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A Dream of Vathek
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 20 August, 2020 01:47AM
Thanks to OldJoe, for sending me photographs out of his copy of Hippocampus Press' The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith, I've typed up an amateurish transcript of an extremely rare piece of juvenilia, "A Dream of Vathek." Some of you know about CAS' hand in completing William Beckford's unfinished "Third Episode of Vathek", in which a palace of nightmares and a fiery-tailed baboon appear, but I had no clue he ventured into Vathek's world more than once in his writing, this time in the form of a lengthy poetic dialogue with a story. As a piece that was written in his early youth, it's nothing compared to his later work, but it's competent enough to read through, and interesting historically when you consider how much Vathek appeared to influence him.

Here is the piece:

[docs.google.com]

Any errors in my document will be duly edited by me, if OldJoe (or others) find any!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20 Aug 20 | 02:27AM by Hespire.

Re: A Dream of Vathek
Posted by: Oldjoe (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 11:46AM
Thanks for transcribing and sharing this Hespire!

Although it's a work of juvenilia, it's an impressive effort from the young CAS, especially since he only created a handful of pieces in the poetic dialogue form. As far as I know, these are the only such works that he created:

A Dream of Vathek
The Masque of Forsaken Gods
The Witch in the Graveyard
The Flight of Azrael
The Ghoul And the Seraph

If anyone on this forum knows of additional poetic dialogues from CAS, please share that info!

Re: A Dream of Vathek
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 22 August, 2020 12:41PM
It was a pleasure transcribing the whole thing. Since you're busy transcribing CAS' other poems on your blog, I figured I'd tackle this single, lengthier one. It may not be especially memorable or remarkable, but I feel it's worth reading as a piece of his rarely ventured medium of poetic dialogue and play. Plus, it technically counts as a CAS story, which he's most often read for, and in that sense it feels like a mix of his early orientalist works and his later weird works, albeit more oriental than weird.

The medium of poetic dialogue is finely handled by CAS, especially beyond "A Dream of Vathek", and if any others exist I'd be glad to know of them too!



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