Me, Myself And Lord Byron by Julietta JamesonSomething about the way people now use the word “authentic” makes my skin prickle. Here is one of those books people will apply that word to and you have to wonder what they have been through in their own lives to consider it applicable. Mostly I feel it is their own caution about their own truth that allows them to throw the term toward others they consider courageous for moving beyond such caution.
Juliette Jameson does take on a courageous journey. There is no doubt that she has faced up to some rigorous self-appraisal through the journey she allowed herself in researching, writing and publishing this book. All power to her for that.
That a similar process may be helpful and available for others I have no doubt about. That this is the formula for it – that I have to question with every fibre of my being.
Like Julietta I grew up in a large family, the middle of seven children. Like her I had a connection with Lord Byron through his writing as a child. Like her I had many layers of expectation placed upon me by many people at various stages of my development, and I was self-abusive in trying to come to terms with them.
Where I differ from Julietta is in presuming to know the journey of another through the writing they left behind. Julietta does this very cleverly, referring to yet another writer’s biography of “the other” in whose footsteps she feigns to follow. But to undertake this journey is already to enter a land of myth and legend, and to bring with her the stories she has been telling herself is the cargo she expects to shed.
Something doesn’t fit for me in this portrayal, this betrayal.
In effect what Julietta is doing is transferring her own personal relationships and firsthand knowledge as a kind of trade for immortality by association with a distant interpretation that is more generally and socially acceptable as a rite of current financial passage. It is the way all “the authentic people” are now doing it.
Choose a dead person (or two) who can’t speak for themselves any more. Preferably one of these people will have a public record open to multiple interpretations. Choose someone who is aligned with one of those interpretations that may be prepared to subsidize your journey for their own partnership benefit in the outcome. Make it seem personal and revealing in a generalized way. Claim such generalisations as signs of the times, challenges of the generation. Throw in a couple of negators to play both sides of the brain – unedited, born-again virgin – and claim innocent knowledge. Then shape the whole venture as a historical exploration between modern bookmarks.
There is a formula here. There is a science that says it is repeatable. And there are laboratory conditions that remove or minimize interference.
Then there is the reality of other peoples’ lives that are not recorded, most certainly not from their own inner experiences. There is the selection of elements to shape these awkward vines of potential distraction, the pruning and encapsulation in stereotypes. There is the speed and technology that belies any ability to repeat, and the presumption that a shared detail has anywhere near the same significance for disparate characters.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the book is a great achievement, and the journey undertaken to be able to write it even more of one. All I want to point out is the self-deception that continues by claiming what is someone else’s as if it is our own. And the concomitant shedding of responsibility to listen to their version beside our own rather than continue to negate what we don’t like about our own journey as if that too is theirs to deal with.
I am glad I persisted with reading when I felt an aversion with the methodology early on. I used the guidance of that other great writer and artist, Wolfgang Von Goethe, to also let the self-satisfaction at the end of the book to subside into an after image before considering what my true reaction to it was. As he indicated with colour theory, I found this return to the opposite shade after finishing the book to be more revealing than the simple memory of that early discomfort. It gave depth of field and meaning in a photographic sense, moving it beyond the words written.
I very much appreciate the personal effort that has gone into this book. I appreciate Julietta Jameson’s candid telling of her own thought processes and emotional healing. I still wonder that we have to find some external star upon which to hang our own clothes as we strip ourselves naked for a time that is really just a changing of costumes. I think Byron himself would be dealing with things quite differently after his experience in Greece, and that is partly why he died there.
The limit of our intimacy is the forms in which we let it rest.
Me, Myself And Lord Byron
The two threads seamlessly run alongside each other, giving two very different but equally interesting storylines. Julietta is clearly a poetry fan something I can not honestly say I have a passion for and Lord Byron, in particular, rocks her boat — as seen here by her well used copy of his works. Even though the book is sad in parts and as a reader, you see her pain quite obviously, it is also delightfully funny and charming. I love this description of the look she — or rather her shoes — is given when she walks into an Italian shoe shop:. Remind me never to go into an Italian shoe shop in my Converse or Havaianas! Just as well in fact that we tend to hold our Gloopers meetings at a local chocolate shop, where the owner offers a tray crammed full of handmade chocloates for us all to choose a complimentary one to go with our coffees. Anyone for chocolate?..
Not quite the book I was expecting but interesting nonetheless. The author, a 40 something journalist and lover of art and poetry, is in search of answers to some of life's big questions. Me, Myself and Lord Byron : A woman, a poet and a quest to reclaim the zest for life. Julietta Jameson. Mad, bad and dangerous to know', Lord Byron was not just one of England's finest poets, he was also history's first true rock star, living a life of abundant extravagance and shocking scandal that led eventually to self-imposed exile in Europe. Through his travels, Byron carved out a new life, remaining true to himself to the end. So when journalist Julietta Jameson is compelled by emotional crisis to embark on her own period of personal exile, whose footsteps better to follow in than those of her beloved Byron?
What if the catalytic shaper of his life was not the works of his writing idol Alexander Pope, or even those of his close friend and intellectual sparring partner Percy Bysshe Shelley, but an unacknowledged and long-forgotten pulpy read that he publicly condemned but privately devoured—and, perhaps, was devoured by?
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In this very brave book, journalist Julietta Jameson uses the travels of Romantic poet Lord Byron through Italy and Greece as a framework for her journey to find herself. It made me want to go to Italy, but also made me wonder about what I might find on such a journey — hopefully the delicious gelati and well-dressed men encountered by Jameson, but maybe a personal awakening too. Highly recommended. Berkelouw have years of experience in providing books for interior decoration, retail and corporate displays, film, theatre and commercials. Reviewed by Karen, Berkelouw Paddington In this very brave book, journalist Julietta Jameson uses the travels of Romantic poet Lord Byron through Italy and Greece as a framework for her journey to find herself. Please continue the discussion below. Like this review?