Frankenstein: Or "The Modern Prometheus" - The 1818 Text (Oxford World's Classics)

Registered by LittleBigDave of Selby, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on 10/28/2008
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by LittleBigDave from Selby, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This is an immortal tale about hybris, love and hate, justice, racism and the responsibility of scientists.
Its fundamental question is: 'Had I a right to inflict this curse upon everlasting generations? ... future ages might curse me as their pest, whose selfishness had not hesitated to buy its own peace at the price, perhaps, of the existence of the whole human race.'

The 'unhallowed arts' of Frankenstein produce a 'filthy mass that moved and talked', but it was nevertheless a human being with normal human aspirations: 'Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good, misery made me a fiend. Make me happy, and I shall again be virtuous.'

But, he is a 'painted bird': 'Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all human kind sinned against me? I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned, and kicked, and trampled on.'
His reaction is: 'If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.'

Mary Shelley's vision of mankind is far from rosy: 'I heard of the division of property, of immense wealth and squalid poverty.' 'A man was considered, except in very rare circumstances, as a vagabond and a slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profits of the chosen few.' 'Was man yet so vicious and base? I could not conceive how one man could go forth to murder his fellow...'
But, 'how strange is that clinging love we have of life, even in the excess of misery'.

Her world is one of resentment, racism and jealousy: 'religion and wealth had been the cause of his condemnation'.

Frankenstein is the scion of the evil principle in man, the invention of a man-scientist and a painted bird, who is not accepted by the rest of the human race. His reaction is revenge.

This is a great text by an 18 year old.
As Oscar Wilde said in 'The Critic as Artist': ' For when a work is finished it has as it were, an independent life of it own, and may deliver a message far other than that which was put into its lips.'
Some texts become even more important and luminous with time, as this masterpiece.

A must read.

Journal Entry 2 by LittleBigDave at Train - Ormskirk to Liverpool in Ormskirk, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (12/3/2008 UTC) at Train - Ormskirk to Liverpool in Ormskirk, Lancashire United Kingdom



Just on a seat... Though I won't do this again because I now suspect that books left here get thrown away by the people who clean up between stops :-(

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