Tag: Monster Frankenstein

Frankenstein (1818 Edition) by Mary Shelley

Posted December 27, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction / 5 Comments

Frankenstein (1818 Edition) by Mary ShelleyTitle: Frankenstein (1818 Edition) (Goodreads)
Author: Mary Shelley
Published: Oxford World's Classics, 1818
Pages: 261
Genres: Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Victor Frankenstein is a student of science, obsessed with discovering the cause of life. One night he bestowed animation upon a lifeless matter and created a monster. He recoils from his hideous creation and the monster is cast out and left tormented by isolation and loneliness. Evil is unleashed and a campaign for vengeance against Frankenstein has begun.

Most people are aware of my passion for Frankenstein, I may not read it every year but I do come close. Picking up this book is like coming home, the joy that sweeps over me as I emerse myself into the text is indescribable. Have you ever had that feeling where a book can bring you so much joy, I even have to buy different versions of this novel just to have on my self. I have some rather handsome editions; a leather-bound copy, an annotated edition and a nice illustrated hardcover released by Dark Horse Comics.

So imagine my shock to discover that the audiobook I was listening to was a little different to the novel I was accustomed to. With a little research I discovered Dan Stevens (the narrator, yes the one from Downton Abbey) was reading from the 1818 edition. Not the heavily revised 1931 version, which is most commonly printed. I didn’t even know there were two different versions; this was an exciting day for me. Not only can I continually read Frankenstein and gain immense pleasure from it, but I can also switch between two different versions of the story.

I was familiarising myself with the text of Frankenstein for a university course, so I had decided to look at the book a little differently. For an older review, one I still think is pretty good click here. I knew a little more about Mary Shelley this time, so I was looking at Frankenstein with some context. Before Shelley wrote Frankenstein she had given birth to a daughter, two months premature. This daughter only lived a few weeks, a year later she gave birth to William Shelley. After the birth of her son she suffered from postpartum depression.

The birth of William happened a few months before the story of Frankenstein was conceived, so it wasn’t too surprising to see William’s name in the novel. William was Victor Frankenstein’s youngest brother, who was strangled to death by the monster. So I have two lines of thought here, one being that Mary Shelley’s depression manifested an urge to strangle William, the second is a little more complex.

I want to skip over the whole parody of creationism within Frankenstein, which would have to be an entirely different blog post (maybe when I read it next time). Life was created (without the need of a female) and then rejected. He has no loving mother; he is born fully grown but still has the intelligence of an infant, he was rejected before he could learn about the world. Again I’m left with two thoughts, is this about growing up without a mother or was this rejection of her child? I’m not really good at forming arguments (something I need to learn) but I wanted to leave you with those thoughts, and one other. In a journal entry in 1915 Mary Shelley wrote about the death of her first child, and being tormented by the idea of it coming back to life.

You know that “never meet your idols” phrase? I never really understood it; sure Mary Shelley wasn’t a ‘nice’ person but who is? She was tormented and complex and from that sprung forth a novel with so many layers that you could write a book on it. This was what made her my literary idol, not being a good person. I know I will keep reading this novel and try to write a review on each different perspective I find. Who knows it could make up and interesting collection of posts. Look for my next Frankenstein post (possible next year), not sure what it would be about; Creationism, Paradise Lost, Feminism, Slavery, Revolution, or something else. If you haven’t experienced the joys of a book so complex and layered, don’t you think it’s time you did so?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Worst Movie Adaptations

Posted July 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top Ten Tuesday / 0 Comments

I had so much fun doing Top Ten Tuesday last week that I thought I would join in again. Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogger meme that is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week the theme is: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations. I want to look at ten books that should have never been made into movies because they never work and never will work in this particular format. These are mainly books that have a strong internal monologue, the emotions and inner turmoil is vital to the book and/or they are too many narrators to really work.

10. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
There was a mini-series that wasn’t too bad but the latest attempt at adapting this movie was so bad. I’m a fan of Zooey Deschanel, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and John Malkovich but no one could save this movie.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m sorry but the 2005 film just doesn’t work for me, there is none of Austen’s wit and only really covers the basic story. I only recently read Pride and Prejudice and adored it but most of the things I love about this book don’t translate to film.

8. Dune by Frank Herbert
David Lynch was faced with the impossible task of turning this seminal sci-fi classic into a movie and he failed, hard.

7. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
One of those movies, I wish I could unsee. The book was so great, why would they destroy that with a film adaption?

6. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The most recent adaptation was a horrible, horrible adaptation of such a wonderful book. It was weird how they did the movie and they left so much out. I’m not a fan of Keira Knightley so I was looking forward to the end. I’ve not seen any of the other adaptations of this classic and I never want to see them.

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I keep meaning to write about the Baz Luhrmann version but keep putting it off. This is a book about unlikeable characters and symbolism, and that never worked. To be honest I don’t think Baz read the book and just tried to remake the old Robert Redford movie.

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I’ve never seen a Dracula movie that actually works, it’s hard to be faithful to Bram Stoker’s seminal piece of literature and still try to adapt it.

3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I’m looking at you Demi Moore, Gary Oldman, and Robert Duvall. It doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be tried again. Try something like a modern retelling like Easy A, it’s not The Scarlet Letter but at least it works.

2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Most of this novel plays out in the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov; mental anguish and moral dilemmas don’t translate on the screen, I never have watched a Crime and Punishment adaptation and I don’t think I ever will.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
No, just stop it, you will never get it right in a movie, you can’t tell both Victor and Monster Frankenstein’s story at the same time and explore their thoughts and emotion on the screen. Stop trying to ruin my favourite book.

Disarm – a Modern Frankenstein story

Posted January 22, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Culture / 0 Comments

Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins wrote the song Disarm about a fantasy of cutting his parents limbs off. Because he hated them, he hated the fact they brought him into this world which is full of hate and all he wants, is to be loved.

“It’s about chopping off somebody’s arms.. The reason I wrote Disarm was because, I didn’t have the guts to kill my parents, so I thought I’d get back at them through song. And rather then have an angry, angry, angry violent song I’d thought I’d write something beautiful and make them realize what tender feelings I have in my heart, and make them feel really bad for treating me like shit. Disarm’s hard to talk about because people will say to me ‘I listen to that song and I can’t figure out what it’s about.’ It’s like about things that are beyond words. I think you can conjure up images and put together phrases, but it’s a feeling beyond words and for me it has a lot to do with like a sense of loss. Being an adult and looking back and romanticizing a childhood that never happened or went by so quickly in a naive state that you miss it.”  — Billy Corgan on Disarm

Does this sound familiar?

Well it defiantly does to me, my all time favourite book is “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” by Mary Shelley which is an amazing story written in two view points. Dr. Victor Frankenstein created a monster and being scared of his creation abandoned it. Monster Frankenstein was a lost soul, with nothing the desire to be loved, yet his creator abandoned him and society feared and wanted to destroy him.

At the very end of the book when asked to justify his actions Monster Frankenstein said something like; “I do this because I feel too much, I was brought into this world with the desire to love and denied it at every turn”

Both Billy Corgan and Monster Frankenstein both wanted to be love but life and society seemed to give them violent thoughts. Billy Corgan expressed his dark thoughts via writing a song but Monster Frankenstein didn’t know how to handle these thoughts.

Support Knowledge Lost and my reading habits, If you wish to get a copy of Frankensteinor the Smashing Pumpkins album which featured Disarm; Siamese Dream do so here.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Posted May 21, 2009 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction / 0 Comments

Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyTitle: Frankenstein (Goodreads)
Author: Mary Shelley
Published: Penguin, 1818
Pages: 273
Genres: Classic, Gothic, Science Fiction
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

This truly is a classic tale of social insight, a story of one seeking acceptance and desiring companionship but being rejected and branded a monster. The thing that I liked most about this book is the fact that it’s divided into two accounts, designed to view both sides of the story. The first part of the book ‘Frankenstein’ tells the story of the life of Victor Frankenstein, the creation of Monster Frankenstein and the death of his younger brother William.  A servant ‘Justine’ has been put on trial for this murder, but Victor knows the identity of the true killer.  Monster Frankenstein and Victor finally meet up and despite his desire to kill his creation, Victor is forced to listen to the monster’s story, after being threatened.

‘The Modern Prometheus’ tells the story of the Monster Frankenstein, confused and unsure from the very first day of life, found himself hiding in the woods watching people and learning how to find food, create a fire and  how to differentiate between the feelings of happiness and sadness. Watching a family in poverty taught Monster Frankenstein many things and he started chopping wood and shoveling snow for the family while they slept. His loneliness finally drove him to show himself to this family who ended up running away in fear. With a mixture of loneliness and anger, he seeks out his creator, finding his way to William where he decides to kidnap him for companionship and ends up accidentally strangling him.

This is where the two stories meet and monster Frankenstein pleads with Victor saying he’s ‘a good creature turned bad by unforgiving humans who scoffed at friendship’. The monster pleads with Victor to make him a companion which he would take and never be heard from again. Victor reluctantly agrees but found it harder and harder to do, even though his family was in danger. Victor began to realize the female companion could wreck much havoc by giving birth to more monsters and refusing to be with the monster as a mate altogether.
Monster Frankenstein swears revenge and goes about killing everyone close to Victor in attempt to show Victor what it feels like to be alone. As Frankenstein dies, the monster appears in his room and begs his dead body for forgiveness.

In the end the story has no true villain or hero. Monster Frankenstein and Victor Frankenstein were both portrayed as  hero and villain. The story also leaves you wondering on how you treat others, do our actions end up turning people into a ‘monsters’? Overall this was a brilliant story, although the language was at times hard to understand, it is still worth the read.