Mary Shelley – Frankenstein’s Creator

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein’s Creator by Joan Kane Nichols

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4 stars

This is an amazing theory book about the well-known story about Frankenstein. Very thorough and detailed, and perfect to use for ideas to your academic paper or a great brain storm on the monster myth.

I dearly recommend it for everyone who has been/or is interested and fascinated by the monster myth that is clearly seen in Frankenstein. There are many interesting details about historical and sociological circumstances in this specific time period, when Mary Shelley wrote her novel. Furthermore, there is info on Mary Shelley’s life and authorship, so it gets easier for the reader to understand which factors influenced her writing.

It also deals with the clash of religion and science which is indirectly dealt with in the novel, symbolism, metaphors and what the monster represent in the telling. I could go on.
It’s too easy to get intrigued when reading this behind-the-novel-book.

“Mary Shelley – Frankenstein’s Creator”, specifically chapter 12: ‘The Monster and His Maker’ deals with

  1. Mary Shelley’s own authorship, and I was fascinated by how one could see Shelley in the two different characters.
  2. Besides that the source covers the historical circumstances which Mary Shelley lived in, and it focuses on how science and religion began to clash, due to new scientific discoveries and constructions.

The novel may contain autobiographical features, in this case, Mary Shelley’s relationship with Percy Bysshe Shelley (her later husband), who became her lover when she was only 16 years old. Due to the fact that they were not married, the citizens of her town treated her as an outcast – like the monster itself. The question now is how much of Mary Shelley has been reflected in the character of the monster? Or in the character of Victor? Like the monster Mary Shelley had lost her mother and was rejected by her father; she was self-educated and a kind person. Of course the monster’s kindness almost changes, and is at the end of the novel non-existent.

One might think that Mary Shelley could identify herself with the monster and the treatment it was exposed to. It is easy for us readers to simply interpret the character of the monster as evil, but maybe it was never Mary Shelley’s intention, when she wrote the novel? It is more likely that she believed that every human being is born as an innocent creature, but is corrupted and made evil by its surroundings and bad experiences throughout life. Maybe it’s a matter of subjectivity, but when reading the novel, my view on the monster changes. Although, he becomes more evil as the plot develops, there were several times when I stopped and wondered why I felt sorry for him and pitied him, instead of being scared. If we live vicariously through Mary Shelley’s words, it is again his surroundings’ fault and not his own fault that he turns out this way. It is a matter of nurture, rather than nature.

 One could argue that this novel represent the fall of man-kind like in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”? Is there a hidden morale in this story of not acting like God, when you are only a simple man? Is this really an indirect comment on genesis and the fact that Adam and Eve could not leave the apple alone? Somehow this clash of religion and science does not seem to create a dilemma for the character, Victor. Although he sees himself as a Christian man and true believer, he does not question and regret his unethical actions when stealing bodies for the use of scientific discoveries. One might say that he sees his actions as God-inspired and that he does not feel that he breaks any Christian laws.

If you are interested in the monster myth and want to know more, this source is also relevant:

Frankenstein’s Shadow – Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-century Writing by Chris Baldick

Solen er også en stjerne

Solen er også en stjerne af Nicola Yoon

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five-stars

Tak til Forlaget Carlsen for anmeldereksemplaret!

Solen er også en stjerne af Nicola Yoon er en udgivelse, som jeg har gået og glædet mig til i lang tid. Jeg var vild med Alt eller intet og efter at have læst den i marts i 2016, så vidste jeg, at noget havde ændret sig. Alt eller intet var særlig og ændrede mit forhold til litteraturen, hvordan jeg tænkte om den og hvordan jeg havde det med den – og absolut, til det bedre!

Jeg troede, at tingene havde ændret sig og turde derfor ikke forvente for meget af Solen er også en stjerne, da jeg modtog den med posten og så det smukke cover. Men yeah well, hvad kan man sige? Den væltede mig simpelthen omkuld!

Jeg vil ikke dykke for meget ned i læsningen og afsløre alt, for jeg synes, at du som heldig læser skal have lov til at se historien folde sig ud på siderne foran dig. Plottet foregår i løbet af en enkel dag. Natasha og Daniel møder hinanden ved et tilfælde eller er det mon skæbnen?

De kunne ikke være mere forskellige. Natasha tror på videnskaben og ikke romantik. Daniel vil gerne være digter og lade drømmene tale, men grundet forældrenes pres, er det svært at give sig hen. Da de møder hinanden ændrer verden pludselig, men ingen omkring dem ser det. De fantastiske øjeblikke sker kun imellem dem. Deres egen hemmelighed.

 

”Hun kigger op fra sine ødelagte hovedtelefoner. Da vores blikke mødes, får jeg en slags deja-vu, men det føles ikke, som om jeg gentager noget fra fortiden, mere som om jeg oplever noget, der kommer til at ske i fremtiden. Jeg ser vores alderdom. Jeg kan ikke se vores ansigter. Jeg ved hverken, hvor eller hvornår det sker. Men jeg får en underlig lykkefølelse, jeg ikke helt kan beskrive”

Karaktererne er skønne og er virkelig godt udført fra forfatterens side af. Man kommer hurtigt til at holde af dem og lære dem at kende gennem deres personligheder og livsfilosofier. Synsvinklen skifter for hvert kapitel, hvilket fungerer rigtig godt, og desuden er romanen fyldt med tankevækkende passager om livet, kærlighed, venskab, familie, tvivl og meget meget mere. Der er desuden ”mindre” karakterer, som kommer til at spille en rolle, og det virker rigtig godt i praksis.

Jeg er en læser, som aldrig græder over bøger. Det var en utrolig anderledes oplevelse, for jeg var grædefærdig, da jeg læste den sidste side, og ikke fordi det er en sørgelig bog. Jeg græd, fordi det var én af de smukkeste læseoplevelser, som jeg nogensinde har haft. Romanen var noget helt særligt og den har nu gemt sig i det inderste af mit hjerte. Det bliver svært for mine kommende læseplaner at overgå denne her. Wow, hvor chokerede det mig altså, hvor god den virkelig var. Den var enkel og dyb på én og samme tid – og så, så ufattelig smuk!

Nicola Yoon er en fantastisk forfatter og har skabt et mesterværk af en roman.

Author interview # K.V. Dominic

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

K. V. DOMINIC

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READ THE REVIEW OF Essential Reading & Study Guide

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  1. Mention three fun facts that your fans maybe don’t know about you
    I do not feel at home in the company of strangers and prefers to be lonely. 2. I have always been a slow coach in writing the examinations and could not complete answering all questions from the school final exam. till M. Phil. 3. I who am a lover of crows, who feed them every day and have written a poem in praise of it, have been hunted by a particular crow in my outings from home and had to use an umbrella to protect my head.

 

  1. When did you know that you wanted to become an author?

In 2004 when I started writing poems one after another and got published in our college teachers’ association’s monthly journal College Teacher.



3. How long have you been writing? And what started it?

I have been writing for 12 years now. The immediate cause was the tragic death of my colleague and the demise of my State’s admirable Chief Minister. I wrote two elegies on them in 2004. They are the first two poems of the book K. V. Dominic Essential Readings and Study Guide.

  1. Who discovered you?  (Did you contact publishing houses? How was the process?)

Mr. Sudarshan Kcherry, the great philosopher cum publisher of the renowned Authorspress, New Delhi motivated me. I sent the first book’s draft to him and he was much impressed. Then one after another five collections of poems came from his publishing house.

5. How many books have you published (so far)? And which genre?

I have published 30 books—seven poetry books (five in English and one each in Hindi and Gujarati), and others research books and edited books.


6. What themes appeal to you as a poet?

Social themes such as religious harmony, poverty, corruption, suffering, human cruelty, mafia crime, old age problem of aloofness, misappropriation of money, haves and have-nots, problems of the handicapped, female foeticide, the evil of dowry, disparity, unemployment and neglect of intellect in India, dignity of labour, service unto God, maternity, beauty, elegies on death of human beings and cats, multiculturalism, child labour, problems of women, transgender, philosophical and metaphysical themes, nature and environment, and several other themes.

  1. What inspires you to write? Which authors have inspired you? (Music, art, things in life?)

Miseries of poor, marginalized and downtrodden people, exploitations, social evils, environment and nature, philosophic musings etc. inspire me to write. The Romantic and Victorian poets, T. S. Eliot, Nissim Ezekiel, Robert Frost, Tagore, R. K. Narayan, Gandhi, Nehru, Jayanta Mahapatra and several others have inspired me.

8. What is the message of your book? How should the reader interpret it?

Love all creations of God-human beings, non human beings and all lifeless objects of this universe. Do harm to none and try your best to protect them.

9. What are you currently reading?

The Buddha and His teachings by Narada Maha Thera

10.  Mention 3 book titles that you wish to recommend

The Mahabharata (many books are there in English), A Critical Survey of Indo-English Poetry by T. V. Reddy (New Delhi: Authorspress, 2016), English Poetry in India: A Comprehensive Survey of Trends and Thought Patterns by PCK Prem (New Delhi: Authorspress, 2011).

11. When is your next book going to be published?

By the middle of the year 2017.

Links:
Website
Blog
Poetic Book Tours

Essential Reading & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic

Essential Reading & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic

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3-stars

Thanks to Poetic Book Tours!

Essential Reading & Study Guide is written by K.V. Dominic. The poetry collection is described as the following: “poems about social justice, women’s right and the environment.

There is no doubt that this interesting and fascinating poetry collection circles around factors, such as culture, socio-culture and modern society right now. It is very relevant and deals with current issues, e.g. tsunami, poverty, terrorism (which are all mentioned in the poetry collection).

What really captivated me, while I was reading the poems, was the insight of current culture. I love to travel and there is definitely so much to learn when traveling other countries, meeting new people and being introduced to new cultures, and traditions. Many of the descriptions were very vivid and sensuous, which made it so honest and beautiful. On the other hand, many of the observations were also very sad and brutal. This dualism truly shows itself in the work, which is an interesting aspect.

 

“Is human species so belligerent and destructive?
Aren’t the masses peace lovers, benevolent and compassionate?
Why then such a huge waste for defence unnecessary?
Why create tension at the borders?
A means to divert subjects’ attention
and muffle mass’ protest against corruption?”

As mentioned before, the poetry collection deals with many factors, but what I liked the most was the way K.V. Dominic achieves to make human-kind, faith and hope, his main issues. It is what I remember when thinking back of this literary work.

It sets the mind going whether or not Dominic is in fact questioning human-kind. Does the poetry collection show criticism or is it rather a heads-up to stay positive and be kind to one another?

“Om, the birth-cry of this world;
the very first sound echoing everywhere;
the rhythm of all creations;
from atoms to stars
Om goes on ringing.
Combination of three letters,
representing Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma,
and meaning Brahman.
Father of all mantras;
past and future live in this sound.”

While presenting a poetry collection written in free verse, which sets its focus on contemporary issues, e.g. politics, inequality and human kind, there are many questions to wonder about. So, while reading these wonderful poems, there are still time to stop and reflect upon the written words. The essential reading and the study guide questions for students are also a really interesting feature, which I am sure, many will enjoy.

In conclusion, K.V. Dominic has created a literary piece, which is thought-provoking and interesting, which questions many aspects of life. Perhaps it will give us the courage to stop and breath – and reflect.

A History of Western Society since Thirteen Hundred Eighth Editionplus Western Civilization Atlas Second Edition

A History of Western Society since Thirteen Hundred Eighth Editionplus Western Civilization Atlas Second Edition by John P. McKay & McKay Hill Butler

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“A History of Western Society since Thirteen Hundred” by John P. McKay is an interesting historical source which gives the reader the chance to learn more about the history of the Western Society, how America was created and which factors had an influence, e.g. the emigration from Europe to what we now call America.

In the 1600s, Britain began its further expansion into the new world. Many “ordinary” people wanted to leave their home because of e.g. famine, religious persecution and poverty, and pursue the “American dream” because of the opportunities of survival and the possibility of becoming rich because land in the new world was given to the settlers, almost for free, which meant that practically everyone could own a piece of land and have their own farm.  Especially after the successful “Seven-year war” from 1756 to 1763, Great Britain established itself as a naval power with an economy which depended much on the Empire and had several naval bases e.g. in Gibraltar, Malta and Cape of Good Hope. Until the end of the 18th century the English-speaking population in the world lived in the British Empire, but after 1776 the greatest part of the English-speaking world consisted of Great Britain and an independent American confederation.

The population of English North America grew from 265.000 in the beginning of the eighteenth century to 2.300.000 in 1776, and after the thirteen states became independent, they formed their own institutions and this can be considered as the basis of the American English language that we know today.

 

Verdenshistoriens største epidemier

Verdenshistoriens største epidemier af Jakob Eberhardt

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4-stars

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”Verdenshistoriens største epidemier” er en fagbog, som er skrevet af Jakob Eberhardt. Bogen præsenterer blandt andet følgende sygdomme: pest, kopper, tyfus, kolera, tuberkulose, malaria, AIDS etc. Sygdommene præsenteres kronologisk og beskriver derfor også verdenshistoriens udvikling, og andre historiske begivenheder og ændringer, som fandt sted.

Samtidig med at man lærer om utallige, frygtelige sygdomme, så får man også et indblik i verdenshistorien. For den lærte er det spændende, og for den ulærte giver det kendskab og en ny forståelse til verden – og hvordan den er blevet til.

Bogen sætter tanker i gang om de sociale og historiske omstændigheder, som har fundet sted. Samtidig med at det er tydeligt at se, hvordan verden konstant har været i udvikling. Et spændende element er det yderligere fokus på menneskets evne til at overleve. Menneskeheden er skrøbeligt og har lidt under disse epidemier, men det viser sig, at videnskabens indtog har bidraget med vacciner, forskning og medicin, som kan være et skridt i den rigtige retning mod at udrydde sygdommene.

Samtidig med at denne fagbog overskueligt præsenterer et udvalg af kapitler, som hver fokuserer på en specifik sygdom, så gøres det også med en professionalisme, som smitter af på læselysten. Man vil gerne vide mere om disse frygtelige sygdomme, som havde stor indflydelse for menneskene (naturligvis!). Man ser desuden hvordan visse aspekter af verdenshistorien har ændret sig grundet disse sygdomme.

Desuden er det en flot bog, som byder på flotte billeder, fakta, årstal, statistik og infobokse. Den er overskuelig og emnerne, der præsenteres er fordelt i afsnit, som gør det overskueligt for læseren og nemt at finde lige præcis det, som man gerne vil lære mere om.

Author interview # Seth Steinzor

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

SETH STEINZOR

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READ THE REVIEW OF Among the Lost

  1. Mention three fun facts that your fans maybe don’t know about you.

Passing over the peculiar and thrilling notion that I have fans… I am an avid do-it-yourselfer.  Much of the furniture in my house was made by me in my basement, and at this moment in my spare room three shoe-box size blocks of dried cooked mashed soybeans are hanging from the ceiling as part of the year long process of making Korean fermented soybean paste, doenjang, while a gallon crock of fermented hot pepper paste, gochujang, sits bubbling way in my kitchen window.  When the gochujang is done Ill make some kim chi.  Last winter I built a kayak in my living room.

I love historical fiction.  My favorite recreational reading is Patrick O’Brian’s series of novels about the Napoleonic era British navy, starring Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.

On the several days a year in Vermont when the temperature is above 50 and it’s not raining, I ride a motorcycle.

  1. When did you know that you wanted to become an author?

I always have been a writer, since I first learned how to use a pencil.  I don’t think I fully, consciously embraced this until I was in my later thirties, however, about the time that my first child was born, when I wrote my first book.  Until then, it was just something I did.  Wanting to be an author is of course implicit in being a writer, so I could say I’ve always had that ambition.  But it emerged from the realm of fantasy and daydream in my late thirties.  I couldn’t say that any one event sparked this evolution, but I know when it crystallized.  My wife and I visited a past lives reader in Chittenden, Vermont.  It was an amazing experience.  Do I believe in past lives, and that this medium told me about actual past lives of my own?  Not literally.  And she didn’t tell me, “You will write books,” either.  But something about the experience catalyzed that part of me.

  1. How long have you been writing? And what started it?

I cannot remember a time when writing was not part of my identity.  I think I was born with it.  My parents both were creative people – my father was a potter and my mother was a weaver – and when I was small I got a lot of attention for my precocious verbal ability.  For example, I was using “who” and “whom” appropriately when I was 8.  So these things must have come together in some way and started me off.

  1. Who discovered you? (Did you contact publishing houses? How was the process?)

The process of finding a publisher was lengthy, expensive, and frustrating.  You spend a lot of money on postage and “contest” fees, sending manuscripts to every publishing house you can identify that might conceivably have an interest in what you’ve written and many that don’t.  Most of the time you don’t even get the courtesy of a reply.  Once in a while I’d get a rejection slip that indicated the editor actually had read at least some of the work, and that was vastly encouraging.  Finally, Rennie McQuilkin of Antrim House responded to one of my query letters with an invitation to send him my book.  He loved To Join the Lost, the first volume in the trilogy of which Among the Lost is the second, but worried that Antrim House might not be able to handle the project.  We had an exaggerated idea of the sales that might be expected for a first poetry book by an unknown author with an extremely limited publication record.  Rennie encouraged me to continue looking for a larger publishing house.  I did so for a year, with no luck, and then returned to Rennie.  I am so glad I did!  He is a wonderful poet and a fantastic editor.

  1. How many books have you published (so far)?  And which genre?

Among the Lost is my second publication.  Both of my books are narrative poems.  After Antrim House published To Join the Lost, the novelist Marc Estrin and Donna Bister, friends of mine who live near me in Vermont, founded a publishing house, Fomite Press.  Marc had been an admirer of my project for a long time, and he began to talk with me about having Fomite do my next book.  I was torn for some time between staying with Antrim House and the wonderful Mr. McQuilkin, on the one hand, and working with Marc, a friend and neighbor, on the other.  It was thrilling to have two publishers simultaneously willing to handle my work!  Eventually it became clear that due to other demands on him Rennie, although willing to publish Among the Lost, would not be available as my editor.  That tipped the balance in favor of Fomite.

  1. Why this story? What made you choose this specific theme?

I have loved Dante’s great epic since high school.  It is more comprehensive, profound, and beautiful than any other work of literature that I know of.  I wanted to show people what I see in it.  As a poet, my way of showing something to somebody is to plunk myself down in the middle of it and describe what I see.  So that is what I decided to do with Dante’s Comedia.

  1. What inspires you to write?  Which authors have inspired you?  (Music, art, things in life?)

I have a need to explain and describe things.  I want to be understood, and to have my relationship to things understood.  When this need and desire are motivated by strong feeling, poetry results.  It could be on any subject.  I’ve written poems about tea, trees, weather, deaths, politics, emotional states, fantastic visions, my son playing soccer when he was small, changing diapers, sex… anything.

  1. What is the message of your book?  How should the reader interpret it?

When I am asked questions like this, I like to quote Edward Hopper, the great American artist, who (perhaps apocryphally) said, “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”  If I could tell you the message of my book in this format, there would be no reason for me to have written some 5,000 lines of poetry.  But that also feels like a bit of a cop out.  Among the Lost plays with the relationships among several themes: the conglomerate nature of individual identity; how we are rooted in compassion; how compassion like identity is rooted in our physical being.  All this like a palimpsest laid over a structure and themes borrowed from Dante’s Purgatorio. The reader should interpret it in whatever way is useful and fun.

  1. How do you identify with the persona(s) in your book?

The main character in the trilogy is a middle-aged guy named Seth who has had a lot of the same life experiences as me, so it would be easy to read the work as somehow autobiographical. It also would be wrong.  The nature of the project demanded that I follow Dante’s model in important respects, one of which is that the Comedia purports to be about a guy named Dante who has had a lot of the same life experiences as Mr. Alighieri.  But there is a big difference between drawing on one’s life in order to write, and writing about one’s life.  This is not the book I would have written if it were intended to be a memoir, and I am sure that Dante would have said the same of his work, had the concept of a personal memoir existed in fourteenth century Florence.  (He was groping towards that in the Vita Nuova, but that’s another story!)  There is a sometimes very thin but all-important veil between me and the Seth in the book.  He is in the book, and the book is in me.  I think that I am in some ways smarter than he is, but he is more adventurous and adaptable.  I admire his clear sense of himself and what he believes, firm and at the same time flexible.  Sometimes he surprises me.

  1. What are you currently reading?

Patrick O’Brian’s 21-volume saga about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the British navy during the Napoleonic era, for the umpteenth time.  It never gets old.  Just finished Sharon Olds’ delightful Odes.

  1. Mention three book titles that you wish to recommend.

Okay, I’m going to skip over the obvious, which would be Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso by D. Alighieri.  Although, really, they are all you need.  I’ll count the 21 volumes of O’Brian’s sea story as one title, and I’ll recommend Sharon Olds’ jeu d’esprit Odes for the second.  For the third, The Singing Neanderthals by Steven Mithen. You’ll never think about language music and consciousness the same way again.

  1. When is your next book going to be published?

Not for a longish time.  I am working on the third and final book in the series, and it is proving to be the hardest of the three.  The first two took about fifteen years, altogether.

Links:
Website
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