Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Modern Prometheus

The second meeting of the discussion series "Magic, Monsters and Other Worlds: The Fantastic in Victorian Literature," held last Wednesday in the Caledon Library reading room in Victoria City, focused on Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus. (While technically not a Victorian novel, close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and literary eras.)

Victorian Literature discussion  Frankenstein 001

We had a number of people ready to discuss the book, and the discussion was a lively one, exploring a variety of topics, from the reliability of Walton, Frankenstein, and the monster as narrators to Shelly's purpose of including Justine and her trial for murdering Frankenstein's brother.

Victorian Literature discussion  Frankenstein 002

A complex and yet readable book, Frankenstein differs greatly from most of the movie versions, touching on topics from the moral limits of science to the relationship between creator and created to guilt and revenge. No staid 19th century characters here!

Victorian Literature discussion  Frankenstein 003

Victorian Literature discussion  Frankenstein 004

Next month's reading is Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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