Aye, Digger here, listen up dear hearts. The powers that be are threatening to replace me if my statistics don’t improve. I hope you’re enjoying Fridays with Digger. If you are, you got a funny way of showing it. I’m needing you folks to come out to support old Digger or I’m getting the boot. That little box thingy at the bottom is for your comments. The producers said if I don’t get at least one comment this week I’m out of a job.
You may think, I’m too busy, and what do I care if one more grave-digger winds up on the dole. Here’s why you should comment. While my official profession is to bury the dead, I’ve been known to bury the living on occasion. And I know where you live.
Now that we have that unpleasantness behind us shall we get to this weeks guest.
She, is a woman of great controversy. In her lifetime she was taken quite seriously as a writer. She was a play write, a biographer, an editor, short story writer and novelist. Her liberal life style was considered scandalous and is well documented by the plethora of letters written by and to her. Today she is best known as the author of Frankenstein and the wife of Percy Shelly. Please welcome the first lady of Horror, Mary Wollstonecraft, Godwin, Shelly.
MS; Thank you all, for that warm greeting, please call me Mary.
GD; Thank you for joining us Mary, please pull up a tombstone and make yourself at home. Shall we begin with the amazing story of how Frankenstein came to be?
MS; You’re are referring to the year without summer at Lord Byron’s Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva. We had dreadful weather, and were forced to stay inside. After dinner, we read ghost stories a loud, by the fire light. I’m sure it was Lord Byron, who suggested a friendly competition to see who among us could write the most frightful supernatural tale.
GD; Today the story of Victor Frankenstein and his creation are pigeon holed as Horror. However the scientific approach, Frankenstein took and the apparatus he constructed to reanimate his creation could be catalogued as Science Fiction.
MS; The science is advanced for the time, but the real horror is the abandonment of the creation by Victor and the absolute isolation and loneliness of the creature experienced. Examine the lengths to which it went to convince Frankenstein to create a mate for him. The poor wretch was miserable. When his efforts failed he turned to exacting revenge on Frankenstein. How would you feel if your parents brought you in to this world only to turn their back on you. Forcing you make your way in a hostile world? The world is harsh and unforgiving, stealing happiness at every chance. The wealthy, lord over the poor. Men, lord over women. The hypocritical righteous, lord over progressive thinkers. There is no hope for humanity. Which is the commentary underlying my novel The Last Man.
GD; We’ll get to that one. What of the supposed dream where the story came to you?
MS; It was a waking dream in which I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.
GD; Very nice. After all these years you can still turn a phrase.
MS; Do not be impudent young man. I still have my wits about me. I see by the standards of todays world I may be the only one who does. The Last Man may yet turn out to be prophetic. Humanity has learned nothing in the one hundred sixty-two years since my death. If anything man has become less enlightened if that were possible.
GD; Let’s talk about The Last Man. This certainly Science Fiction, apocalyptic in nature. It tells of a future world ravaged by a plague that wipes out everyone on the planet with the exception of Lionel Verney. It has been suggested Verney is autobiographical. Do you see yourself as the Last Man?
MS; I think it preposterous. Every writer includes bits and pieces of those closest to her, including herself. The idea that Verney is representative of me, is silly.
GD; I find it interesting that you place this futuristic novel in the my life time. With the insights from the other side, should I be worried?
MS; You most certainly should be worried. Not because of anything I may know from beyond. Open your eyes, scientists are creating life just as Frankenstein did. They have created viruses, invented chemical warfare, split the atom and even have an engine of some sort that they hope will recreate creation itself. You young man are on a fast coach to hell. What shore will you swim to in 2100?
GD; If I’m still swimming it won’t matter. We’re running short of time, is there anything you’d like to add?
MS; You do not have enough time for me to tell you what I want to say. You must have me back, that’s all there is to it.
GD; I’ll have my people call your people.
GD; I’ll turn you the program over to Dave now, but before I go let me remind you, I know where you live.
Thank you Digger for a most enlightening interview with Ms. Mary Shelly. He seemed a little tense today. Next week we’ll have another story for you. In the meanwhile I leave you with this quotation from Young Frankenstein; Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.
Inga: In other vords: his veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Exactly.
Inga: He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That goes without saying.
Igor: He’s going to be very popular.
Thanks for tuning in,