Germaine Greer on Frankenstein

Germaine Greer, in "The Guardian", gets stuck into an upcoming book, The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein, which is published in the US next month. "The latest sensation to galvanise the torpid lit-hist-crit establishment is the 'discovery' by market research analyst John Lauritsen that Mary Shelley did not write Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus (to give the novel its full title)." As Greer puts it, "The logic goes something like this: Frankenstein is a masterpiece; masterpieces are not written by self-educated girls and therefore Frankenstein cannot have been written by Mary Shelley. If Frankenstein is not a masterpiece, the thesis collapses." And then goes on to show that: "The driving impulse of this incoherent tale is a nameless female dread, the dread of gestating a monster. Monsters are not simply grossly deformed foetuses. Every mass murderer, every serial killer, the most sadistic paedophile has a mother, who cannot disown him."

Greer's conclusion is that Frankenstein is not a masterpiece, that it could only have been written by a young, inexperienced novelist, and that the author had to be Mary Shelley. Simple really.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 10, 2007 9:56 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #59 - An Open Swimmer by Tim Winton was the previous entry in this blog.

Reviews of Australian Books #50 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en