Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Arabian Nights in Historical ContextBetween East and West$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554157.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 October 2018

William Beckford's Vathek and the Uses of Oriental Re‐enactment *

William Beckford's Vathek and the Uses of Oriental Re‐enactment *

Chapter:
(p.167) 7 William Beckford's Vathek and the Uses of Oriental Re‐enactment*
Source:
The Arabian Nights in Historical Context
Author(s):

Donna Landry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554157.003.0008

In its perverse quotation and transfiguration of Orientalist tropes, William Beckford's Vathek (1786, 1816) is both reiterative and strangely personal. The text owes more to the Arabian Nights Entertainments, and to the Islamic poetry with which the Nights was intertwined in Beckford's imagination, than to any other source. Vathek demonstrates in a radical way how writing, or otherwise attempting imaginatively to reenact events by representing or re-staging them, reveals those events very often to have been themselves reenactments, rescriptings of previous events and, inevitably, re-presentations of those events. Vathek reveals the abyssal vanishing point of reenactment as an approach to the past. In its satire on English rural society and sporting culture, conveyed deviously by means an Oriental screen, Vathek also exposes the way in English Orientalism was as often an escape from the intolerable as it was an investigation of the emulatable.

Keywords:   Beckford, Vathek, Orientalism, re-enactment, Moallakat, mi'raj, isra', English society, sporting culture

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .