In Response to “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, As Allegory to the Terrors of the French Revolution” by The AntiNietzsche

I’m so glad you wrote about Mary Shelley and her book; because I have never read it nor have I ever seen the movies made from it, except of course Young Frankenstein, which is hilarious.

Since I was humble enough from the start to admit my ignorance on both the book and its author I’m going to focus my comment on your excerpts and commentary and from on a personal point of view (as always) and more in regards to the French Revolution.

Our innate attribute to seek, find and explore the unknown, whether it be in our personal lives, in the world surrounding us, or the unknown out there in the universe as well as quantum physics, we are driven not by what we know and have learned thus far, but by what we don’t know and the mysteries which surround any of said subject matters. In the case of Frankenstein and you equating of this novel to the French Revolution, you make a bold move towards intertwining fiction with reality, which in this case I’m happy to say was very correct. In “Limits To My Empathy” you write and I quote “In my honest opinion, quite a few people who care strongly about a humanitarian issue end up becoming so engrossed in the presumed righteousness of their position they let their empathy and passion cloud their objectivity and rationality (I offer the various sociopolitical movements of the 19th and 20th Century as an example of this problem).” I’m quite sure; part of this remark was in part in regards to the French Revolution. I’m sure you will agree with me when saying the French Revolution can be used as a blueprint for all other revolutions of the 19th and 20th century. As an absolute resolute counter-revolutionary, I’ve always felt it was my duty to remind people that any revolution of any form is never the answer to socio-economic injustice. I see revolution as the beast from hell which after being summoned on earth it eats off those who called upon IT in the first place before devouring the rest of humanity. The latest example I can bring forth is the Arab Spring and more poignantly Egypt. I remember a conversation that I had with a dear friend of mine born in Egypt and forced to flee when Mubarak came to power. She was absolutely delighted of what was happening in Egypt and remembered with quite a strong nostalgic tone her years in court in Egypt as a little girl, it reminded me of what Russian royalty must have done for years after the revolution until their death in the shadows of a never to come again era. I reminded her no revolution is the answer to any social problems a country must be going through, and I did bring as example the very own French Revolution. The response I received back was very hard toned and almost vicious reminding me how finally injustices suffered by her countrymen and women have ended and a criminal was dethroned, not to mention her personal trauma of young-hood. Once again it reminded me of the famous performance of “La Mamma Morta” from Andrea Chénier by Maria Callas;

Are you surrounded by blood and mire?
I am Divine! I am Oblivion!
I am the God who saves the World
I descend from Heaven and make this Earth
A heaven! Ah! I am love, love, love
.”

Just as I predicted after those violent few weeks of the uprisings in Egypt, as the dust started to semi-settle, we had the military establishment control everything, and recently the ever-growing fear of Muslim fundamentalism taking root and reorganizing itself to take hold on the country. Now we see some of the same people who were tenting in Tahrir Square feel they have been left down, their freedoms being shorten on a daily basis, and the fear of persecution by the very “regime” which replaced the old one, with no true solution in sight.

“How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?  His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful.  Beautiful!  Great God! / I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. / I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart (Chapter 5, page 56).”

I believe it is hard for any creator to look back at his creation and be abhorred by it. Sometimes I think that’s how the Christian god, or any God and Goddess feel about us (for those who believe in monotheism and pantheism of course). It must have been absolutely dreadful to look back at something you so feverously believed in, turn into a monstrosity devouring everything in sight. It goes without saying for Dr. Frankenstein, Voltaire, Diderot, Trocki, Lenin, and every other revolutionary zealot on the face of this planet.

I would like to close by mentioning once again the importance of such works of fiction which in turn speak to works in reality. They describe, in the most realistic way, the feelings of an entire generation of disillusioned people, left to mend for themselves after everything has been scorched by the flames of the Enlightened.

1 Comment

  1. It is fascinating to read about such subject matter for the first time, and as I said before, your eloquent intertwining of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and the French Revolution was a great achievement rarely seen nowadays. The problem with today’s critical thinkers, literary critics and history buffs is one of conformity (which as you may recall I did a little stunt a few days back). The tend to lump things into categories depending on their personal self-induced standards and thus taking a huge chunk of what is the core of the subject being dissected and throwing it away as if it didn’t matter, just because it doesn’t suit their “conformity”.
    We have become so self-ostracized with political correctness and semi-respecting everyone’s opinion, that we’ve lost touch with Truth, and that is the cancer eating away critical thinking. You know I’m a firm believer of human rights, freedom of speech and more, but at the same time I can’t, for the life of me, keep quiet when others tell me to do so because what I’m saying (even though it’s the truth) may or does offend others. At what point in the last 50 or so years, did we lose touch with individualism and became the voice of the horde? Must we appease everyone in order to be recognized as participating and contributing individuals to today’s society? Must we censure ourselves or be censured from expressing our point of view in order to please the masses, which as you know I consider to be the bile from which all other ailment derive from?
    To give you an example of how ridiculous the situation has gotten, let me tell a true story from some years back. When the movie The DaVinci Code came out, there was an interview with an albino family in your neck of the woods (sorry to assume) who came out to say how they felt discriminated by the movie, because the main villain was an albino priest (I think their rhetorical question to the camera was; we’re not killers, why are being portrayed as such?). I wanted to scream my lungs out at the level of idiocy of that interview and the asinine way of thinking of the entire family. How can you feel discriminated if you haven’t read the book and you haven’t seen the movie and know nothing about the subject matter? I would have much rather accepted the Pope’s indignation (which obviously came before the movie even started shooting) than these Casper lineage morons.
    My point is finally this; we must stop (like you said) romanticizing the idea of revolutionary change. It didn’t serve the 19th and 20th century and sure as hell it is not going to serve any other century to come. We must focus on the individual and not the horde. Only this way we might, and I stress the word Might, survive this next 100 years.

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