William Beckford’s Vathek and the Uses of Oriental Re-enactment

Landry, Donna E. (2008) William Beckford’s Vathek and the Uses of Oriental Re-enactment. In: Makdisi, Saree and Nussbaum, Felicity, eds. The Arabian Nights in Historical Context: Between East and West. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, pp. 167-194. ISBN 9780199554157. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

William Beckford typifies the Englishman who wishes he were something else: an Oriental ruler of a type inspired by reading the *1001 Nights* and Ottoman and Safavid court poetry. His novel *Vathek* is an attempt to re-enact his previous *Arabian Nights Entertainments* re-enactment: his twenty-first birthday party celebrations at Fonthill. Even at his most private, Beckford writes from an Eastern repository of tropes, while at his most Oriental, he satirises English rural society, especially the hunting-mad set represented by his cousin Peter Beckford. Even the figure of the camel Alboufaki signifies both Eastern learning and English gentry folly, typifying the complexity of Beckford's literary achievement.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Donna Landry
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2009 10:36
Last Modified: 28 May 2014 11:10
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/20503 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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