"Will he rise and recover[?]": Catullus, castration, and censorship in Swinburne's "Dolores".
--Martial, Epigrams I.35 (1)
Old poets outsing and outlove us, And Catullus makes mouths at our speech. --"Dolores," ll. 339-340 (2)
Swinburne "is the Victorian poet who is most obviously devoted to Catullus," (3) so it is not surprising to find the speaker of "Dolores" invoking the ancient poet in order to measure the degradation of poetry under the moralistic constraints of this "ghastly, thin-faced time of ours" ("Faustine," l. 139). As George M. Ridenour remarks, Swinburne's writings often position Catullus "as a kind of Roman Gautier, a poet of art for art's sake," (4) which effectively recruits the elder poet as an ally in the battle against "the prurient prudery and the virulent virtue" of Victorian reviewers, (5) which Swinburne launched with the publication of Poems and Ballads (1866). Swinburne's dubious choice of poetic company was not left unnoticed by the hostile reviewers of the volume: "Mr. Swinburne's last volume of poems, though Catullus need not have blushed for some, will not suit our present civilization." (6) Another irate critic was prompted to ask (and answer): "Should we tolerate a Catullus now, however exquisitely he hymned his uncongenial objects of worship? No!" (7) And finally, in a premonition of the "Fleshly School" scandal, Robert Buchanan observed that "the 'lepidum novum libellum' [of Catullus] seems to me really an immoral work, and I wish that the dry pumice-stone had rubbed out at least half of the poems": "If an Englishman to-day were to write like Catullus ... we should hound him from our libraries." (8) Considering the readiness of the contemporary reviewers to associate Swinburne's poetry with the "immoral work" of Catullus, of which they (like Swinburne himself) were familiar from their school days, it should be unsurprising to find Swinburne both anticipating and exploiting these associations by embedding his direct reference to the Roman poet in an erudite and complex web of allusions designed to comment wickedly (albeit obliquely) on the state of moralistic Victorian criticism, literary censorship, and even the pedagogical and curricular policies of public school education.
The image of Catullus "mak[ing] mouths at our speech" (l. 340) occurs roughly two-thirds of the way through a (second) vision of the "old world" (l. 329), extending roughly from lines 297 to 368, conjured-up by the speaker to please his dark goddess: "Dost thou dream of what was and no more is, / The old kingdoms of earth and the kings? / Dost thou hunger for these things, Dolores, / For these, in a world of new things?" (ll. 257-260). The direct reference to Catullus occurs after the vision is disrupted by the arrival of an aggressive rival to Dolores: "From the midmost of Ida, from shady / Recesses that murmur at morn, / They have brought and baptized her, Our Lady, / A goddess new-born" (ll. 333-336). "Our Lady" is Cybele, the Great Mother (or Mother of the Gods), whose cult was centred in Pessinos near Mount Dindymus (l. 345). She was also associated with Mount Ida (l. 333) in Phrygia (l. 330), and is often depicted with her chariot-drawing lions (l. 346) (P&B, p. 353 n): "Out of Dindymus heavily laden / Her lions draw bound and unfed / A mother, a mortal, a maiden, / A queen over death and the dead" (ll. 345-348). Since Dolores functions as a "satanically inverted Virgin Mary," (9) it is unsurprising to find her rival blurring into the Virgin Mary herself. Apart from her "lowly" "habit" (l. 349) and her manger-like "temple of branches and sods" (l. 350), Cybele (like Mary) is also paradoxically both "a mother" and "a maiden" (l. 347): "Most fruitful and virginal, holy, / A mother of gods" (ll. 351-352). Swinburne makes his identification of Mary and Cybele explicit in his defense of "Dolores" in Notes on Poems and Reviews (1866): "Our Lady of Pain" is "no Virgin, and unblessed of men; no mother of the Gods or God; no Cybele, served by sexless priests or monks, adored of Origen or of Atys; no likeness of her in Dindymus or Loreto" (Swinburne Replies, p. 23).
Swinburne's identification of Cybele and Mary is reflective of certain historical realities. Although Cybele arrived in Rome around 204 B.C.E., her well-established presence eased the introduction of Christianity into Rome: "in many places where Cybele was worshipped shrines to the Virgin Mary have arisen." (10) Various scholars have traced out the links between the rituals and iconography surrounding Cybele and the development of imperial Christianity, noting that the negativity directed at the Great Mother by Christian apologists was a result of the "fascinating proximity between" the practices of her devotees "and otherwise very Christian preoccupations." (11) At the time, these "very Christian preoccupations" included strict prohibitions on sexual activity, which sometimes resulted in self-castration as a preventative or self-punitive measure, as in the famous case of Origen: "castration was both a potential--and sometimes actually chosen-solution for a penitent Christian and an operation regularly practiced by physicians of the period" (Bourgeaud, p. 96). Likewise, Cybele's priests, the galli, carried away by "their loud ululations and wild dances," accompanied by the "'entrancing rhythms' [of] 'pipe[s] and tambourine[s],'" "imitated Attis [or Atys], performing the [ritual] emasculation [of themselves] ... with the aid of such instruments as a sharp stone (saxo acuto), a potsherd (testa Samia) or a knife" (Vermaseren, p. 96). Augustine even records that one devotee of Cybele, attempting to defend himself from hostile Christians, declared "the one in the Phrygian cap [Attis] is also a Christian" (Vermaseren, p. 180). Swinburne clearly sees the continued celibacy of Catholic priests as a survival from early Christianity, and demonstrates his awareness of the buried historical link between the cults of Cybele and Mary, with their "priests that are pure" (l. 362), in his assertion that Dolores is not "served by sexless priests or monks, adored of Origen or of Atys." For Swinburne, the introduction of Cybele and her eunuch priests into Rome foreshadows the Dark Ages of Christian worship, and thus the collapse of classical civilization with its relatively liberal attitudes toward sexuality: "Cry aloud; for the old world is broken: / Cry out; for the Phrygian [worshipper of Cybele] is priest" (ll. 329-330).
In depicting the introduction of Cybele into Rome and accompanying it with a direct reference to Catullus, Swinburne is significantly drawing an intertext with Catullus 63 (P&B, p. 353n), which tells the gruesome story of Attis, a Greek youth who leaves behind the masculine heritage of "[the] forum, palaestra, stadium, and gymnasia" (l. 60) "through excessive hatred of Venus" (l. 17) in order to castrate himself in the forests of Ida: "by raving madness goaded, his wits astray, / He tore off with a sharp flint the burden of his groin" (ll. 4-5). (12) Coming to his senses, Attis regrets his hasty actions: "Am I to be a Maenad, half me, a male unmanned?... Now what I've done appals me; I'm sorry for it now" (ll. 69, 73). While it is "too little, too late" for Attis, Catullus seems to fear that Cybele may drive him to similarly irreparable actions and adds a plea in his own voice: "Goddess, great Goddess, Cybebe, Goddess Mistress of Dindymus, / Far from my house be all that frenzy of yours, O Queen. / Drive others to elation, drive others raving mad!" (ll. 91-93). By depicting Catullus as a model for lost literary frankness in sexual matters--one who "makes [silent] mouths at our speech" (l. 340)--and setting him amidst the gruesome imagery surrounding the introduction of Cybele, Swinburne evokes the personal plea of Catullus 63, thus suggestively linking the idea of castration to the issue of literary censorship. Furthermore, Swinburne frequently makes this link explicit in both his published and unpublished writings of the period. In a letter of 1870, he fulminates in response to the suggestion that he "edit" some of his verses prior to publication: "It would be to me a violation of principle to submit a child of my begetting to the knife of castration even to enable it to sing in the Sistine Chapel." (13) Likewise, in Notes on Poems and Reviews, Swinburne looks forward to the day when "it will be once more remembered that the office of adult art is neither puerile nor feminine, but virile.... Then all accepted work will be noble and chaste in the wider masculine sense, not truncated and curtailed, but out-spoken and full-grown" (Swinburne Replies, p. 32). Finally, in Under the Microscope (1872), he goes so far as to evoke (albeit indirectly) the paradoxically orgiastic rituals of the galli while criticizing the present state of literary "virtue": "To wipe off the froth of falsehood from the foaming lips of inebriated virtue, when fresh from the sexless orgies of morality and reeling from the delirious riot of religion, may doubtless be a charitable office" (Swinburne Replies, p. 51).
While Catullus begs Cybele to keep her madness "far from my house," in "Dolores" there are cleverly unnerving suggestions that his pleas may have functioned prophetically rather than prophylactically. In order to fully understand these suggestions, however, we must retrace our steps back past the arrival of Cybele and her eunuch priests, into the nostalgic vision of the "old world" that immediately precedes their intrusion into the poem. This second vision of the "old world" opens with the image of Dolores receiving kisses "under the statue" (l. 301) of Priapus, the "garden-god" (l. 303), who is identified earlier as her father: "Libitina thy mother, Priapus / Thy father, a Tuscan and Greek" (ll. 51-52). As in the case of Cybele, it is necessary, in order to trace the dense series of allusions that follow, to understand the larger cultural heritage that Swinburne evokes in summoning Dolores's ever-watchful father: "a look shot out sharp after thieves / From the eyes of the garden-god at you / Across the fig-leaves" (ll. 302-304). Priapus is known as the "garden-god" due to his dual function as both "god procreator," who ensures the fertility of plant and animal life, and "god protector," who wards off both evil spirits and thieves with the threat of his gigantic penis. (14) The god himself repeatedly describes his function in the scabrous Priapea, (15) which Swinburne almost certainly knew in the original Latin (16): "If boy, or man, or woman steals I hump / (in converse order) pussy, head, and rump." (17) With Dolores perversely taking on the role of Mary, Priapus displaces God (the Father) watching over an inverted Garden of Eden: "Intercede for us thou with thy father, / Our Lady of Pain" (ll. 311-312). In a letter of 1872, Swinburne refers to "He to whom is given the rod which bears rule over the garden of Eden," directing the reader (George Powell) to see "Dolores" and its pendent poem "Faustine" (Letters, 2:179). Faustine is "Not godless, for you serve one God, / The Lampsacene" (ll. 145-146)--Priapus's cult centre was located in Lampsacus, thus making him "the Lampsacene" (P&B, pp. 342n, 352n)--"Who metes the gardens with his rod; / Your lord, Faustine" (ll. 147-148). As Camille Paglia remarks, in the inverted figure of Dolores "Medieval Mary, the chaste walled garden, becomes the plundered bower of an urban brothel." (18) Like Dolores, who is a "garden where all men may dwell" (l. 18), Priapus's garden is holy but far from pure: "This is the shrine of a lecherous god ... So enter do, and have no fear: / Straight from a brothel you can come here." (19) It is therefore entirely appropriate that Priapus was favored both by prostitutes and men seeking "the restoration of their physical prowess." (20)
More fully informed about her genealogy, we can now turn back to "Dolores" (ll. 297-368) and see that the first reference to Catullus comes in the form of an authorial footnote, appended to a description of Priapus: "Then still, through dry seasons and moister, / One god had a wreath to his shrine; / Then love was the pearl of his oyster, / And Venus rose red out of wine" (ll. 305-308). The footnote (attached to line 307) consists of two lines of Latin identified as an excerpt from Catullus 18: "Nam te praecipue in suis urbibus colit ora / Hellespontia, caeteris ostreosior oris" (P&B, p. 132n). Kenneth Haynes translates the footnote: "for in its cities the coast of the Hellespont, more oysterous than most, honours you [Priapus] particularly" (P&B, p. 352n). The annotation here is somewhat confusing since, apart from the sexualized image of the "oyster," there is little discernable connection between the line and the footnote. The annotation is made more baffling in the light of Swinburne's disinclination to identify allusions unless there is an obvious debt, or an amusing joke to be had. The four other authorial footnotes in the volume record precisely such debts to Aeschylus (P&B, pp. 26n, 328n) and Epictetus (P&B, pp. 61n, 335n), whose words were carefully translated and transposed into Swinburne's own work, as well as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, whose drawing inspired the Rossettian "A Christmas Carol" (P&B, pp. 173n, 368n). The fourth footnote lends a pseudo-academic tone to a faux-medieval source narrative that Swinburne playfully concocted for "The Leper" (P&B, pp. 100n, 345-346n). If the curious modern reader were to trace the source of Swinburne's Catullan footnote, he or she would likely be met with further bafflement, as most current editions of Catullus do not contain poems 18, 19, or 20, but skip directly from number 17 to 21. With a small amount of research, however, the modern reader is able to discover what Swinburne (and some of his classically educated Victorian critics) undoubtedly already knew: Catullus 18-20 were excised from the official corpus in 1829, by the scholarly editing of Karl Lachmann, just two years after Swinburne himself was born. (21)
The fact that the Catullan corpus was pruned in this way would be uninteresting in this context, were it not for the fact that Catullus 18-20 are priapea: poems dedicated to Priapus. (22) These priapea were added to the Catullan corpus in 1554 by a French humanist named Marc-Antoine de Muret, who was intrigued by the assertion of Terentianus Maurus (a second-century grammarian) that Catullus had written poems dedicated to the fertility god. Maurus identified the verses that became number 18 as one such poem, and Muret added numbers 19 and 20. (23) All of these priapea were regularly reprinted in editions of Catullus until Lachmann clipped the garden-god from his place in 1829: "By that time the numbering of the poems had become canonical, and the removal of the three priapea (poems 18-20) left the anomalous gap between 17 and 21 that is still found in modern editions" (Gaisser, p. 167). "After about 1829, editions of Catullus [usually] excluded at least two of the ... three 'Priapean' poems," (24) with poem number 18 being the most likely candidate for preservation since it "is certainly a genuine fragment." (25) The influential edition of Robinson Ellis (1867; 2nd ed. 1878), published the year after Poems and Ballads, follows Lachmann in excluding poems 18-20 from the corpus proper, although poem 18 is retained in an appendix. (26) While many contemporary readers may have consulted a pre-Lachmann edition of Catullus, Swinburne would have known that he was sending at least some of them--most likely the young, college-aged men at whom he aimed his verses (27)--on a wild-goose chase. As for future generations of readers, or scholarly editors seeking to annotate Swinburne's own work, the run-around was virtually guaranteed. For, if they found Catullus 18, they would find nothing in the fragment--other than the fact that it is addressed to Priapus--to satisfy their curiosity. Furthermore, even if they found Catullus 18, they would be less likely to find Catullus 19 and 20, and therefore would be faced with the "anomalous gap ... that is still found in modern editions." Arousing his inquisitive young readers with the promise of something scandalous, Swinburne sends them to trace an allusion to Priapus (and his magnificent member), only to leave them with an "anomalous gap" from which, with a little bit of research, they would discover that the garden-god had been officially excised thirty-seven years before "Dolores" (and several years before they) had seen the light of day.
Yet, if these young readers consulted an edition of Catullus that contained numbers 18-20, they would find that the missing poems were strikingly familiar. Both Catullus 19 and 20 are spoken by the god himself, who proudly describes his offerings:
In Spring I get a colored wreath of early blooms and tender greens; then violets and milk white-poppies, pale gourds and sweetly fragrant apples; then red grapes reared in tendril shade. (19.10-14) (28) I get in spring a colored wreath, I get in summer reddened grain, I get the sweet, the green-vined grape, I get the frost-dried fallen olive. (20.6-9) (29)
Unsurprisingly, the version of Catullus 20 by Swinburne's idol Walter Savage Landor would sound even more familiar:
In spring the many-colour'd crown, The sheafs in summer, ruddy-brown, The autumn's twisting tendrils green, With nectar-gushing grapes between, Some pink, some purple, some bright gold, Then shrivel'd olive, blue with cold, Are all for me. (30)
Most familiar of all would be the stanza of "Dolores" immediately following the stanza containing the footnote to Catullus 18:
In spring he had crowns of his garden, Red corn in the heat of the year, Then hoary green olives that harden When the grape-blossom freezes with fear; And milk-budded myrtles with Venus And vine-leaves with Bacchus he trod; And ye said, 'We have seen, he hath seen us, A visible God.' (ll. 313-320)
Footnoting Catullus 18, in such a way as to arouse the curiosity of his young readers, Swinburne then goes on to include, without any annotation, a composite passage culled from Catullus 19 and 20. In this way, Swinburne manages to cleverly draw his young readers' attention to the present-day literary absence of Priapus (representative of lust) by directing them, via a pseudo-academic pathway, to the metaphorically "castrated" text of Catullus, which he then restores to them within a lament for a nostalgic vision of a sexually uncensored classical world: "We have all done amiss, choosing rather / Such loves as the wise gods disdain; / Intercede for us thou with thy father, / Our Lady of Pain" (ll. 309-312).
Yet, "Dolores" is a long lament and, despite his covert restoration of the Catullan priapea, Swinburne continues to elaborate the suggestions of "castration" in anticipation of Cybele's leonine procession into the poem. The stanza following Swinburne's translation and transposition of Catullus 19 and 20 is, due to its combination of dense allusiveness and strategic ambiguity, complex and initially difficult to comprehend. At the most obvious level, the stanza seems to describe the mysterious desecration of Priapus and his offerings: "What broke off the garlands that girt you? / What sundered you spirit and clay? / Weak sins yet alive are as virtue / To the strength of the sins of that day" (ll. 321-324). Priapus is ritually decked with "crowns of his garden" (l. 313), yet he is never addressed directly, which suggests that the lines might refer to Dolores herself (the addressee of the poem), who earlier appears garlanded with roses that "crown and caress thee and chain" (l. 70). The ambiguity here is functional, as it simultaneously marks both the beginning of Dolores's gradual degradation and the sudden end of her father's phallic reign. In addition, it subtly allows Dolores (metamorphic demon that she is) to haunt the figure of Ipsithilla, who appears out of nowhere to attend to a "lover" who would be equally unexpected, were it not for all the hints that he is lingering somewhere nearby. Ipsithilla (or Ipsitilla) (31) is the name of a girl addressed in Catullus 32 (P&B, p. 352n), where he invites her to come and ease his mid-day stiffness since he "lie[s] back after a large lunch / Boring holes in tunic and cloak" (ll. 10-11). And yet, Catullus' promise of venereal delights is cut short in "Dolores," when Ipsithilla discovers him some time after a severe, yet tantalizingly undisclosed injury has been inflicted: "For dried is the blood of thy lover, / Ipsithilla, contracted the vein; / Cry aloud, 'Will he rise and recover, / Our Lady of Pain?'" (ll. 325-328). Suddenly, the ambiguity resolves itself into gruesome parallel tableaux illustrating the degeneration of both the spiritual and literary worlds. Dolores ministers to her "broken" father, Priapus, and Ipsithilla ministers to her "broken" lover, Catullus, and the speaker can only pray that they will "rise" again. However, given that prayers of such a delicate nature are traditionally addressed to Priapus, now himself part of the ruined "old world," the speaker suspects that he may be out of luck: "Cry aloud; for the old world is broken: / Cry out; for the Phrygian is priest, / And rears not the bountiful token / And spreads not the fatherly feast" (ll. 329-332).
For Swinburne, Victorian literary censorship, as promoted by moralistic critics but internalized by the artists themselves, is a form of figurative self-castration: "the Phrygian" priest or the Victorian poet cannot rear "the bountiful token," whether literal or figurative, because he (like Attis) has "through excessive hatred of Venus unmanned [himself]" (Catullus 63.17). Surveying the scene of the crime, the speaker of "Dolores" might well ask himself whether Catullus finally capitulated to the Great Mother (Cybele/Mary) and inflicted the wound on himself. Of course, this cannot be the case if he is seen literally as Catullus himself, who (as Swinburne puts it) was "a man & not a school book." (32) It may, however, be the case if Catullus represents a "school book," namely the Western literary tradition, with its roots in the classics as they had been taught (in Eton and other public schools) to the very same college-age men who now consumed Swinburne's scandalous poems so readily. Likewise, while Swinburne would certainly have known that Catullus 18-20 were excised on the grounds of inauthenticity, not sexual censorship, (33) it would have been a nearly impossible temptation, given his frequent playful deployment of the notion of "castration," to avoid exploiting the rich metaphorical resonance. Even in expressing dismay at Swinburne's extremity, one contemporary critic seems to have agreed with his analysis of the Victorian literary scene in declaring that "an expurgated edition of such a book [Poems and Ballads] would be substantially an emasculated one": "We have been led by, if the expression may be forgiven, a species of intellectual eunuchry until we have got in the way of thinking that high art can only co-exist with the positive abnegation of the body and in the resolute ignoring of all the more fervid affections of human nature." (34) It is somewhat too fitting to discover that, in the aftermath of the publication of Poems and Ballads, Swinburne received in the mail another, decidedly more unnerving, confirmation of his association of textual and bodily truncation: "One anonymous letter ... threatened me, if I did not suppress my book within six weeks from that date, with castration. The writer, 'when I least expected, would waylay me, slip my head in a bag, and remove the obnoxious organs; he had seen his gamekeeper do it with cats'" (Letters, 1:224).
Yet, it was not literal castration that Swinburne was most concerned with during the composition of "Dolores," and it will be more fitting to end this study with a brief turn from Priapus "who metes the gardens with his rod" ("Faustine" l. 147) to the Victorian tutor or schoolmaster who exercises his considerably different rod over that area of Swinburne's own nostalgic fantasies, the flogging block. In a series of letters (to Mary Gordon) from 1864 (Letters, 1:109-11), Swinburne recounts how, when a schoolboy at Eton, he once "tried" to do his composition lesson in galliambics: the meter supposedly inspired by the frantic ritual chanting of the galli and surviving from the ancient world only (as far as Swinburne knew) in Catullus 63. (35) He was told that it was "no metre at all" and it constituted "an impertinence to show such a set up" (Letters, 1:110). "The consequences were tragic," and Swinburne was duly flogged, even though "another master" later told him that "they were very good, and there was but one small slip in them, hard as the metre was" (Letters, 1:110). (36) Unfortunately, this vindication "did not heal the cuts or close the scars": "I have not the pluck to try my hand again at Galliambics. ... I should feel at every line as if I were writing my own name in the bill [for a flogging]" (Letters, 1:110). With the publication of Poems and Ballads, Swinburne certainly "put his name in the bill," but this time punishment was delivered at the hands of outraged British virtue: "[I] am mentally in the same condition as the skin of a public schoolboy after the twentieth or thirtieth application of the birch--too well used to it for any cut of a master's rod to make the tough hide wince" (Letters, 1:217). It is difficult not to imagine that Swinburne, chastened and nearly censored at the hands of British virtue, had in mind the striking iconic similarity between Cybele with her lions and the ever-present image of Britannia with the British lion; in any case, as Ian Gibson has noted, (37) Punch (December 1869) was quite explicit about how Britannia should deal with her political dissidents, showing her in the process of bundling up a large rod of birch twigs for chastening "irreconcilables." (38) It is no wonder that when Poems and Ballads was temporarily withdrawn by publishers fearful of obscenity prosecution, Swinburne recalled Catullus 1: "Of course I shall take Atalanta etc. out of his [the publisher Moxon's] villainous hands--but then, to whom (as Catullus says) shall I give them?" (Letters, 1:171). And although Swinburne never did dare to try his "hand again at Galliambics," the frantic iambo-anapaestic movement and the distinctive stanza form of "Dolores" became, for some academically minded young men, so associated with Catullus 63 that it seemed only natural when Jack Lindsay employed it for his translation of the poem in 1929. (39)
I would like to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada for providing me with funding through a Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarship. An earlier version of this essay was presented at a graduate student colloquium at Queen's University (Canada), and I would like to thank both the English faculty and graduate students for their insightful questions and comments
(1) Martial, Epigrams, trans. Walter C. A. Ker (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1979), 1:51.
(2) All quotations from Poems and Ballads (1866) are from Poems and Ballads & Atalanta in Calydon, ed. Kenneth Haynes (London: Penguin, 2000). In-text citations of the excellent annotations to this edition are abbreviated as P&B.
(3) Brian Arkins, "The Modern Reception of Catullus," in A Companion to Catullus, ed. Marilyn B. Skinner (Malden: Blackwell, 2007), p. 465.
(4) George M. Ridenour, "Swinburne's Imitations of Catullus," VN 74 (Fall 1988): 57.
(5) Algernon Charles Swinburne, Notes on Poems and Reviews, in Swinburne Replies, ed. Clyde Kenneth Hyder (Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1966), p. 19.
(6) "Our Library Table," Fun (August 1866): 236.
(7) "Algernon Charles Swinburne-Poet and Critic," London Quarterly Review 31 (January 1869): 372.
(8) Robert Buchanan, "Immorality in Authorship," Fortnightly Review 6 (September 1866): 292, 297.
(9) David G. Riede, Swinburne: A Study of Romantic Mythmaking (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1978), p. 48.
(10) Maarten J. Vermaseren, Cybele and Attis: The Myth and the Cult, trans. A.M.H. Lemmers (London: Thames and Hudson, 1977), pp. 38, 182.
(11) Philippe Borgeaud, Mother of the Gods: From Cybele to the Virgin Mary, trans. Lysa Hochroth (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2004), p. 96.
(12) All quotations from Catullus, with the exceptions of numbers 18-20, are from The Poems of Catullus, ed. and trans. Guy Lee (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1998).
(13) The Swinburne Letters, ed. Cecil Y. Lang (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1959-62), 2:124.
(14) W.H. Parker, "Priapea: Poems about Priapus," in Priapea: Poems for a Phallic God, trans. and ed. W. H. Parker (London: Croom Helm, 1988), p. 30.
(15) There is no consensus concerning either the authorship (single or multiple) or the date of the collection known simply as the Priapea. See Amy Richlin, The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1983), pp. 141-143.
(16) Swinburne's friend Sir Richard Burton would later translate and publish the poems (with the help of Leonard Smithers) as Priapeia, sive diversorum poetarum in Priapum lusus; or, Sportive Epigrams on Priapus by divers poets in English verse and prose (1890), under the pseudonym "Outidanos." Burton's translation was reprinted (without the Latin text) as Priapeia (Ware: Wordsworth, 1995).
(17) The Priapus Poems: Erotic Epigrams from Ancient Rome, trans, and ed. Richard W. Hooper (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1999), p. 60.
(18) Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (New York: Vintage, 1991), p. 462.
(19) Priapea: Poems for a Phallic God, p. 9l.
(20) Eugene Michael O'Connor, Symbolum Salacitatis: A Study of the God Priapus as a Literary Character (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, I989), pp. 23, 30.
(21) Julia Haig Gaisser, Catullus and His Renaissance Readers (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993), p. 167.
(22) Burton includes Catullus 18-20 in his Priapeia (pp. 104-108).
(23) Gaisser, pp. 147, 152, 165-167.
(24) Odi et amo: The Complete Poetry of Catullus, trans, and ed. Roy Arthur Swanson (New York: Macmillan, 1959), p. 19n.
(25) Guy Lee, introduction to Poems of Catullus, p. xi.
(26) Catulli Veronensis Liber, 2nd ed., ed. Robinson Ellis (Oxford, 1878), pp. 218-219.
(27) In Notes on Poems and Reviews, Swinburne cites Theophile Gautier's insistence that his verses were written for young men (Swinburne Replies, p. 24).
(28) Odi et amo, p. 2l. Although this poem is numbered 20 in this edition, F. G. Doering's edition (1788; 2nd ed. 1834) prints it as number 19 (C. Valerii Catulli Opera Omnia, ed. F. G. Doering [London, 1822], pp. 80-81).
(29) Odi et amo, p. 20. Although this poem is numbered 19 in this edition, Doering's edition prints it as number 20 (C. Valerii Catulli Opera Omnia, pp. 82-83).
(30) Walter Savage Landor, "The Poems of Catullus," in The Complete Works of Walter Savage Landor, ed. T. Earle Welby (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1969), 11:202-203. Landor's article, originally published in Foreign Quarterly Review in 1842, employs the second edition of Doering's Catullus (and follows his numbering of 19 and 20).
(31) In Doering's edition, as in Swinburne's poem, the name is spelled "Ipsithilla" (C. Valerii Catulli Opera Omnia, p. 104). In Lee's modern edition, however, the name is spelled "Ipsitilla" (Poems of Catullus, pp. 32-33).
(32) Uncollected Letters of Algernon Charles Swinburne, ed. Terry L. Meyers (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2004), 3:72.
(33) In a letter of 1892, Swinburne (implicitly) praises Ellis' edition of Catullus, which does not include 18-20 in the corpus (Letters, 6:43).
(34) "Mr. Swinburne's Poems," The Round Table 4 (December 1866): 308.
(35) Swinburne says that "[Tennyson's] Boadicea is in Galliambics, a metre in which there is only one other poem extant, the 'Atys' of Catullus" (Letters, 1:110).
(36) Swinburne also comments, with some irony, that Catullus 63 is available "in Cookesley's Eton edition of 'Catullus' prepared for the 'young mind,' where you may safely seek it" (Letters, 1:110). It should be noted, however, that, despite his lifelong opposition to censorship in general, Swinburne did not promote the use of uncensored texts when teaching "youngsters." In fact, in a letter of 1894, Swinburne remarks that "schoolboys" could benefit from reading some slightly censored selections of Catullus, including 63 "minus a line or so" (Uncollected Letters, 3:72).
(37) Ian Gibson, The English Vice: Beating, Sex and Shame in Victorian England and After (London: Duckworth, 1978), pp. 212-213, fig. 17.
(38) Punch, or the London Charivari 57 (December 1869): 233.
(39) The Complete Poetry of Gaius Catullus, trans. Jack Lindsay (London: Fanfrolico, 1929).
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|Title Annotation:||Algernon Charles Swinburne|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2009|
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