Sunday, January 14, 2018

It's Alive! - Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein

The Creature by Nino Carbe (Illustrated Editions, 1932)
I've been receiving lot of publicity from various publishers reminding me that Mary Shelley's landmark novel Frankenstein will be celebrating its 200th anniversary of publication which was January 1, 1818. There are various books, both fiction and non-fiction, being released this month and throughout the year in honor of this date. Soon we'll have the first English translation of Iraqi author Ahmad Saadawi's prize-winning Frankenstein of Baghdad (originally published in Arabic in 2013) which I'll be reviewing shortly.

It's not just the world of literature and books involved in the bicentennial. All over the web there are websites connecting various science projects, lecture series and memes to honor Shelley and her novel with talk of cloning, stem cell research and other related topics of ethics in science research. One of the most ambitious is Arizona State's Frankenstein Bicentennial Project.

This is a world wide celebration with over 100 participating institutions from 27 different countries. For a list of the universities and libraries taking part visit Frankenreads, the central website and sponsoring agency connecting the world with the "Frankenstein@200" year long celebration. You may be lucky enough to have an event or series of events in your own city or town.

I've decided to join in this celebration by reading and discussing various contemporary books and vintage novels that employ the Frankenstein theme or Shelley's characters. I'll try to do this at least once a month on a Sunday like today. If I'm lucky in finding most of the books and read them quickly I may sneak in two per month.

Why not join in the fun and read the novel itself or watch the movie and write about it on your blog? The novel is very different from the many movies, I assure you. The TV version back in the mid 1970s with Michael Sarrazin as the Creature is probably the most faithful to Shelley's novel.

To start us off with a bang I'll offer up a video clip of the iconic creation scene from James Whales' original Frankenstein from 1931.



7 comments:

  1. hola! estas buhas son fanaticas de frankeistein, gracias por compartirlo, ya lo hacemos nosotras! saludosbuhos

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    1. You crazy owls! You're welcome. Go off and send some more important messages. My regards to the memory of Hedwig.

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  2. Thanks for alerting me to this, John. Frankenstein is on my list of books to read, and I might as well take advantage of this as a motivator.

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  3. The book has never intrigued me ever since I found out that it differed from the James Whale movies. :) I'm stubborn that way. Maybe if I'd read the book first and THEN seen the movies, I'd be a better person. Can I talk about BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN?? I talked about SON OF FRANKENSTEIN just recently on the blog. Maybe for Halloween? Who remembers. Actually, now that I think of it, I haven't seen the original movie in a while, so maybe I will go ahead and watch it.

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    1. There are no rules. You can write about a stem cell transplant novel as far as I'm concerned. Have fun. A lot of events all over are scheduled for Halloween this year. Have fun with it.

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    2. Can I talk about BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN?? I talked about SON OF FRANKENSTEIN just recently on the blog.

      I thought SON OF FRANKENSTEIN was extraordinarily good. In fact it's my favourite of the Universal Frankenstein movies.

      I know this is heresy of the most shocking kind, but I'm not a fan of James Whale's movies for Universal. To compound my heresy, I think that on the whole the Hammer Frankenstein movies are far better than the Universal films. Although I do admit that the Universal films are visually stunning.

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    3. SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is my favorite as well. Though I've never forgotten Dr. Praetorius and his little people in jars. Shudder. :) But I don't agree about the Hammer films. Not for me. FRANKENSTEIN films should never be in color far as I'm concerned. Sorry.

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