Dette emne er markeret som "i hvile"—det seneste indlæg er mere end 90 dage gammel. Du kan vække emnet til live ved at poste et indlæg.
I bought it from Jarndyce booksellers (I think I've told this story before in the Folio Devotees group), which is opposite the British Museum. It was £30.00, probably the cheapest book in the shop and quite possibly the only one I could afford.
The general impression that's stayed with me is that there is a definite air of burlesque or parody in some passages and scenes, but overall it feels genuinely heartfelt.
Of course, I can't say how close Grimsditch keeps to the original, as I cannot read or speak or understand French (or any language but English, and that with a shaky grasp of (on?) grammar).
'The general impression that's stayed with me is that there is a definite air of burlesque or parody in some passages and scenes, but overall it feels genuinely heartfelt.'
Totally agree. Incidentally, I'm a big fan of the Grimsditch translation. Without meaning to shamelessly self promote (ha), I did a review of Vathek for my blog. If you want to check it out: http://therealmoftheunreal.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-vathek.html
I love the lithographs in the Folio edition. They were love at first sight.
And another thing in the Folio edition's favour us that it - and Bawden's lithographs - are printed by the Curwen Press.
I enjoyed the reviews on your blog - I'll have to raise my game when I comment on "Pigeons from Hell"!
I quite agree that there's a definite tongue-in-cheek element to it, too; but what took me a little by surprise was detecting a quite stern morality underlying it. I'd quite suspected that Vathek would get away with it in the end and the ending, when it came, came as quite a sting in the tail.
Bit upset about Nouronihar - think she got a raw deal.
ETA - I get a strong feeling that Lovecraft would have been quite familiar with this. There are many passages that I suspect might have provided the starting points for some of his favourite themes.
Regarding Lovecraft, he speaks a bit about Vathek in Supernatural Horror in Literature. He's largely favorable towards it, though he concludes his brief analysis by stating: 'Beckford. . .lacks the essential mysticism which marks the acutest form of the weird; so that his tales have a certain knowing Latin hardness and clearness preclusive of sheer panic fright. '
I think that's fair. I, myself, am a HUGE fan of Vathek; I try not to speak about it with people who have yet to read it or have little interest, because my praise will take on a life of its own if I'm given the license! :P
'I, myself, am a HUGE fan of Vathek' - I've been reading it in the Oxford World's Classics paperback, but I've been quite taken with it and now I think I'm going to have to* get a nice hardback edition at some point. Possibly the Folio Society one, but I've spotted what appears to be a rather beautiful edition (again the Grimsditch translation) by the Limited Editions Club with illustrations and decorative borders by Valenti Angelo.
Edit *I should probably substitute 'I'm tempted to' for 'now I think I'm going to have to' - this lusting after fine editions is threatening to get out of hand!
Second (whispered) edit And it's got full Morocco binding. Oh dear ...
I have the LEC. It is very small only a few inches each side. If you are worried about ithings getting out of hand you should be aware that it is just one of a series of three in matching styles. The others are 'The Rubaiyat' and 'The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El Yezdi'. They are tricky to find in fine condition, each is a three part construction book ( prone to fading ); chemise ( very fraglie ); slipcase. I ended up with a compromise or two on the condition, don't do that - get really nice ones you won't regret it, they are joyous little volumes.
I love Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat, so that's two books I'm lusting after instead of one, and if I ever got the two, I'd - of course - have to get the third to complete the set (have to admit that I don't remember that I was ever aware of the 'Kasidah' - I am now!)
It can be bloody irritating. The editor assumes the reader's fluency in French. There are untranslated chunks of it throughout the introduction, and also in the editor's additions to the notes. I suppose I'll type them into an online translator at some point, but I don't have to be happy about it.
Also, 'The Episodes of Vathek' are not included. I fail to see the point of this omission in a modern edition. Their absence is quite noticeable in the novel as it stands. Of course, if you read Vathek as a key work in the evolution of the Gothic in the English-speaking world, the 'Episodes' are irrelevant as they weren't there through the nineteenth century. I don't care - I choose to be irritated. One can read them online, of course.
If I'm coming across as a bit grumpy, it's probably because I was delighted with Vathek, then read the introduction and felt I detected a slightly condescending tone towards Beckford. It spoilt my mood. I'm probably being irrational.
The Episodes of Vathek is (are?) also available in paperback from Dedalus (well, I'm assuming it's still in print). However, the translation is by Sir Frank Marzials and published in 1912, so the first episode is presumably expurgated.
The third episode was left uncompleted by Beckford. There is a complete version available. It uses the Marzials translation and it was done by Clark Ashton Smith. It's been collected in the recent multi-volume Collected Fantasies from Night Shade Books. It also appeared in a short story collection published by Neville Spearman Limited in 1972, and reprinted as a paperback in 1974 by Panther. The collection is entitled The Abominations of Yondo.
I also have (still to be read) the Penguin Classics Vathek and Other Stories (first published by Pickering & Chatto in 1993, presumably in a less painfully-small font size). The three main sections are Oriental Tales consisting of "The Long Story (known as The Vision)" pages 1-26 and Vathek ("Text established by Kenneth W. Graham as part of a doctoral thesis in the University of London, 1971") pages 27-121, including 24 pages of the original notes compiled by Samuel Henley in 1786.
The second section is Satires and the third is Travel Diaries.
'I'd say there's something a bit different about Beckford, a certain propensity for satire, or, eh, humour... something rather contrasting to the usual so very earnest Gothicists.'
I completely agree. His own inclinations toward self-parody are much more obvious than the subtler efforts made later by the Victorians and are entirely unique for his time-period. And I suspect you're better read in the Gothic than you let on, Ms. Lola! :P :D
And if you should suspect I'm a dead ringer for Anna Karina in Une femme est une femme, who am I to say otherwise, Lady J, suspect awayyyy! ;)
Thanks, houseful, so it looks like the answer's basically "no". I have a book about Beckford on the road, The Grand Tour of William Beckford, at least it sounds like it...
What, leave badness unpunished?! That sort of villainy had to await 20th century...