Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Frankenstein [NORTON]

I've read Frankenstein a couple of times before, but it was still enjoyable to read it again.  One of the things that stands out is how the most iconic scenes from pop culture and movies (the moment of creation, the creature chased by a mob, etc.) are completely different in the novel, and how the creature is quite smart and well-spoken.  To me, the most evocative scenes are set in the desolate,  frozen wastelands as Frankenstein chases the creature.  There's also a few bits that stand out to me as unnecessary, such as the over-long backstory of the Turkish visitor to the blind-man's hut.  The essays in the Norton Critical Edition are good, but they start to get repetitive as almost every one focusses on various feminist readings of the text.  My favourite essay is the last one, "Frankenstein, the True Story; or, Rousseau Judges Jean-Jacques" as it cleverly critiques critical scholarship on the novel as being constituted primarily of interpretations that rarely engage with each other.  I know I'm rambling a bit, but overall this is a good edition of the novel and, from the essays, it seems like the version included here (the original 1818) is much better than Mary Shelley's later revision.

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