11-14-2006 02:42 PM
But one funny thing about this book is that Frankenstein's monster actually gets a pretty good, classic education--taught to speak English by listening in to intellectual chats at De Lacey’s, and then reading from their books, including _Paradise Lost_, _Plutarch's Lives_, and the _Sorrows of Young Werther_. But this literary education isn’t enough to tame his monstrous interior. He goes on to feel insatiable jealousies and hatred. He kills.
Do delicious books make us better people? Or hungrier people? Do they change us?
11-14-2006 03:44 PM
11-14-2006 05:14 PM
Books that have changed me:
Sorrows of Young Werther: because I now know how to recognize (both enjoy and stop-up) my own self-pity
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: Showed me that good philosophy needs to risk insanity
To The Lighthouse (Woolf): She's like a best friend who can't leave me
11-15-2006 12:35 PM
11-15-2006 12:42 PM
A couple notes down in this list, we're asking the question of how books can change us. This is a nice, further detail: What books have brought new words--and with those words, new ideas--into your lives?
Virginia Woolf gave me a way of thinking that "the mind is like the sea": i.e. it's hard to separate one idea from another; they flow together.
Kafka gave me the idea of the "hunger artist": i.e. some of us manage to feel special by making ourselves sick (so: unique).
Are there any authors that give any of you _lenses_ for seeing the world?
11-15-2006 12:49 PM
11-15-2006 01:18 PM
Jung thought archetypes were innate, but literature also creates archetypes for us. I'm actually thinking that all big, historically rooted concepts are archetypes: strongly stated forms that we cling to.
Frankenstein's monster is one (a phrase like "you're such a monster" evokes a whole host of images and associations.)
"You're like Jekyll & Hyde" is a saying rooted in a literary archetype.
11-16-2006 10:34 AM
11-18-2006 02:14 PM
11-19-2006 02:43 PM
11-19-2006 03:08 PM
Just a quick comment: I think friendship is hard to achieve in marraige- people seem to take on roles in this kind of union, so a friendship would be optimal, especially if couples wish to have children. Shelley may have also believed and experienced herself, that marraige and procreation is best achieved between friends, possibly between two men or two women or among three people- but they have to have a true friendship and they have to be able to create a baby Frankenstein- hopefully not, but well, maybe....
P.S. --In general, both men and women in the story seem to fit into roles, but I think the roles were beginning to change...
11-21-2006 01:44 PM
I think that all the books that you mention had been written in the past and so, allow us to return to the time that the book was written, in varying degrees. It's hard to explain but books both move us forward and push us back at the same time. Shelley was cool beans, man.
11-22-2006 12:20 PM
11-25-2006 10:49 AM
I don't know how much longer the forum will continue, but I'd thought I'd mention that the word friendship and love become similiar as we travel back in time to our own language and word origins. And as we move forward through time, the word "love", slowly develops into the word friend, by degrees of course.
Have a good one!
This is horror with heart,
11-26-2006 02:47 PM
11-27-2006 01:25 AM - edited 11-27-2006 01:25 AM
Has this discussion of Frankenstein now ended?
Message Edited by Choisya on 11-27-200601:27 AM
11-27-2006 06:47 AM
Which book are you moderating next Ilana - I have enjoyed your input on this one and your receptiveness to the complaints which have been made about the new format. I understand that some of these are now being addressed by the 'software developers' and Bob Fanuzzir has said he is going to bring 'lots of structure' to Moby Dick (December 12) and The Jungle (January). Onward and Upward!
11-27-2006 01:37 PM - edited 11-27-2006 01:37 PM
Well, law and science do have a common origin and to some degree, they are manifestations of "the creator" and "the created." So, bear with Shelley, the creator gradually develops into religion, which gradually develops into law. The created, on the otherhand, gradually turns into philosophy which gradually turns into science. And the final outcome? Science and law mixing together, in tension and sometimes in harmony. One may perhaps overcome the other, driving us further to our original "origins." The evolution might be a gradual phasing out of religion and philosophy, or just science and law being what finally drives us back to our own creation, but remnants of all four obviously still exist in the world.
Deep? Well if you don't want to go that deep, ultimately the message of Frankenstein would be about friendship and love, or the lack thereof. Victor Frankenstein's creation certainly makes us question our own reasons for creating another human being, our own unions with each other and ultimately our own reasons for being.
Will I marry and have kids? Well, I'm with Shelley. My reasons for marrying would have to be sound- that is, out of friendship and love. Both words, like all words, have a common origin, but whose delineation begs the question about a world possibly gone awry, a world which currently delineates sexual preferences.
But I hope all is well with everyone over the Christmas break and as I travel to the mountains and back to the beach and then back to the mountains, again and again, a North American version of Victor Frankenstein, I'll make sure I type a few words, hoping to adjust the temperature in each climate.
The selections are great- keep'em coming!
Message Edited by chad on 11-27-200601:38 PM
Message Edited by chad on 11-27-200601:39 PM