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The limits of comedy
Robert Duggan

’s Victor Frankenstein discovers, assembling a body from disparate parts seems to lead inevitably to grotesque monstrosity. Amis’s description of Fat Lol in the short story ‘State of England’ (1998, first published 1996) is grotesque both in its comparison of the human body to cooked fatty food (where both the body and the food are rendered repellent by the likeness) and in its echo of grotesque portraits such as those of Arcimboldo, particularly The Cook (circa 1570): Fat Lol was what he ate. More than this, Fat Lol was what he was eating. And he was eating, for his

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
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Helena Ifill

hanged for forging his signature, an event Mannion believes initiated his own exclusion from respectable society (p.  182). In retaliation, Mannion first consummates his illicit relationship with Margaret (in Basil’s hearing), and then vows to persecute Basil 33 34 Self-control, willpower and monomania by following him to the ends of the earth, systematically destroying any social standing he may manage to achieve. In what reads as a near parodic reversal of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818, a novel that Collins knew and enjoyed as a young man4) Mannion, already

in Creating character
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Romanticism, the sublime and poetic ignorance
Andrew Bennett

to the Faust narrative, as articulated in Marlowe’s seventeenth-century drama or in Goethe’s early nineteenth-century reworking of the story – as they are in the tradition of the Prometheus myth, which culminates in a novel about the seductions and dangers of hubristic scientific discovery in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . And such an anxiety of knowing is central to the larger gothic tradition that is exemplified, for example, in the epistemophobic orientalism of William Beckford’s Vathek (1780), or, rather differently, in the structurally perverse anti

in Ignorance
Passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
Sinéad Moynihan

Pafology is ‘a failed conception, an unformed fetus … a hand without fingers, a word with no vowels’ (p. 289), the gynaecological metaphors reinforced by the text-within-a-text presentation of Fuck. Ultimately, My Pafology, as embodied by Stagg R. Leigh, becomes Monk’s grotesque offspring, his monster to Monk’s Frankenstein. Such gothic import is suggested when Monk’s agent, Yul, admits after reading My Pafology: ‘This thing scares me’ (p. 151). The evocation of death, suicide and murder alongside the act of writing foreshadows Monk’s subsequent fear that in

in Passing into the present
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Rethinking closure in the Victorian novel
Vybarr Cregan-Reid

than how these texts might circulate and function culturally. See Peter Rabinowitz, ‘Reading Beginnings and Endings,’ Narrative Dynamics: Essays on Plot, Time, Closure, and Frames, ed. Brian Richardson (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2002). Sally Shuttleworth, George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science: the Make-Believe of a Beginning (Cambridge University Press, 1984). Levine, Boundaries of Fiction; Levine, Darwin and the Novelists: Patterns of Science in Victorian Fiction; George Levine, The Realistic Imagination: English Fiction from Frankenstein to Lady

in Discovering Gilgamesh
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John Thieme

, Babu, is an admirer of Shirley Temple and Frankenstein (DR 31)66 and Shanta Bai models her manner on Greta Garbo – the two films that actually figure in the text are products of the Madras-based Tamil film industry. They serve as vehicles for contrasting the two main female characters and underscoring the main themes of the novel. At different points in the action Ramani takes both Savitri and Shanta Bai to see modern-day South Indian reworkings of stories from the ancient epics. He takes Savitri to Kuchela,67 the story of a ‘classmate’ (DR 27)68 of Krishna, who

in R.K. Narayan
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Eileen Fauset

ambivalence associated with the heroine, Sybil, is safely imbued in her opposite figure, Blanche. Conversely, Sybil is a manifestation of Blanche’s lost innocence. The sense of ‘otherness’ or doubling in nineteenth-century literature has been well documented with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and R. L. Stevenson’s Jeckyll and Hyde (1886) as obvious examples. In a discussion on literary doubling Marina Warner makes the comment that ‘the metamorphic beings who issue from you, or whom you project or somehow generate, may be unruly, unbidden, disobedient selves inside you

in The politics of writing
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John Kinsella

minds of most Australians, preventing a free appreciation of nature.’7 I’d add that the clogging is to do with the complex of the unified self, the desire for agency, for capitalist security and related gain, for privilege over the indigenous in order to Frankenstein’s-monster themselves into primacy. Ingamells’s wish is to replace European ‘thought-idiom’ with a ‘suitable thought-idiom’ to break down inhibition and to ‘release’ Australian culture, to make it ‘exist’. He would be its prophet, of course – the prophet of the new figurative language of ‘his’ (‘our

in Polysituatedness