I’ve made my way through Vathek, which I had mixed feelings about. As a piece/parody of gothic literature, it was fairly interesting, but the characterization and plot were somewhat inconsistent — not that I was expecting gothic fiction to be the place for an unaporetic and well-sutured plot.
I found the oscillation between terror and intrigue throughout the text to be really interesting and fruitful, and the payoff at the end regarding hope was right up my (theoretical interest and research) alley.
It doesn’t hold a candle to Otranto in terms of tone or plot, but it was notably more adventurous and inspired.
I’ll probably alternate between mini-reviews like this, and the more developed format I used for Zone One.
Expect reviews of Wyndham Lewis’s The Art of Being Ruled and Paul DeKruif’s legendary Microbe Hunters in the coming weeks.
PS don’t forget to do your own summer reading!