When I was in academic high school (German: Gymnasium) I had a definitive proclivity for 19th century literature and dandyism (and I never lost it, to be honest). I fell in love with the overflowing feelings of romantic writers and was especially fascinated with the story around Byron and the two Shelleys (at least one of them will be part of my Mofoing, too), their trip through Europe and their whole lifestyle. Byron is that kind of person that seems to be part if nearly every academic discipline. When I wrote my major work in history of European constitutions he popped up again as a part of the Greece freedom league and even when I finally tried to read the great Russian writers I found the Byronic heroes everywhere.
There is so much to say about Lord Byron and it would be enough to fill a whole library (and not a small one), but instead I would love to tell you how I got to meet his works:
I was about 16 years old and Christmas was ante portas. I desperately had to find a present for my father and did not have a clue. Giving gifts to my father is a terrible thing: He has no real hobbies, when he likes something he buys it himself and he is not keen on getting things that are not useful, so gifting is not an easy task. Christmas was coming closer and closer and I still did not have an idea. I got him a book but thought it was too small to make a whole present and so I went with my mother for shopping. As we walked through the shops I grew more and more desperate - unable to find anything my father would like.
In the end my mother told me we would run out of time and that she had to get food for supper. When we entered the supermarket she suggested I should get a bottle of grappa to finally end the shopping drama. As we walked towards the hard liquor shelves we came across a whisk(e)y stand and one of the bottles looked so beautiful I decided to get this instead of the grappa (of course my mother had to buy it, even in Germany you have to be 18 to buy hard liquors). When I took a closer look on the packaging there was a poem written on it that really blew my mind. I had never read such beautiful words before, it touched me deep within:
Of course I started to read every Byron poem I could find, I absolutely loved "She walks in Beauty" and the "Epitaph to a Dog" - I read everything he wrote, about him and his life and am still fascinated by the beauty and deepness of his language, his lifestyle and his temper. I guess he is one of the authors that definitely influenced my life.
Of course you can add different flavors like chocolate, seasonings, syrups,... or toppings!