200 Years later, why are we still obsessed with Frankenstein? ​

Li Shiyu China Plus Published: 2018-01-04 15:49:37
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It was January 1st, 1818, when 20-year-old English writer Mary Shelley quietly and anonymously published her gothic-horror novel, Frankenstein. 

A literary novice then, the young woman wrote the story simply as a pet project. She could never have imagined the momentous impact that her fantasy has generated in the next two centuries. 

Frankenstein's monster, played by British actor Boris Karloff, has been one of the most recognizable pop culture images.[Photo:IC]

Frankenstein's monster, played by British actor Boris Karloff, has been one of the most recognizable pop culture images.[Photo: IC]

From James Whale's iconic 1931 horror film to the household TV show 'The Addams Family', this dark, macabre, and troubling tale has spawned and inspired numerous movies, plays, games, animations, and many other derivative works. The two foremost literary figures of the book, Dr Victor Frankenstein and the monster he created have already seeped into all forms of media for at least a hundred years. 

Actors Jonny Lee Miller (Right) and Naomie Harris (Left) in a scene from Danny Boyle's stage version of Frankenstein.[Photo:IC]

Actors Jonny Lee Miller (Right) and Naomie Harris (Left) in a scene from Danny Boyle's 2011 stage version of Frankenstein.[Photo: IC]

But why are we still fascinated by this two-hundred-year old story?

To answer that question, in this episode of Ink&Quill, our book critic Shiyu will team up with fellow bookworm Lu Sirui, to discuss what makes Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" a timeless classic. 

Written by British author Mary Shelley, Frankenstein is arguably the first science fiction book around the world.[Cover:Penguin]

Written by British author Mary Shelley, 'Frankenstein' is arguably the first science fiction book around the world.[Cover:Penguin]

Highlight of the discussion:

  • How Mary Shelley was inspired; 

  • The themes and messages of Frankenstein; 

  • The book's countless adaptations;

  • How the monster has been imprinted on hearts and public spaces; 

  • What's the legacy of Frankenstein;

  • And much, much more!

To hear their complete conversation, you can download the podcast by searching the keyword Ink&Quill on iTunes.

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