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Byron and Marginality$
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Norbert Lennartz

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439411

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439411.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

‘When a man talks of system, his case is hopeless’: Byron at the Margins of Romantic Counterculture

‘When a man talks of system, his case is hopeless’: Byron at the Margins of Romantic Counterculture

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 5 ‘When a man talks of system, his case is hopeless’: Byron at the Margins of Romantic Counterculture
Source:
Byron and Marginality
Author(s):

Friederike Wolfrum

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439411.003.0005

A strong belief in the countercultural agency of literary texts is one of the defining features of Romanticism, as evidenced in concepts ranging from the Wordsworthian ‘High Argument’ to Percy B. Shelley’s claim that “[p]oets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”. Byron inhabits a unique position among his contemporaries: hearkening back to Whig ideals of restoration and looking forward to a more sceptical, less ideological world view. An analysis of his working relationship with Leigh Hunt and critique of Hunt’s use of ‘System’ amply demonstrates that Byron’s involvement in Romantic counterculture is characterised by techniques that are less involved in the vehement promotion of social change, but move in an equilibrium between agency and epistemology.

Keywords:   Counterculture, Leigh Hunt, The Story of Rimini, Scepticism, Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, The carnivalesque

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