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2017 | 77 | 2 | 256-266
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An Orientalist Perspective on the Gothic Vathek

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There has been always desire/reject symptoms in literature. Literature is the sole reaction of human lives, and all literary forms especially the novels can entirely reveal passions that are universal in human nature. William Beckford’s novel Vathek is the best example of a Gothic tale seen in an orientalist lens by the western readers. In one hand Orientalism is making an “other” for “west’s” purposes. West is rejecting “the Other” because it’s far-fetched, old, backward, simple, and savage. And on the other hand the West desires this other for sexuality and shows the orient as a mad child that requires a white man to reform him. This paper aims to trace the elements of Gothicism and Orientalism in William Beckford’s novel Vathek that manifests a mirror of the old, mystic, fearful atmosphere with blurring of different ideas such as life/death, conscious/unconscious, and demonic ideas that merely exist in the orient and contain quite imperialistic intentions by creating a fear of the Orient as the Nativization terror and also desiring it.
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  • University of Semnan, Iran
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