A Frankensteinian model for adaptation studies, or ‘It lives!’
Adaptive symbiosis and Peake’s Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein
in Adapting Frankenstein
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Frankenstein (1818/1823/1831) has a life of its own. It is perhaps our culture’s most adapted text, and also one of our most adaptable metaphors. Its mere mention conjures almost 200 years of versions, images, meanings, cautionary tales, and arguments. Specifically, the Creature has been used as a metaphor for a motherless child, technology run amok, and a vast number of out-of-control Others. And adaptation theory can be added to the metaphoric cultural possibilities of the Frankenstein trope. This chapter argues for the productivity of a Frankensteinian model for adaptation studies, a reading strategy that shifts away from notions of fidelity in order to systematically account for the productive work of intertextuality in the act of adaptation.

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