Frankenstein Friday : Last Friday of the October Month

Frankenstein Friday : Last Friday of the October Month

Frankenstein Friday : Last Friday of the October Month

With the advent of Halloween on October 31st this year, the world calendars the last Friday in the month of October as the “Frankenstein Friday”, and here’s penning down as to why.

Marry Shelly in 1818, published her first novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, featuring the Frankenstein’s monster as a fictional reincarnation of the Greek mythological character Prometheus who was known to create humans out of clay and add fire to them.

Frankenstein started becoming synonymous with “the evil”, “the monster”, “fiend” or the “Spectre” and was a character that went on to create unaccountable renditions of itself in various mediums.

Marry Shelly on her visit to her  husband and poet, Percy Shelly’s friend, Lord Byron in Geneva, discovered this story, when due to a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, and bad weather conditions as its repercussions, all of them had to become inmates of the house and stay within the doors. Lord Byron in a spree competed with everyone to come up with the spookiest ghost story, including his physician friend John Polidori. Percy Shelly and Lord Byron were unable to finish their prose, while Marry came up with Frankenstein and Polidori ideated “The Vampyre ” which later went on to become an inspiration for Bram Stroker’s novel Dracula. Although Marry Shelly does not name the monster in the beginning, but our protagonist Victor Frankenstein while speaking to his creator said that he ought to be “Adam”, referring his own birth to the inception of the first man, as per the Bible.

The first part of the book was published anonymously in the beginning with the foreword written by Percy Shelly, which created an impression that the story was written by the latter himself. Marry published the next edition of the book in 1823, under her own name along with a third edition following it, which deliberated on how she came to write the story. The first edition was dedicated to Marry’s father, after which her other editions kept releasing in volumes because of its exceptional reception from the readers.

Frankenstein Friday : Last Friday of the October Month

In 1923, Richard Brinsley Peake, adapted the 1818 novel to make a stage play named Presumption which Marry Shelly attended herself. She opined that the theatrical rendition had unnamed the monster and created a persona for the characters, pretty much like her novel. This was the first recorded theatrical adaptation of her novel and succeeded in doing justice to her original idea.

The name Frankenstein had not been firmly established as the monster himself, until 1927, when Peggy Webling gave the monster his name. The 1930s Universal film Frankenstein was largely inspired by Webling’s play and went on to create a series or saga of “the monster” recurring in almost every consecutive Universal productions. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) however did name its monster from whereon, the character gained popularity among masses of every kind, given the wider horizon of reach that films have.

Many critics believe that the concept of Frankenstein, translating to “Stone of the Franks”  was adopted by Shelly from a castle with the same name, where an inebriated chemist dug up bodies from the graveyard and experimented on them with an elixir, which he attempted to create to prolong the mortal years of human living.

Ryan McCloskey from Westfield, New Jersey, founded the Frankenstein Friday in 1997, to celebrate the bizarreness of the book, its outlandish characters that were not familiar to people at the time of its conception and went onto become a popular trope for film and theatrical productions, giving the world of arts and artists a new genre that resonated familiarity with the expressionist era of the 1920s.

-by Subhangi Ray

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