Wanders and Wonders
I wrote a Classic Book review of Frankenstein for Red Pepper magazine, looking at the tale’s continuing relevance to the ethical questions raised by science in areas such as genetic engineering and geoengineering.
Here’s an excerpt:
Is Shelley’s novel ‘anti-science’? The passionate and sympathetic framing of Frankenstein the young rationalist through the eyes of wannabe North Pole explorer Robert Walton gives us no settled view as to Shelley’s own feelings about her desperate hero. The work itself is an exploration of many of the ideas and innovations of the Age of Reason, and the ability of a fertile mind to envision terrible potential from the scientific breakthroughs then taking place is not necessarily an indictment of the breakthroughs themselves. Rather it suggests a keenness to the ethical questions raised by the birth of new technology. The necessity for such appraisal has only increased since Shelley’s time.