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Parasha: Frankenstein wrap-up

Alright, let's wrap this puppy up.


So. Frankenstein. Well, it's a classic, but... I don't think we did it any favors by reading it for Parasha. It just turned out not to be suited to the style - the chapters were uneven, basically requiring us to read a day or so of travelogue or angst interspersed with the fewer Happeny-bits. And the added scrutiny invoked by the pace didn't really do some of the other parts of the book any favors - such as the Many Coincidences, or the idiocy of various cast members.

Then, too, I think some parts of this book just don't work quite as well for modern-day readers. Such as the aforementioned coincidences. ("Oh look, a big bundle of French literature Just Happened to fall at the Creature's feet, in the middle of the German countryside!") Or the various things that worked okay, at least for laypeople, back at the time, but that we with our advances in science scoff at or consider plot holes nowadays.

Anyhow, at a different pace I'm sure the story would have worked better - less chance to sit and get annoyed at all the woe-is-me, or to curse Victor and the Creature both for being assholes and idiots. Or to sit and say that yes, it's pretty bloody obvious just what's going to happen next.

As for the story itself... well, it's pretty simple looking back on it. The thing that makes it a classic I guess is the idea itself, rather than the execution - the idea of creating a man, or Creature as the case may be, and bringing life from death, which is an enchanting and uplifting idea, and then having it turn around and become horrific.

The characters however... well. I think the less said about the characters, the better.

Well, really I don't think I have all that much to say, that hasn't been said in the previous entries, so I'll just shut up now, and open the discussion. :p


Remember, on Friday we start with The Last Unicorn, hope everyone's going to, uh, attend! I'm sure it'll be better than this month. :p

Comments

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khedron
Mar. 28th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
Anyhow, at a different pace I'm sure the story would have worked better - less chance to sit and get annoyed at all the woe-is-me, or to curse Victor and the Creature both for being assholes and idiots. Or to sit and say that yes, it's pretty bloody obvious just what's going to happen next.

Yep, I agree. It's supposed to make it tragic, but it winds up being telegraphed far ahead, and I lost sympathy for Victor. (Not for Elizabeth, this wasn't his fault, but Victor, man.)


The thing that got me at the end of the book was that Frankenstein is lying on his deathbed, reviewing his life, and he comes to the conclusion that he made the right decisions. That only seems to apply to his decision not to finish making the female Creature, however. All of this, 100% of it, seems to me to stem from his abandoning the Creature at its birth, which is to say that all of this could be avoided, and it was doubly on his head.

Also, he could have simply not gotten married, and so Elizabeth and his father would have remained alive. His fault again. Better to tell the story of what he'd done and why Clerval, Justine, and William were dead than to keep it to himself and kill everyone else with his actions.
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stormfeather
Mar. 29th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
I'm guessing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies would be under the other camp, again?
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khedron
Mar. 29th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Well, the dude's example was "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Right, that was the paragon form, while the original groundbreaking work which set up all those elements was "King Solomon's Mines". Indiana Jones just did it *better*.
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khedron
Mar. 29th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
Here's the io9 post, and I think the author would agree with you.

For myself, I'm one of those who took the "inspirational and educational reading list" at the end of the original AD&D DM's guide seriously, so I read some Dunsany, some _Worm Ouroburous_, etc. It wasn't a bad list at all, but I didn't really like anything earlier than Tolkien much, in the end.

[Edit:] Changed list URL to be less abridged. I knew that didn't look right.

Edited at 2010-03-29 08:08 pm (UTC)
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