Books

13 March 2014

Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

This was also a book that I had read many years ago and, in 2013, decided to reread. The edition I read includes an Introduction and a Preface, and, as far as I could tell, it is faithful to the original text written in 1818. Since Mary Shelley's book was published all those years ago, we have been inundated with images and descriptions of Frankenstein's creature and other similar creatures. Many of these images have come to us via a plethora of films based on Mary's idea, and somewhere in this entanglement of ideas and images, Mary's original story has become distorted and often even lost. The original story is well-written even if the presentation is, by today's standards, at times slightly archaic. Frankenstein may well be one of the first science fiction novels, but it is not without considerable thought and a deep understanding of human nature. That Victor Frankenstein was able to create such a creature was a wonder in itself, but, as Mary was well aware, creation without responsibility can only end in disaster, which, of course, is precisely what happened. You may well read this story as science fiction or even horror, but, in the end, it is the human element that is most disturbing: we do not need ugly, ungainly creatures to upset the equilibrium of life, we are quite adept at upsetting it ourselves.



 The photo is from: www.biography.com

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