Putting Things Together With Frankenstein

Reading Frankenstein has made me re-realize one of the things I best love about reading. That weird interconnectedness that happens between authors and books from different times that all gets centered inside you and wants to come rolling out on, like, you know a blog or something. I really haven’t felt that feeling in a long while.

So, how’d it happen? Well, like I said, I’m reading Frankenstein. Suggested to me here in my comments. In my mind, a perfect book to read as autumn falls around me and the near-arctic winter of prairie Canada quickly puts a stake in. The weird connections the internet affords must be putting me in this frame of mind. Hypertexts lead to Hyperthemes?

Anyway, the weird connections. Frankenstein joins in a theological fantasy symphony with Moby Dick and Never Let Me Go, both two books that needed Frankenstein to join them together in my mind. Madmen, false Adams, things that should not be, loss, loneliness, Giant whales that represent our hatred of God. They all share these things. Wait, alright I guess only Moby Dick has the whale. I suppose Never Let Me Go wasn’t exactly perfect then. Mr. Ishiguro? More whale next time, please.

I love that about reading though. When the gears start turning in your head and peeling back the sky. The more great books the better. The more true-weirdness that the best provide. The more whale the better.

OK, I guess the whale isn’t going to get replicated anytime soon. Are there whales in Frankenstein? Don’t spoil it for me.

8 responses to “Putting Things Together With Frankenstein”

  1. Always glad to recommend a book, Ian!

    I’ll have to look up the Ishiguro novel. ( I remember the edge of the seat intensity he was able to pull out of affairs of the heart in Remains of the Day.) It sounds like Never Let Me Go might mix, in my mind, with Card’s Ender’s Game / Ender’s Shadow and Joyce Thompson’s Conscience Place.

    And while you’re on Frankenstein, you could get the Monster’s retrospective from Fred Saberhagen’s Frankenstein Papers. I don’t think there’s a whale in there, but the Creature does start his narrative with a polar bear: “Some days you bite the bear, some days the bear bites you.”

  2. I have to say that Circle Reader’s description of Remains of the Day up there is about the most exciting description I’ve come across for it. But I’m still sticking with The Unconsoled. (In the end I was underwhelmed by Never Let Me Go probably because of the hoopla surrounding its release.)

  3. The same thing seems to have happened with me, except The Picture of Dorian Gray is snaking its way through my mind.

    I’m new, by the way. I enjoy your blog. 🙂

  4. I’m looking forward to reading more Ishiguro. Remains of the Day being the obvious choice. And “edge of the seat intensity… affairs of the heart”. Is that his thing? Can I expect more of this? If yes, perfect.

    Akasha, welcome to Upper Fort Stewart. I tried reading Dorian Gray when I was in grade school—when I thought it was about vampires or zombies. I think I’ll have to give it a go again one day.

  5. Thanks, Ian. You should definitely give it another go. While it doesn’t have vampires or zombies it’s still pretty cool. I think I’m just at the crux of the novel where everything’s about to go terribly wrong terribly quickly. Exciting stuff!

  6. Surprisingly, perhaps, considering the popularity of Remains of the Day, it was Never Let Me Go that brought me to Ishiguro for the first time. I found it an immensely scary novel, as it developed, for the ideas contained within it that were gradually peeled away to reveal their true horror, yet in a tone that was somehow cool and rather detached; and all of it set in such a reassuring and often quaint English atmosphere. It has made me want to investigate more of his work, definitely.

    Since it seems to be a day for debuts in your comments, Ian, just to say that this is my first comment here, but I have been reading for a while and hugely enjoy your site, your words, and your thoughts. Oh, and the beautiful design, of which I am hugely jealous. (That’s a good thing, by the way.)

  7. Thanks for dropping in, Unreliable. It’s always nice to hear from a long-time blogger.

    I just mentioned this to a reader the other day by email: when I get my site redesigned I’ll be releasing an updated version of this theme. Stick around and your Jealousy may fade away… 😉

    And welcome to Upper Fort Stewart.

  8. Are there whales in “Frankenstein”! Very funny!

    For those who don’t get the joke, “Frankenstein” and “The Bride of Frankenstein” were directed by James Whale.

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