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09 August 2011

Gothic Novels - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Another gothic novel I deeply suggest you is FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley!


Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed artificial life experiment that has produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first edition was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley's name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.

(Mary Shelley)
Shelley had travelled the region in which the story takes place, and the topics of galvanism and other similar occult ideas were themes of conversation among her companions, particularly her future husband Percy Bysshe Shelley. The actual storyline was taken from a dream. Shelley was talking with three writer-colleagues, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Polidori, and they decided they would have a competition to see who could write the best horrorstory. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by what he had made. Then Frankenstein was written.


Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Brian Aldiss has argued that it should be considered the first true science fiction story, because unlike in previous stories with fantastical elements resembling those of later science fiction, the central character "makes a deliberate decision" and "turns to modern experiments in the laboratory" to achieve fantastic results. The story is partially based on Giovanni Aldini's electrical experiments on dead and (sometimes) living animals and was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in its subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. It has had a considerable influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films.
The name "Frankenstein" – actually the novel's human protagonist – is often incorrectly used to refer to the monster itself. In the novel, the monster is identified via words such as "monster", "fiend", "wretch", "vile insect", "daemon", and "it"; Shelley herself called it "Adam".


FILMS:
The first film adaptation of the tale, Frankenstein, was done by Edison Studios in 1910, written and directed by J. Searle Dawley, with Augustus Phillips as Frankenstein, Mary Fuerte as Elizabeth, and Charles Ogle as the Monster. The brief (16 min.) story has Frankenstein chemically create his creature in a vat. The monster haunts the scientist until Frankenstein's wedding night, when true love causes the creature to vanish. For many years, this film was believed lost. A collector announced in 1980 that he had acquired a print in the 1950s and had been unaware of its rarity.
The most famous adaptation of the story, 1931's Frankenstein, was produced by Universal Pictures, directed by James Whale, and starred Boris Karloff as the monster.



(The Bride Of Frankenstein)


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