This collection offers five outstanding Romanticists focusing on the nightmarish sleep into which Victor Frankenstein falls after seeing his creature take its first breaths in Mary Shelley's original novel of 1818. That dream, the dark side of Frankenstein's glorious daydreams about the future of humanity after his experiment, has been explored by several critics already, mostly on psychoanalytic and feminist grounds. Despite these rich interpretations, though, several dimensions—and some later adaptations—of that dream remain unexplained. These essays address those unresolved issues by dealing with several rarely explored aspects or echoes of Frankenstein's dream: its "abjection" of unresolved and interwoven ideological conflicts; the cultural links it reveals between sentimentality and sadism; the inescapable connection between "creation" and parody; the relationship between patriarchal societies and the fecal ejection of its actual foundations; and the ways in which Frankenstein on film echoes the movements and dissolves between images that overwhelm Victor at his most pre-conscious moment in the novel. Each of these new explorations also relates these parts of the dream to much wider contexts, not only in the novel itself, but in the history of modern Western culture.
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The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship. The Romantic Circles Praxis Series was formerly known as Romantic Praxis: Theory and Criticism. The name was changed in November 1999.
Jerrold E. Hogle is Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona. A Guggenheim and Mellon Fellow for research, he has published widely on Romantic poetry, literary and cultural theory, and the Gothic. He is even a Past President of the International Gothic Association. His books include Shelley's Process (Oxford UP), The Undergrounds of "The Phantom of the Opera" (St. Martin's/Palgrave), and The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction (Cambridge UP). His two previous essays on Frankenstein have both been reprinted and are most available in the Macmillan New Casebooks collection on Frankenstein, edited by Fred Botting, and in Romanticism, History, and the Possibilities of Genre, edited by Tilottama Rajan and Julia Wright (Cambridge UP). He is currently at work on a book entitled The Gothic Image in the Romantic Poem.
Anne Williams is a professor of English at the University of Georgia. She has published Prophet Strain: The Greater Lyric in the Eighteenth Century and Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic. She is working on a book-length manuscript, "Monstrous Pleasures": Gothic Operas from Horace Walpole to Horror Movies.
John Rieder is Professor of English at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He is the author of Wordsworth's Counterrevolutionary Turn: Community, Virtue, and Vision in the 1790s (1997), as well as essays on Percy Bysshe Shelley, the institutional and professional determinants of the concept of Romanticism and the Romantic canon, science fiction, nonsense poetry, horror cinema, and other topics.
Marc Redfield is Professor of English and holder of the John D. and Lillian Maguire Chair in the Humanities at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of The Politics of Aesthetics: Nationalism, Gender, Romanticism (2003), and Phantom Formations: Aesthetic Ideology and the Bildungsroman (1996); with Janet Brodie he has coedited High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (2002).