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John Clare

February 16, 2011

This week, continuing the theme of “madness” in the long eighteenth century, we will be discussing two aslyum pieces by the poet John Clare, “Don Juan” and “Journey out of Essex”. Clare composed “Don Juan” while a patient in the High Beech mental asylum; it is both an extreme imitation of Byron, and a powerful articulation of despair. Clare would go on to escape from the asylum and walk home, a journey of over eighty miles. “Journey out of Essex” is his extraordinary prose account of these few days. Please join us for a discussion of these two fascinating and provocative works.

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