Read­ing more into Franken­stein

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

The lit­er­a­ture that in­flu­enced one of his­tory’s most fa­mous nov­els is to be ex­am­ined at the next meet­ing of Dundee Arts Café.

Dr Daniel Cook, a se­nior lec­turer of English at Dundee Univer­sity, will re­veal how Franken­stein was shaped by the read­ing habits of the au­thor, Mary Shel­ley, and how other books are in­te­gral to the plot of the book.

Ahead of Franken­stein: The Books That Made The Mon­ster, which takes place at 6pm on Tues­day at The Mc­Manus, Dr Cook said: “Quite of­ten we think of Franken­stein as a cul­tural myth rather than as a highly so­phis­ti­cated piece of writ­ing.

“In re­al­ity, Franken­stein is a book about books. Franken­stein’s mon­ster is an at­ten­tive reader of the hu­man­i­ties, and that’s his prob­lem.

“He reads Par­adise Lost, the Bible, The Sor­rows Of Young Werther and learns of and copies mankind’s flaws.

“Vic­tor Franken­stein is an inat­ten­tive reader of the sciences. He re­jects the mod­ern science of Humphry Davy and oth­ers.

“The plot un­folds be­cause of how the two pro­tag­o­nists read and that is some­thing that I want to talk about, prov­ing that Franken­stein is more than just the story of a mad sci­en­tist that has cre­ated a mon­ster.”

Later this month, Dr Cook will pub­lish a Dundee edi­tion of Franken­stein, cel­e­brat­ing Mary Shel­ley’s ties with the city.

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