Very nice job finishing up Frankenstein today — we laid out all sorts of interesting narrative and thematic ground to explore in the coming weeks. Our second week with the novel next week takes us into some materials related to Shelley’s text as a way of multiplying and expanding how we might think about it. For Monday, we’ll read two critical essays related to the novel, Devon Hodges’ “Frankenstein and the Feminine Subversion of the Novel” and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” We’ll spend some time Monday thinking about these two essays in terms of the novel, but also as our first models of critical writing on fiction — we’ll think about how they respond to the novel and how we might respond in turn to their thinking and claims.
So for this blog post, you should start to do some of that thinking in your writing: for each article, you should pick one claim to engage: a passage of a few sentences that seems important or significant in terms of the author’s overall thinking about the novel or about monsters and literature overall. In your post, you should write a paragraph for each article — in each paragraph, you should quote your chosen claim directly, paraphrase it (explain it in your own best language), and then engage and respond to it. What seems important about the claim you’ve chosen? Do you agree with it or not? Why/why not? What issues does it raise, and why are those significant? Try to be as specific, in-depth, and thoughtful as you can in how you engage them — beyond simply agreeing or disagreeing with each author, try to respond in a way that continues and extends a conversation with them, bringing your own ideas and arguments to the table in dialogue with them.
This is our first foray into critical scholarly material, so I’m interested to see how everyone approaches it — enjoy, and let me know if you have questions as you’re working on it!
Reminder: your response should go in the comments section for this post — click the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of the post. It should be at least 250 words, and is due by midnight on Sunday, September 18th. After class on Monday, you should return to this thread and post a response to one classmate’s post by class time Wednesday the 21st. If you have any questions, let me know via email.