Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 163 Years After His Lordship's Death

Amanda Prantera, Author Atheneum Books $16.95 (174p) ISBN 978-0-689-11882-1
An ape may never write Shakespeare, but the computer/hero of this charming confection manages to write Bryon: three new quatrains to a loved one hitherto unmentioned either in the poet's correspondence or in his verse. Indeed, after having been programmed by a couple of sober-sided technicians and stuffed with every available scrap of Byronic information by the romantic young student Anna, the computer becomes Byron, musing, as its input and output buttons are pressed, on the early years in Cambridge, where he met and fell irrevocably in love with a choirboy. The knottiest problem posed to the computer concerns Byron's sexuality, and whether the verses to Thyrza in Don Juan celebrate a man or a woman. As she asks questions worded to avoid computer pique (because the machine becomes touchy and evasive on the subject of sex), Anna, like scores of young women before her, falls under Byron's spell and even suspects, when called ""Anna dear,'' that the computer may have a soft spot for her as well. Prantera's (Strange Loop, The Cabalist) own fondness for Anna is transferred to the reader, as the quirky facts unfold and the question of Byron's sexuality is satisfactorily answered. This is a book to delight both Byron buffs and lovers of whimsy. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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