I do not remember how the novel Frankenstein affected me when I read it in my late teens. If I remember right, I found the book rather boring tho’ the concept fascinated me. I finished reading it two hours. I remember this ‘cos I started and finished it during the course of a short train journey. My reading speed is pathetically slow, so I must have hopped, skipped and jumped thru’ it.
My second encounter with that novel was last week. How time can change people, perspectives! Found it terribly depressing but, to use vernacularised English, a thoroughly 'unputdownable' book.
What fascinated me about the novel is the contemporaneous yet antediluvian nature of the theme. It’s about knowledge – man’s hunger for it. Not normal, natural, healthy hunger; but about gluttony.
Man is a glutton for knowledge. He has always been that. No cure for this disorder.
It caused Adam to be driven out of Paradise; Icarus to plunge headlong into disaster; Faust to a four and twenty years of utter misery before he was dragged to hell.
But it is when I read this novel last week that I saw the torture of a mind weighed down by the guilt of misusing knowledge, and letting loose on mankind a destructive superhuman monster. How beautifully Mary Shelley describes the agony of Victor Frankenstein! It’s so real. So very real. As tho’ the thoughts, feelings, fears, anxieties, depression, apprehensions, terror, the infinite sadness, the withdrawal from life and the inability to celebrate life, parade before our mind’s eye. They are all there, visible, for us to see and feel and touch!
The story of the monster’s predicament also is an infinitely touching tale. He never asked to be created. Poor creature!
Will human clones become a reality? Sends shivers down the spine!
Einstein must have felt terrible when his formula translated into bombs.
Future seems inhabited by nightmarish dehumanized monsters. Monsters or men? Confused identities.
No more millennium dreams. Goodness, truth, beauty. Lion and the lamb enjoying each others company.
Foolish to have dreamed.