Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'Tis the season

As we enter the witching month, local versions of the monster's myth abound. The University of New Mexico Department of Theatre and Dance stages a performance that's part Mary Shelley, part Salvador Dali, comments Albuquerque reviewer Aurelio Sanchez. Broadway greets Clive Barker's Frankenstein in Love, "horrifying and poignant yet funny," Michael Sherrin says. Local movie theaters will be offering monster fare, like Pitman, New Jersey's Broadway Theatre, where they'll do up Bride of Frankenstein right, with organ music and all.
And I'll be tipping my hat to monster at two events: October 20, 7pm, Randall Library, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, speaking of the eerie connections between Shelley's novel and Ishiguro's quiet chiller, Never Let Me Go, and then a week later: October 28, 7pm, Frederick County Public Library, Laurel, Maryland, introducing all comers to the monster and his tale.
More sightings soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Son of Frankenstein on Wall Street

The monster in the Treasury Department has a name, according to the Deal Professor Steven Davidoff, who evokes our favorite phantom to express his outrage and fear over the megadeal maneuvered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to bail out AIG with US funds. Read his blog on Henry Paulson's Frankenstein here.

My question is, where's that money coming from? Rumor has it the presses are rolling night and day. It takes a long time to print a trillion dollars.

It's worth noting that in years gone by, another writer connected America's economic woes with the story of the monster made by man. As the nation slid deeper into the Great Depression, a month before Boris Karloff's classic film hit the screen, a book titled Frankenstein, Incorporated by Maurice Wormser came out, questioning the new legal entity called the corporation.

“Corporations are not natural living persons, but articial beings . . . created by the nation or state, which endows them with distinct personality in the eyes of the law, special privileges and comprehensive powers,” wrote Wormser. (Read my Frankenstein: A Cultural History for more about his 1931 book.)

So Paulson's Frankenstein is at least second-generation, proliferating the monstrosity.

No one does it better

I continue to be amazed, amused, delighted, and awed by Pierre Fournier's blog, Frankensteina. He keeps those antennae up constantly for news, appearances, performances, publications, and every fascinating iteration of our favorite monster's endless life. Check it out.