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February 20th, 2008, 00:17
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
It's short.

Vathek was better written, but rather unpleasant in other ways; in particular, it contained just about every Orientalist cliché ever invented, and it had a distinctly perverted twist to it -- sort of an Arabian Nights tale written by a slightly anal-retentive Marquis de Sade with less literary talent.
I'll have to find a copy of that one, it's new to me--thanks for the rec. A lot of the tedium of early literature is that it was so busy establishing what is now cliche, though no doubt there's good grounds to assume it was already existing or at least becoming cultural cliche--nonetheless I perversely love the style:

…but her negresses, who were forming tender connections with the Gouls, importuned her with all their fingers to wait at least till the dawn. Carathis, however, being chastity in the abstract, and an implacable enemy to love and repose, at once rejected their prayer, mounted Alboufaki, and … four days and four nights she continued her route…and arrived on the sixth before the beautiful screens which concealed from all eyes the voluptuous wanderings of her son.
Someone always has to spoil the party.
And Allboufaki would have to be a) her spirited Arab/Mameluke steed or B) an undead mount and apparition of ghastly spectral countenance, no doubt…awesome.
One can only wonder wth is going on and surmise it may be best not to know--
it doesn't get much more evocative of sinister befouled graveyards, convoluted supernatural plottings and dark mistresses than that.
Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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