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[The Anatomy of Monsters - Fall 2001 Edition]

 

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Spirituality

Arthur Paul Patterson’s article Monsters at the Margin analyzes the ambiguity of Frankenstein’s Monster, humanizing him, and yet placing full responsibility on him for his terrible response to what he considers unjust.

Literature

The status of the outsider is a constant theme in gothic literature. Fellow Canadian and world-renowned expert on Dracula, Elizabeth Miller, has generously contributed an excerpt from her book Refections on Dracula. She follows the interwoven history and interpretation of two of the most famous monsters of literary and popular culture in Dracula and Frankenstein.

Readings on Frankenstein
, published by Greenhaven Press, combines varied methods of interpretation, proving itself to be one of the best introductions to Mary Shelley’s monstrous tale we have encountered. Lyle Penner reviews what he considers an excellent combination of personal applications and literary methods.

Men have a penchant for prometheanism, a particular affinity toward monstrous ambitions. Arthur Paul Patterson’s essay Passions of Prometheus unearths the ground of that linkage between men and monsters.

The monster theme has pervaded English literature from its inception with Beowulf, the first epic poem. Grendel speaks afresh in John Gardner’s classic retelling of the tale from the monster’s perspective. Linda Tiessen Wiebe’s response shows how values of hope, courage and faith are still relevant in our post-modern era despite our inclination to follow the voices of cynicism and despair.

Community

Cal Wiebe (Father of Frankenstein), Lorna Derksen (The Strange Trial of Mr. Hyde), and our youngest reviewer, Erik Berg (The BFG), contribute to our Book Café, revealing the diversity of monsters and how they make their impact from cinema through Jungian psychology to children’s literature.

As for movies about monsters, Dave Berg reviews Mask, a strange tale about how looking monstrous needn’t obscure the beauty of human character. William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus shows how short the steps are between being a man of virtue and a monster consumed with revenge. Linda Tiessen Wiebe reflects on the most recent rendition of this story, Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins.

 

 
 
 

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