FrankenFriday the first

March 20, 2015

As we move towards 2016, and the 200th anniversary of the night when Mary Shelley came up with the story of Frankenstein, I intend to blog from time to time about the author, her circle, and her creation. Friday will be my posting day, as you may gather from the header.

Mary Shelley’s Cookbook

Bind this book
in the skin of man.
Keep your place marked
with fingers,
or tongues to taste
the lineaments.
Take kidneys, lights and liver
and animate the contents
with diseased and wandering imagination.
Forget your sex.
Just write.

‘Diseased and wandering imagination’ is from an early review of Frankenstein in The British Critic. Possibly the first reviewer to realise that the author was female, the writer criticised Shelley for ‘forgetting the gentleness of her sex’. I think, somehow, that ‘The British Critic’ was most often a white man…I stand to be corrected.
liver

Here I am playing with what was seen as a proper interest for middle class women, in at least overseeing a household’s consumption of food, and contrasting it with Shelley’s recipe for creating a novel in which a man was scientifically constructed.

As with cooking, he was made of various ingredients, and heated…at least in some filmic versions of the tale. In the novel itself, lightning is not used as the means to vivify the creature, although the phenomenon does appear in the book, almost as a character in its own right. The Modern Prometheus is the book’s subtitle, and Prometheus was tortured by the Gods for giving people the secret of fire.

A bird ate his liver, again and again.

Thoughts? Carrots? Sticks? Comments? Go ahead!

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