Thursday, October 19, 2006

A sci-fi Thursday

I, Robot is a very good movie. It's lacking in character and dialogue, but why watch Sci-Fi for character and dialogue? You should watch Sci-Fi for ideas, and this movie is full of them. Among other things, futuristic robot movies often feature overtones of humanity's history of racial discrimination.

After talking it up to some of my classes, I've started re-reading Shelley's Frankenstein, and since next week a brief respite from grading will ensue, I may actually finish it sometime soon. The frame story adds an important element to the themes of this book. Robert Walton says, "I shall satiate my ardent curiosity...and may tread a land never before imprinted by the foot of man." He asks, "What can stop the determined heart and resolved will of man?" He admits that he would "gladly sacrifice my fortune, my existence, my every hope, to the furtherance of my enterprise. One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought." And then...he's about to hear Frankenstein's story.

What a cutting literary figure Mary Shelley makes. Daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft, wife of Percy Shelley, sometime companion of Lord Byron--and does she surpass them all with this book?

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