A Monster Evening

 "So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." ~ Quote from Dr. Frankenstein- in "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

And so much did WE achieve last night at StoryBook Club, our monthly get together of other like minded Storycologists!

We, who share the love of reading, intelligent, open minded,  bawdy conversations, cooking, socializing and comraderie.

It was the evening of a most harrowingly beautiful FULL MOON.
A harvest moon to delight our senses as we gathered to honor the creation of Mary Shelley.
 Mary was a Victorian lady with quite an interesting life. She wrote Frankenstein starting when she was 18 and finished it at 21. An incredible feat for one of the very first horror stories to be created and by someone so young!

We, at StoryBook, brought our ingredients for the evening: Food, Anecdotes, History tales and a sense of wonder.

The surgical table was set for the feast, complete with surgical tools and body parts.

Those gather-ed brought likely donations to be sewn together for a dinner:
There was a delicious dish called "Fingers" (melted mozzerella in Fyllo dough), "Parts" (pasta-less lasagna), Warm homemade bread (The staff of Life), German Saurkraut and German Chocolate cake (for the Germanic "Frankenstein"), Normal and "abnormal" brain food (with dip :), Velvet cakes, Green Guacamole and Blue Chips, Green garlic stuffed olives (eyes), Kippers, and of course NUTS :)

I am so enamored of this Club of our own making. This gathering of particular StoryBook enthusiasts can discuss damn near anything, with eloquence, panache and all with a bit of randy humor!

We finished off the evening with a showing of the parody "Young Frankenstein" and all agreed that it was brilliant fun while keeping the elements of the original story intact or enhanced with a reason.

We learned that the story "Frankenstein" is SO much more than a horror story.
It is a story of humankind, hope, loss, creativity, womanhood, love, mechanized industrialization, science run amok, moral conviction, Victorian sensibilities and contraries, prejudice and ultimately its' persecution.
It is the study of Nature VS. Nurture in a nutshell.

We talked about current scientific breakthroughs and the religious moral dilemas that we face the same way that mechanical industrialization and medical advances were feared then.

Biogenetics, splitting atoms, genes and super brain computers of today are equally as terrifying to us, as Frankenstein was to the readers of 1818.
We agreed "that just because you CAN do a thing....doesn't mean you SHOULD do a thing."

But the cost is sometimes worth the effort as well.

Because of scientists such as Leonardo DaVinci, Galvani, Dipple and others, we have advancements in medicine and science today. There would be no CPR, electroshock therapies, coroner autopsies or galvanization if not for them.

Did you know that at one point in time, electroshock therapy even made it's way into "spa treatments" like "taking the waters" or having a massage? (Of course, at one time in history you could also get "cupped" for a spa treatment as well...)

Those Victorians knew how to party and relax, eh?  :)

But for good or for ill.....all those weird Frankenstein-type doctors....well.....they were cutting edge.

The creature was never really named, but was for the most part, called "The Creature" or "The Monster"
Sometimes our fears have no name.
They only have a presence.

And a young woman Mary Shelley,
wrote about it all, her contacts, her upbringing, her fears, her loss of babies, her Victorian decadence, her radical thinking and belief in her successful writer mother's idea of "Free Love",  her loyal yet heartbreaking love with her husband and his many women....

All these individual elements....
were sewn together in this monster of a story.

Mary Shelley, you were so much more than a one story wonder!

She wrote many other books, biographies and stories.
But she was and always will be remembered for this....
HER creation.

Next month StoryBook Club devotees will turn to take a seasonal look at a New Yorker and his fall time story...."The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.


Icabod, watch out and keep a watchful eye......

We are coming for you fast and furious like the Headless Horseman.

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