Monday 30 August 2010

Happy 213th birthday Mary Shelley

I would have missed this as I usually do when it comes to these kidsn of things. My wife informed me tonight that it was the 213th anniversary of the birth of Mary Shelley, as Google had decided to commemorate it with a Google Doodle. And it is a really cool one.

Mary Shelley might not be my favourite writer, but I have a special fondness for her most famous work, as I read Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus when I was a child, it was one of the first horror stories I read, before Dracula (maybe my favourite horror novel ever), before Le Fantôme de l'Opéra and right after The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I was fascinated enough by the novel that I read it a second time a year later. Like for Dracula, I only watched its adaptations later in my life.

I do not consider Frankenstein to be a pure horror story, not in the same way Dracula was. For me, it is more a Romantic tragedy with Gothic elements (and I use the word Romantic in the proper sense). Still, it is compelling reading and its author deserves to be given its due on this blog, as I admired her quite a lot and she introduced me to Romanticism.


The Gill-Man said...

Totally agree! It is COMPLETELY a Romantic tragedy, with a Gothic sensibility. A truly fine novel, that still needs a proper film adaptation. As much as I love James Whale's version, it is lacking as a translation from the book. I won't even get started on Branaugh's version!

Guillaume said...

James Whale's version was indeed great, but it was a very free adaptation, sometimes barely an adaptation at all. I actually enjoyed Branagh's attempt, even though it was heavily flawed. It was too often more ridiculous than anything else. That said, making a faithful adaptation of the novel would be terribly difficult. This is different with Dracula: Stoker's novel could easily be adapted faithfully, yet for some reasons it has never been done.