His nature is essentially liminal because his amphibians domains are fertile territory for the cultivation of color and myth, so it is not surprising, perhaps, that Lord Byron (London, January 22, 1788 – Messolonghi, Greece, April 19, 1824), the figure who represents and epitomizes like no other the spirit and mythology of Romanticism, resided some time in Venice, where he installed at the dangerous age of 28 on November 1, 1816, the day after the night when the living and the dead come to kissing on the mouth.
As it is not surprising either that in a letter to Thomas Moore he spoke of the capital of Veneto stating that it was the greenest island of his imagination, a city that despite having so idealized “I´m not disappointed, although its clear decline may have defrauded other people. But since already long ago I am familiar with the ruins and I do not dislike desolation”. Not in vain his poem Ode to Venice, of a spirit akin to Childe Harold, is both a celebration and a lament for its decline.
A relationship has been suggested between Byron’s rooms in Venice, a city he visited usually during his years in Italy, and his friendship with Shelley, whom he met in Switzerland in spring 1816. From this friendship not only some of the most memorable moments in the history of Romanticism sprang, like that mythical evening in the Diodati village from which Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Polidori´s The Vampyre, emerged, two of the seminal works of gothic literature a romantic, but also the most horrifying acts of poetry, when six years later Byron picked Shelley’s heart, organ that strangely escaped the burning of his corpse on the beach at Viareggio, and then challenged the ocean that had taken his beloved friend swimming naked one mile offshore.
After meeting the Shelleys, when they returned to England, Byron could not follow them as the scandal that had left behind in Britain was so big. Not only his divorce and incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta, but also all these tales of Satanism, orgies and drinks served at empty skulls in his mansion in Newstead that the publication of the book (Glenarvon) of a jilted lover had become fashionable to, Lady Caroline Lamb. Venice was then established as the perfect place to represent the drama of permanent exile Gnostics echoes of the Romantic, nostalgic of the real world.
Later, when the Shelley went to Italy, Byron would have installed at the legendary Mocenigo Palace (Street Corner 3362) and was accused of turning into a lavish and decadent harem since then legendary, to be near them.
Byron´s spirit continues to haunt not only this jewel of the sixteenth century but all the apartments in Venice?
Translated by: Maria