Victor Frankenstein’s Evil Genius: Plutarch, Brutus’s Vision, and the Absent Revolution

Autori

  • Fabio Camilletti University of Warwick (UK)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13130/2037-2426/14492

Parole chiave:

Plutarch, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Ghosts, French Revolution

Abstract

This essay examines the influence of Plutarch’s Life of Brutus on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, arguing that the relationship between Brutus and his «evil genius» provides Shelley with a model for characterizing the pair of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature. By considering the broader context of Plutarch’s reception from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries, and particularly the construction of Brutus as a ghost-seer, a clinical obsessive, or a revolutionary icon, the essay examines the Brutus/Victor parallel as actual and/or symbolic parricides, shedding new light on Shelley’s failed representation of the French Revolution in her novel.

Biografia autore

Fabio Camilletti, University of Warwick (UK)

Professore associato di Letteratura Italiana
University of Warwick (UK)

Riferimenti bibliografici

Alkon, Paul K. Origins of Futuristic Fiction. The University of Georgia Press, 1987.
Aretini, Paola. I fantasmi degli antichi tra Riforma e Controriforma. Il soprannaturale greco-latino nella trattatistica teologica del Cinquecento. Levante, 2000.
Aretius, Benedictus [Marti Benoit]. Problemata theologica continentia praecipuos nostrae religionis locos, brevi & lucida ratione explicatos. Franciscus Le Preux, 1573.
Barry, Jonathan. “News from the Invisible World: The Publishing History of Tales of the Supernatural c.1660-1832”. Cultures of Witchcraft in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present, edited by Jonathan Barry, Owen Davies, and Cornelie Usborne. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp. 179-213
Belsey, Catherine. “Shakespeare’s Sad Tale for Winter: Hamlet and the Tradition of Fireside Ghost Stories”. Shakespeare Quarterly, 61: 1, 2010, pp. 1-27.
Brooks, Peter. Reading for the Plot. Design and Intention in Narrative. Harvard University Press, 1992.
Camilletti, Fabio. “Beyond the Uncanny: Fantasmagoriana, Intertextuality, and the Pleasure Principle”. Compar(a)ison. An International Journal of Comparative Literature, 1-2, 2015, pp. 61-81.
Douthwaite, Julia W. “The Frankenstein of the French Revolution: Nogaret’s Automaton Tale of 1790”. European Romantic Review, 20: 3, 2009, pp. 318-411.
Ferriar, John. An Essay towards a Theory of Apparitions. Cadell and Davies, 1813.
Fisher, Mark. The Weird and the Eerie. Repeater Books, 2016.
Fulgosus, Baptista [Battista Fregoso]. De dictis factisque memorabilibus collectanea, J. Ferrario, 1509.
Greenblatt, Stephen. Hamlet in Purgatory. Princeton University Press, 2013.
Hunt, Lynn. The Family Romance of the French Revolution. University of California Press, 1992.
Jarvis, T. M., editor. Accredited Ghost Stories. J. Andrews, 1823.
Johnston, Josephine. “Traumatic Responsibility”, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds, edited by David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert. The MIT Press, 2017, Kindle ed.
Israel, Jonathan. Revolutionary Ideas. An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from ‘The Rights of Man’ to Robespierre. Princeton University Press, 2014.
Lavater, Ludwig. De Spectris, lemuribus et magnis atque insolitis fragoribus, variisque praesagitionibus quae plerunque [sic] obitum hominum, magnas clades, mutationesque Imperiorum praecedunt. Ioannes Crispinus, 1570.
Lavater, Ludwig. Of Ghostes and Spirites, Walking by Night, and of Straunge Noyses, Crackes and Sundrie Forewarnings, Which Commonly Happen Before the Death of Men. Great Slaughters, and Alterations of Kingdomes. H. Benneyman for R. Watkyns, 1572.
Le Loyer, Pierre. IIII Livres des spectres ou apparitions et visions d’esprits, anges et démons se monstrans sensiblement aux hommes. Georges Nepveu, 1586.
Leopardi, Giacomo. Zibaldone di pensieri, edited by Giuseppe Pacella, 3 vols. Garzanti 1991.
Manzini, Francesco. “Stendhal”, The Oxford Handbook of European Romanticism, edited by Paul Hamilton. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 69-87.
Mellor, Anne K. “Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach”, Approaches to Teaching Shelley’s Frankenstein, edited by Stephen C. Behrendt. Modern Languages Association of America, 1990, pp. 31-37.
Muratori, Cecilia, “Sogni rinascimentali e mostri moderni: le letture giovanili di Victor Frankenstein”, Mary Shelley e Percy Bysshe Shelley, Villa Diodati Files: Il primo Frankenstein, edited by Fabio Camilletti. Nova Delphi, 2018, pp. 401-416.
Nippel, Wilfried. Ancient and Modern Democracy. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Pearson, Jacqueline. “Shakespeare and Caesar’s Revenge”, Shakespeare Quarterly, 32: 1, 1981, pp. 101-110.
Peucerus, Casparus [Kaspar Peucer]. Commentarius de praecipuis divinationum generibus, in qui a prophetiis divina autoritate [sic] traditis, et Physicis praedictionibus, separantur Diabolicae fraudes & Superstitiosae observationes, & explicantur fontes ac causae Physicarum praedictionum, Diabolicae et Supersititiosae confutatae damnantur. Wittenberg, 1553.
Plutarchus [Plutarch], Vitae parallelae II: 1, edited by Claas Lindskog and Konrat Ziegler. Teubner, 1964.
Remigius, Nicolaus [Nicolas Remy]. Daemonolatreiae libri tres. In officina Vincentii, 1595.
Ripa, Cesare. Iconologia overo Descrittione di diverse Imagini cavate dall’antichità, & di propria invention. Lepido Facij, 1593.
Schulze, Friedrich August, “La Morte fiancée”, Fantasmagoriana, ou Recueil d’histoires d’apparitions de spectres, revenans, fantômes, etc, 2 vols. Schoell, 1812, vol. II, pp. 1-101.
Shelley, Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley. History of a Six Weeks’ Tour through a Part of France, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland: With Letters Descriptive of a Sail Round the Lake of Geneva, and of the Glaciers of Chamouni. T. Hookham, 1817.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. The original Two-Volume Novel of 1816-1817 from the Bodleian Library Manuscripts. Vintage Books, 2008, Kindle ed.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. The Annotated Frankenstein, edited by Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.
Shelley, Mary. “Introduction [1831]”, Frankenstein. The Original 1818 Text, edited by D. L. Macdonald and Kathleen Scherf. Broadview, 2005: 353-59.
Shelley, Mary. The Essential Frankenstein, edited by Leonard Wolf. Plume, 1993.
Shelley, Mary. The Journals 1814-1844, edited by Paula R. Feldman and Diana Scott-Kilvert. Oxford University Press, 2015, online ed.
Shelley, Mary. The New Annotated Frankenstein, edited by Leslie S. Klinger. Norton, 2017, Kindle ed.
Shelley, Mary. “On Ghosts”, The London Magazine, XI, March 1824, pp. 253-56.
Stramaglia, Antonio. Res inauditae, incredulae. Storie di fantasmi nel mondo greco-latino. Levante, 1999.
Taillepied, Noël. Psichologie, ou Traité de l’apparition des esprits. A scavoir des ames separees, Fantosmes, prodiges, & accidents merveilleux, qui precedent quelquefois la mort des grands personnages, ou signifient changemens de la chose publique. Michel le Deutre, 1588.
Veeder, William. “The Negative Oedipus: Father, Frankenstein, and the Shelleys”, Critical Inquiry, 12: 2, Winter 1986, pp. 365-90.
Weiner, Jesse, et al. “Introduction: The Modern Prometheus Turns 200”, Frankenstein and Its Classics. The Modern Prometheus from Antiquity to Science Fiction, edited by Jesse Weiner, Benjamin Eldon Stevens, and Brett M. Rogers. Bloomsbury, 2018: 1-22.
Welby, Horace, editor. Signs Before Death, and Authenticated Apparitions. Simpkin and Marshall, 1825.
Wier, Johann. De praestigiis daemonum, et incantationibus ac veneficiis, Libri V. J. Oporinus, 1563.

##submission.downloads##

Pubblicato

2021-07-09

Come citare

Camilletti, F. (2021). Victor Frankenstein’s Evil Genius: Plutarch, Brutus’s Vision, and the Absent Revolution. ENTHYMEMA, (27), 18–30. https://doi.org/10.13130/2037-2426/14492

Fascicolo

Sezione

Saggi