Farewell, Frankenstein

This is why I’m terrified to apply to go back to school: because I sit around for 11 hours coming up with muck like this FOR FUN! I’m pretty sure that I’m not making the world a better place…

Intro – Early bio of PBS and MWS, their relationship up until then

Thesis – structure exists purely to send msg to audience = husband, and is largely ineffective, from all biographical notes. She couldn’t have done it otherwise…MS used the structure to draw attention to comparable Coleridge, and deduce details from there, that her husband should have noticed.

  1. Positive views of relationship/love/PBS as person (not poet/politician) –
    1. Relationship of Walton/Frankenstein vs MWS/PBS
    2. Relationship bw fiction-world/real-world vs Understanding/Fancy
    3. marriage
  2. Positive view of romanticism à romantic/poetic ideals, to real life/Coleridge
  3. Negatives, the narrative as criticism of PBS/Byron

Conclusion – effect on captain’s own life/PBS as regretful/apologetic/warning/MWS as apprehensive about PBS & Byron & children own ends, i.e., looking into future.

Poetry curse of poetry / F’s creation of monster / Mariner curse


analogous silent seas
ghost ship analogous (prostitute = love w/o love) to Frankenstein AND monster on sleds

impetus, ability to choose—kill the bird w/no reason, mont blanc of shelley, frankenstein doesn’t choose what to do in 1831—in 1818 he has the choice, MS criticizes him FOR CHOOSING, but in 1831 she doesn’t want to believe that he had a choice. SHe’s justifying his not paying attention to her when he was alive.

“unthinking” (radley, p58) / Impetus-ability to choose

Balance bw understanding and fancy

Interruptions of a world not imaginative (Radley 58) [while you’re writing poetry, there’s real shit going on] in ‘Mariner’ being what’s unimportang, what’s not ‘really real’—the world of understanding—whereas it’s the world of understanding that (Radley 131) needs to exist w/sublime.

Albatross (radley 61) “emblematic in a very complex way of man’s inhumanity to man, and of man’s rejection of love” (62, release from the silent sea, external isolation, external penance)

Misumi: The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

I’ve been in a rut lately. We both have. I suspect it has something to do with that quarter-life crisis everyone’s going through. There’s so much potential for action that always seems to manifest itself in decisive inaction. Shopping for dishes, putting books in thematic order, wondering how two people can create such an enormous pile of laundry, beginning and ending each day with a bowl of cereal. We have no idea where to turn, how to take another step.

I practiced music for seven hours yesterday. Mostly bass, but some piano and guitar, cramming Led Zeppelin as fast as I can. And about six hours into it my fingers suddenly came alive in a way that they haven’t done in perhaps a decade now, with a speed I remember having as a teen, but lost when I stopped performing. My fingertips aren’t blistered either. But we have a show tomorrow night and I’m terrified to put in any more time practicing today, an hour and a half, really pushing myself with strength and speed exercises, so scared that I’ll wake up to stiff fingers. Monday afternoon and evening I spent 11 hours working on a paper with my cousin, a paper on the structure of Frankenstein. It doesn’t take long before I’m pacing around expounding on “Mont Blanc” versus “Ancient Mariner” and Coleridge’s “high imagination” as Mary Shelley’s enemy, on some balance between this and that and trying to find busywork for my cousin before he throws me out at 1am, promising to paraphrase the paper I wrote for him and to return all my library books. I would love to be a student or a professor or something in academics, because I know I can sit there writing papers and feeling like it’s a game of rummy cue.

And then I’m stuck wondering if I should do the dishes, finish this beer, read for fifteen more minutes, practice, or what? I finished up all my medications for this sinus infection today, but I screwed up the schedule of steroids, prednisone, and I think I’m paying for it, I can’t tell, my instinctive solution to anything and everything is to drink a Red Bull and see what happens. I’m seeing what happens.

Before I began watching samurai-sorts of films, I assumed, as I expect most people do, that samurai films are like any other action or martial-arts sort of movie. They’re not. And here’s why: because there’s no action. Newer films like Kill Bill are at times true to this by dispatching speedily the fights with the greatest buildup. So Zatoichi carries this martial minimalism to a degree that could probably only be surpassed by sleeping characters dying peacefully. It’s the tale of a blind swordsman. He’s not a samurai, so there’s none of that pesky baggage of masters, ex-masters, shame, etc. to get beyond. He’s just an oafish blind guy who stumbles around like Mr. Magoo, gets himself into silly situations, and then kills everyone. Oh, and he also a real heartbreaker. The point is, the swords are beside the point. The main character has no objectives, conflicts are resolved via invisible violence, and you’re stuck with 90 minutes of morally ambiguous character-development.

novel: Lewis: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

This is the third book of the Narnia series. It seems that it will be the last of which the original main characters take part, which leaves me a bit sad, because I took a great liking to Lucy instantly, despite her being the one with the most blind faith. Of course, all of the characters are idiots for not pointing out that Aslan bears a resemblance to Jesus. Maybe they’ve never been to church before. One of the arguments against Harry Potter, as I recall, was that it acknowledges supernatural powers aside from god, which don’t, of course exist, which makes it throughly heretical. The bible, on the other hand, doesn’t say such things don’t exist, but merely demands that they do not be used, I mean, that it’s wrong to raise spirits from the dead, and that it’s wrong to worship the other gods. Which is why I like the beliefs that include the other gods, so that the story goes that Jesus banished the Roman pantheon, and Venus went and hid in a mountain, etc. etc. Lewis, because the Christians know him to be one of their only supporters given credit by non-Christians thus should be able to do no wrong. He’s yet criticized for including mythical creatures in his work, including Bacchus. Any heavy-handedness is very brief, and his occasional asides and observations also very funny. The narrator makes clear which questions one should not worry about, that is, which questions he has no intention of answering, which keeps things moving along better than, say, Lord of the Rings, which has far more information and dead ends than anyone could make sense of (hence the endless tomes of further explanation). This is a classic “voyage” work, like the Odyssey or Gulliver’s Travels, in which the characters go from strange land to strange land and have many adventures. The difference between those works named above and Lewis’ is that Lewis allows his Aslan to keep the characters in line throughout the whole voyage. Inescapable terrors, dangers, tiffs, and slight moral questions are all set right by Aslan, which helps keep the plot from becoming too complicated, and also allows his ingenuity to be placed entirely in inventing magical delights and settings, and not having to bother figuring out how to save his characters. He even throws in Coleridge’s albatross for good measure, and though I was quite sure someone would shoot it, Lewis shows what would happen to a crew who let the albatross live. So they survive. This work was also more engaging than the previous, which was in turn more so than its previous.

My only question from the first book was this: if the children reach adulthood in Narnia, and then return back to our world as children, does that mean Lucy has to deal with menarche twice?