Second case study in the course (first being Blake)
Turning to a text that is produced in a more traditional manner already
aware of the problems introduced in the study of Blake
One of the reasons that Frankenstein is interesting when it comes to
editing issues is because of its questions of authorship
Scenario: Mary Shelly writes a draft, passes it to Percy who does edits and
then they seem to be passing it back and forth and collaborating
Culturally important text
Has to do with ideas of the cultural afterlife of a piece of writing
In the past few decades there has been editorial controversy between the
1818 and the 1831 edition (which should take precedent)
The 1831 edition is the widely received text
When people read Frankenstein what version are they thinking of?
Is Elizabeth Victor's cousin or not?
As a cultural text if we think about what an audience would want we have
to consider stage adaptions that were responsible for its growing popularity
The idea of the changes made in the adaptations -- they switched the
names of Henry and Victor
Invention of Igor who doesn't show up in the manuscript
If we consider the popular misunderstanding of who is Frankenstein it is
very telling of the relationship between Frankenstein and the Creature
'Frankenstein' has become its own word
The idea that the novel has the message: don't mess with things --seems
pretty unlikely considering Mary Shelly's family
Who is the real monster? What has made this creature into a monster?
As editors when we deal with the nitty gritty of text the larger issues are
Has passed into cultural mythology -- a western myth
•Gets to the root of the proper version of Frankenstein or giving the
audience what they need
•Problems to do with adaptation and changing from media to media -- is it
a reductive matter?