family and his wealth from one performance to the next, seems never to have found that inner being with which he could be at peace" (Gill, 241-242). In understanding and analyzing Bedford's life, a greater understanding of his writing style and choice of plot can be formed. Gill argues that the persona that is portrayed in Vathek and the life of Bedford are ones that were created, despite their biographical appeal.
Understanding the type of person William Bedford was will help me, as a reader, understand his writing style and purpose for writing works such as this one. Many have said that this book was an exaggeration of an actual event that occurred in Bedford's life. Apparently Bedford held a party at his house, Great Gatsby style, a chose to reiterate it in a fictional tale that is much more elaborate than the actual party that he had. Vathek is ambiguous in that it's style is clean and clear, but it is uncertain whether the tale is true or not. It can be interpreted both ways and many critics have done so. Gill's article helps me to know if questioning who the author really is and the authorial intent is necessary. I find that it may quite possibly be necessary because Bedford seems to be coming from a place of fiction in this novel. There are a lot of elaborate things in the novel (the five different palaces that cater to each sense, for example) and I am not sure if this and other instances of grandiosity are based on real life experiences, or made up fiction. Bedford grew up affluent and so these things could have quite possibly been true, but there is doubt present. I am also not sure if this novel should be passed off as fiction if some of or most of the events are based on nonfictional occurrences.
I ask you guys, is it necessary to question who the author is, really and his or her intent on the work? If we are just reading for entertainment, pleasure, academic purposes, etc; why is it necessary to know the true blue life of he writer? If it is not necessary, by not knowing the author, will that take away some of the value of the work?
Gill, R.B. "The Author In The Novel: Creating Beckford In Vathek." Eighteenth Century Fiction 15.2 (2003): 241. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.