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Frankenstein

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King of Quok
227445.  Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:47 pm Reply with quote

The 1818 text, before Percy fiddled with it. Caleb Williams is a good read, if you don't want to read Frankenstein again, as is Matthew Lewis' The Monk, if you like your Gothic literature gory and OTT!

 
samivel
227516.  Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:10 am Reply with quote

I agree that the 1818 text is best.

 
Mr Grue
228511.  Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:36 pm Reply with quote

Stewart Lee pointed out that it is not uncommon for inventors to name their inventions after themselves, so referring to Frankenstein's creation as Frankenstein may not be wrong after all. I don't think he was being serious though.

Mary Shelley finished writing Frankenstein in Marlow, in Buckinghamshire.

When James Whale died a rumour went 'round Hollywood that he had had his brains bashed in with a... um... metal device of dubious purpose. There appears to be no truth to this, however. Gods and Monsters, an imagined friendship between James Whale and his hunky gardener is well worth a read/viewing. The film version was produced by Clive Barker, who actually stumped up his own money to (if memory serves) ensure it was shot on 35mm film - it is very rare for film-makers to use their own money. Whale was played by Ian McKellen. One of the suggestions made in the film was that Whale's Frankenstein was deliberately flamboyantly camp, and that this in turn was connected to the horrors that Whale endured in the first world war.

 
suze
228520.  Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:08 pm Reply with quote

Mr Grue wrote:
When James Whale died a rumour went 'round Hollywood that he had had his brains bashed in with a... um... metal device of dubious purpose.


A gun?? What an odd thing to use as a murder weapon.

Why didn't they just use a solid gold dildo like everyone else?

 
Mr Grue
228615.  Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:31 pm Reply with quote

Bo! His suicide was hushed up at the time so the situation was ripe for salacious rumours involving hustlers...

 
ElizabethSterling
228951.  Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:50 pm Reply with quote

King of Quok wrote:
The 1818 text, before Percy fiddled with it. Caleb Williams is a good read, if you don't want to read Frankenstein again, as is Matthew Lewis' The Monk, if you like your Gothic literature gory and OTT!
That's the first time I've ever seen anyone reccomend what is one of the most infamously trashy pieces of gothica ever written.

 
Jenny
229303.  Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:55 pm Reply with quote

But it's old, Elizabeth, and you have to admit it has kitsch value.

 
ElizabethSterling
229550.  Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:41 pm Reply with quote

I admit nothing, being a second year English undergraduate means I'm exposed to these horrible texts on a day to day basis.

 
samivel
229553.  Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:46 pm Reply with quote

It could be worse, you know - you may be made to read Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.

 
MinervaMoon
229558.  Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:15 pm Reply with quote

Frankenstein was the first "real" book I ever read, following up on the Berenstain Bears. It wasn't the 1818 text, though; more like the 1991 Abridged text. But that's not bad for a four year old.

Have yet to read the unabridged Shelley, but it's on the list.

 
Jenny
229700.  Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:52 am Reply with quote

I remember reading Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Clarissa when I was an English undergraduate (many years ago...) and you're right - that's worse.

Don't you find reading those old Gothic horrors gives you a better appreciation of Northanger Abbey though? They've got to be good for something.

 
King of Quok
229724.  Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:12 pm Reply with quote

Jenny's right. Kitsch and trashy though a lot of Gothic may have been, you can' deny the influence it had on nearly every other writer in its wake. I think The Monk has its moments, even though it is excessive. If we're going to start proscribing texts because they have trashy, gothic-y bits, you'd end up chucking out a hell of a lot of good stuff, including a lot of the Brontes, Dickens and even, dare I say it, some of Shakespeare's wobblier moments, though he pre-dates the Gothic proper! I think part of the appeal of Gothic, in any case, is often the inevitably cliched denouments and the excessive gory abandon of the descriptions, in which case The Monk would score a better read than, say, Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

And it coulc be a LOT worse. You could have to read Hobbes' Leviathan.

 
ElizabethSterling
229800.  Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:46 pm Reply with quote

King of Quok wrote:
Jenny's right. Kitsch and trashy though a lot of Gothic may have been, you can' deny the influence it had on nearly every other writer in its wake. I think The Monk has its moments, even though it is excessive. If we're going to start proscribing texts because they have trashy, gothic-y bits, you'd end up chucking out a hell of a lot of good stuff, including a lot of the Brontes, Dickens and even, dare I say it, some of Shakespeare's wobblier moments, though he pre-dates the Gothic proper! I think part of the appeal of Gothic, in any case, is often the inevitably cliched denouments and the excessive gory abandon of the descriptions, in which case The Monk would score a better read than, say, Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

And it coulc be a LOT worse. You could have to read Hobbes' Leviathan.
I'm not entirely sure where the idea I'm writing off the entire gothic genre has suddenly stemmed from... all I'm really saying is that all in all I found the monk too ridiculous to enjoy. I'm well aware of how the genre has had an impact on literature its self too and I'm not at all against the occasional bout of slightly cheesey gothic writing.

 
djgordy
280122.  Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:11 am Reply with quote

Frankenstein:



The bride of Frankenstein:



http://www.anorak.co.uk/royals/princess-diana-inquest/180884.html

Regrettably, Mr. Al Fayad seems to have been confusing the name Frankenstein with that of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl%C3%BCcksburg

 
interestinglit
958000.  Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:19 am Reply with quote

I know QI has already addressed Frankenstein in the 'Green' episode, but I thought it was worth mentioning Stephen Jay Gould's excellent essay on Frankenstein which appeared in his book Dinosaur in a Haystack. He makes the point that the idea that the novel is about 'man playing God' is misguided; the real problem with Frankenstein is that he abandons his creation, and is a 'bad parent' to the creature.

I discuss the novel, and Gould's interpretation, over at my blog, if anyone's interested:

http://interestingliterature.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/frankenstein-the-most-misread-novel/

 

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