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“LORD BYRON AND MYTHOLOGY” By Professor Naji Oueijan, Notre Dame University, Lebanon

Έχουμε την χαρά να σας παρουσιάσουμε το νέο βιβλίο του Καθηγητή Naji Oueijan, ο οποίος είναι ένας εκ των τριών Προέδρων, της Διεθνούς Συνομοσπονδίας Βυρωνικών Εταιρειών και Μέλος της Επιστημονικής Επιτροπής της Βυρωνικής Εταιρείας Μεσολογγίου. Συμμετέχει κάθε χρόνο(τα τελευταία 15 χρόνια) μαζί με φοιτητές του από το Πανεπιστήμιο Notre Dame, Lebanon,στα Διεθνή Φοιτητικά Βυρωνικά Συνέδρια μας, αγαπάει την Ελλάδα και το Μεσολόγγι, ιδιαίτερα.

Ever since his childhood and adolescence and before he became a legendary poet, George Gordon Noel, sixth Baron Byron, felt the sense of escaping from the anxieties of his traumatic present to the glorious worlds of Eastern history and mythology. In Eastern mythology, which he read and loved, Byron approached his own utopia and dystopia without distancing himself from current world affairs. He heard the voice of mythology in various forms: in Nature and its animate and inanimate elements, in nightingales, eagles, roses, trees, bushes, mountains, plains, oceans, stones, and rocks, and in ancient relics, among others. Nature and the ruins of the past spoke to him more truth about God, Man, and Nature than religion and history books. His immediate impressions while being on-the-spot, his mobility, his standing on the borderlines of fact and fiction, and his extensive references to Eastern mythology in his works, created a Byronic myth and enhanced the mythical quality of his works, especially Don Juan, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Cantos I and II, and his Oriental Tales―The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and The Siege of Corinth. Lord Byron became an archetype of a legendary celebrity, and his works and some of his characters, especially his Byronic Heroes and Heroines, became universal mythical characters. Among several questions, the book answers two major ones: First, how does Byron use Eastern mythology, including Greek, Persian, and Arabian in the above-mentioned works to render his own poetry mythological? And second, how do his personal affairs and mythological works contribute to the generation of the still living Byronic myth?

Prof. Naji Oueijan was Chairman of the Departments of English-Lebanese University and Notre Dame University. Currently, he is Professor of English at Notre Dame University, Lebanon. He is President of the Lebanese Byron Society, Chair of the First International Conference on Lebanese-American Literary Figures (NDU), Chair of the International Conference on Challenges of Translation and Interpretation in the Third Millennium (NDU), Chair of the “Common Platforms for Bridging World cultures” (NDU). Member of the Board of Directors of the International Council of the Byron Societies, Member of the Advisory Committee of the American Conference on Romanticism, Member of the Academic Council of the Ameen Rihani Institute, Member of the Modern Language Association of America, Member of the Editorial Board of The International Journal of Arabic-English Studies-IJASE, Member of the German Society for British Romanticism, Member of the Association of Professor of English and Translation at Arab Universities, and Member of the Advisory Committee of the International Student Conference, Greece. Prof. Oueijan lectured in universities and conferences in the USA, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Arab World. He teaches Literature Courses (Nineteenth Century British Literature, Poetry, Graduate Seminars in British Literature, and Advanced Language and Translation Courses). Research interests include: Orientalism, Romanticism, East-West Cultural Dialogue, and Lebanese-American Writers.