Frankenstein and Its Classics: The Modern Prometheus from Antiquity to Science Fiction, co-edited by Assistant Professor of Classics Jesse Weiner, was published earlier this month by Bloomsbury Academic.
The book – the first to explore Frankenstein’s Greco-Roman roots – traces the ways in which Greek and Roman myth, literature, philosophy, and scientific thought influenced Mary Shelley’s novel, and how Frankenstein serves as a mediating prism, refracting the classics into later works with a particular focus on science fiction.
In addition to editing the volume, Weiner co-wrote the introduction and contributed an essay titled “Frankenfilm: Classical Monstrosity in Bill Morrison’s Spark of Being.” This article examines a recent avant-garde film adaptation of Frankenstein and argues that its various constructions of monstrosity reach back, through Shelley, to ancient Greek and Roman theories and taxonomies of monstrosity.
The volume also includes essays contributed by Carl Rubino, the Winslow Professor of Classics Emeritus, and David Gapp, professor of biology emeritus.
Weiner co-edited the volume with his longtime collaborators Benjamin Eldon Stevens of Trinity University and Brett M. Rogers of the University of Puget Sound.
Frankenstein and Its Classics is meant for science fiction enthusiasts as well as academics. The book was launched with a panel, “Frankenstein from Antiquity to Science Fiction,” at the 76th Worldcon, an annual international science fiction convention in San Jose, Calif.
Joining Weiner and his co-editors on the panel was Ada Palmer, professor of history at the University of Chicago and Campbell Award-winning (and Hugo nominated) author of the Terra Ignota science fiction series.