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Frankenstein in new media

textuality, new media identities, and the boundaries of the human offered by an engagement with digital frameworks for storytelling. This is in addition to the great extent to which the themes pursued in the text resonate with contemporary concerns around biotechnology, genetic modification, and the threat of a posthuman future. Shelley Jackson’s CD-ROM-based multimedia work Patchwork Girl, by Mary/Shelley and Herself (1995), composed and published in the early days of hypertext enthusiasm, is an early new media work that grapples with Shelley’s novel and its themes

in Adapting Frankenstein
Mary Shelley’s motivic novel as adjacent adaptation

adapted text itself. According to Shelley’s introduction to the third edition of Frankenstein (1831), she consciously sought secondary source material in her efforts to construct her ‘original’ contribution to Lord Byron’s famous ‘ghost story contest’ of 1816. Drawing from a number of inspirations, Shelley crafted her story as a deliberate adaptation, one that ‘must be linked to something that went before’ (167). In a process notably similar to that undertaken by her fictional Victor Frankenstein, Shelley’s creative effort became one of invention and organisation

in Adapting Frankenstein
Frankenstein meets H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Herbert West – Reanimator’

identity and the relationships of the ‘I’ to the ‘not-I’, of subject to object, of self to world, and of self to body. And, in a cultural moment saturated with zombie imagery, the animate corpse finally asks us what it means to be human at all (on the ontological questions raised by zombies, see Cohen’s ‘Undead’ and McRobert’s ‘Shoot Everything’). Interestingly, at the same moment in which zombies have achieved unprecedented cultural prominence, these questions of the relationships of self to non-self and of the animate to the inanimate are

in Adapting Frankenstein
Frankenstein, neo-Victorian fiction, and the palimpsestuous literary past

‘conventions of narrative, of reference, of the inscribing of subjectivity, of [their] identity as textuality, and even of [their] implication in ideology’ (106). A neo-Victorian novel might recreate a version of Victorian London, Manchester, or Birmingham that captures the past with great historical accuracy, 3 but its primary motivation in doing so would be ‘an essentially revisionist impulse to reconstruct the past by questioning the certitude of our historical knowledge’ (Shiller 541). There is always, as Peter Widdowson explains, a ‘“present understanding” of past

in Adapting Frankenstein
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Graphic children’s texts and the twenty-first-century monster

about swinging baseball bats with a ‘BASH!’ The next page tells us: ‘Huffing and puffing, mad about NOTHING, their ten favorite words were NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO!’ Grouch, Grump, and Gloom ’n’ Doom fight, complain, and throw tantrums in their ongoing competition to determine who is the most monstrous – or naughtiest – child. Their contest culminates in their plan to ‘make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!’ McDonnell adds an ironic inversion of Shelley’s text when the threesome is disappointed not at their creation’s monstrosity

in Adapting Frankenstein
Essence, difference and assimilation in Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead

Vampire Literature, at least since Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ ( 1872 ), has been conspicuously about ‘Otherness’, that crucial term of identity politics, and has thus rendered itself most obligingly to interpretation in terms of those politics. In a concise survey of the history and problems of identity politics, Cressida Heyes says

in Open Graves, Open Minds
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cliffs, but they were not white; you would only call them that if the word “white” meant something special to you; they were dirty’. 12 The notion of racial purity is also contested by Helen Oyeyemi’s gothic novel White Is for Witching through its description of an extreme case of attempted identity with the cliffs. The haunted guesthouse of this novel, set in Dover, is one of the four narrators

in Rocks of nation

Academic studies of television have attempted to address the question of quality in a range of ways, and this introduction can only provide an overview of that debate (see Brunsdon 1997 , Mulgan 1990 for example). Quality is not only a matter of contested definition as an academic term, but also relates problematically to the notion of ‘good’ television. While academic work has largely eschewed the making of distinctions that value one programme or genre over another, informal discourse about television and television drama in particular very often consists

in Popular television drama

narratives of picture identification. Picture identification grows out of imago dei (man made in the image of God): both portraits and sons are made in the images of fathers, forging parallel chains of hierarchical, patriarchal imaged identities. Ancestral portrait galleries tie aesthetically created imaged identities to humanly procreated imaged identities. Portraiture ‘articulated the patriarchal

in Gothic kinship
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preoccupation with transgression, to call into question those boundaries that appear to underpin social relationships. Thus Gothic, while often seeming conservative in its plot closures, also opens up a radically transformative space in which alternative relationships may be configured. Both contesting and reinforcing notions of the nuclear family, Gothic fiction may offer figurations of alternative kinship

in Gothic kinship