he died at Missolonghi
, one resurrection, that is empirically verifiable, did take place: "that monster known as Byronism" rose from Byron's corpse and began to live a life of its own (Eisler 752).
By all intents and purposes, then, Byron's death could be classified as parasuicide, no matter how different the tableau at Missolonghi
was like, in 1824.
Murio Byron muy pronto tambien, en Missolonghi
, el 19 de abril de 1824, asesinado no por los turcos ni por los criticos sino por sus medicos, que lo desangraron sin piedad.
In the dismal, marshy town of Missolonghi
he lived a Spartan existence, undertaking to train troops whom he had himself subsidized and exhibiting great practical grasp and power of leadership amid an incredible confusion of factionalism, intrigue, and military ineptitude, and despite an unhappy passion for his Greek page boy, Loukas.
Se deshace en Atenas, una de sus cunas, en medio de la indiferencia y el cinismo de sus naciones hermanas: hubo un tiempo, el del movimiento filohelenico de principios del siglo XIX, en el que desde Chateaubriand hasta el Byron de Missolonghi
, desde Berlioz hasta Delacroix, desde Pushkin hasta el joven Victor Hugo, todos los artistas, poetas, grandes mentes de Europa, volaban en su auxilio y militaban en favor de su libertad.
En primer lugar, Menendez Pelayo (I, 238-239), quien menciona la oda a los griegos de Heredia para sugerir que su "filohelenismo" parece de "inspiracion byroniana", con el fin de ahondar en la idea de que "alguna vez imito a Byron"; y Cabrera, quien si la interpreta como una muestra de filohelenismo claramente romantico, pero se limita a comentarla en consonancia con el cuadro de Eugene Delacroix Grecia entre las ruinas de Missolonghi
(1826), con algun error grave ademas, como la afirmacion de que Al alzamiento de los griegos contra los turcos en 1821 (segunda version de la oda que Heredia publico en 1825), fue escrita en 1820, aunque no publicada hasta 1823.
1824: Leading poet Lord Byron died of a fever at Missolonghi
while aiding Greek insurgents against the Turks in their fight for independence.
In addition they were all romantics, of course, but after the beautiful example of Friedrich Schiller, or Byron going to Missolonghi
to fight for Greek independence: They were "the last/supreme romantics," "ultimate romantics" as Peter Whitehead very aptly says about Godard.
It is then in a portion of Armance already laden with Byronism--in a portion of the novel where Octave is for instance specifically preoccupied by thoughts of fighting the Turks at Missolonghi
(see OC 5: 183-84, 188), the Greek town where Byron prematurely and tragically had died of fever in 1824--that the first of Stendhal's direct allusions to Othello appears:
THE PHRASE "INHERITORS OF UNFULFILLED renown" is Percy Bysshe Shelley's, in his Adonais (1821), an elegy for John Keats, and could be applied to all three of the major poets portrayed in Young Romantics: Keats, who died of tuberculosis in Rome at the age of 25; Shelley, who drowned a year later, one month before his 29th birthday, in the storm that sunk his sailboat off the coast of Liguria; and George Gordon, Lord Byron, who died in 1824, 36 years old, of fever and bungled medical treatment at Missolonghi
, where he had gone to join the fight for Greek independence.
On his earlier Mediterranean trip, Galt had undertaken various feats of speed-translation from Italian as a pastime--for instance, when confined indoors by wet weather in Missolonghi
, or while in quarantine at Messina.