Jesse Bullington's Reviews > Vathek

Vathek by William Beckford
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's review
May 13, 2009

really liked it
Read in March, 2008

Apparently Beckford, an Englishman, wrote this in French at the age of 21, as writing Gothic novels was quite fashionable at the time. In terms of Orientalism, Beckford makes Marsh look like Edward Said with this account of a mad caliph who gets involved in every sort of vice and devilry imaginable. Perhaps the earliest literary use of ghouls is just one of the reasons to recommend it, with other snippets of Middle Eastern folklore liberally peppering this fast-paced hootenanny. Fans of Vance’s Dying Earth and Clark Ashton Smith would really dig this indigo nonsense, I should think.
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