August 30 is Mary Shelley’s birthday and it’s also celebrated as World Frankenstein Day. The publication of her masterpiece—which began as a ghost story written to entertain her fellow guests during a rainy country house party—continues to inspire readers, writers, filmmakers and other artists all over the world.
The issues at the core of the story—locating line between science & magic, the responsibility of the creator to his/her creation, mortality, internal & external beauty, what it means to be human/what it means to be a god, and free will versus fate, are as relevant in the 21st century as they were in Mary Shelley’s day.
If you’ve never read the original, I recommend that you give it a try. It’s a stunning piece of fiction and, although it inspired many writers, most of the familiar Frankenstein tales diverge dramatically from Mary Shelley’s story.
The battle between creator and creation is a wild ride; the monster’s desire to have a “mate” gets to the heart of what it means to be alone; and the monster’s interactions with people amount to a morality tale pitting a beautiful soul/mind against the value of a beautiful exterior. There’s a great deal there and most of it doesn’t appear in the classic monster movies.
Let’s celebrate BOTH halves of the Frankenstein legacy—the classic monster movies AND the story that started it all!
Please share your Frankenstein thoughts, memories and plans for World Frankenstein Day…
And be sure to enter the Working Werewolves Contest, too. The deadline is September 1.