.Spirit in an aesthetic sense is the animating principle of the mind” – Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul” – William Wordsworth, “Tintern Abbey, 44-45)
Walton’s Revival of Victor His [Victor’s] limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition. We … restored him to animation by rubbing him with brandy, and forcing him to swallow a small quantity” (13).
Victor: “listen to my tale. I believe that the strange incidents connected with it will afford a view of nature, which may enlarge your faculties and understanding. You will hear of powers and occurrences, such as you have been accustomed to believe impossible: but I do not doubt that my tale conveys in its series internal evidence of the truth of the events of which it is composed” (17).
Creation Scene: 1831-1931 It’s Alive!
1831: Walton says of Victor as he begins his story, “I see his thin hand raised in animation, while the lineaments of his face are irradiated by the soul within” (203). ;
Victor needed to be “animated by an almost supernatural enthusiasm” to apply himself to his “irksome” and “intolerable” studies in anatomy and physiology in his pursuit of the “causes of life” (33).
Animation and the “workshop of filthy creation” (36) • “I succeeded in discovering the cause of generation and life; nay more, I became myself capable of bestowing animation on lifeless matter.” (34) • “Although I possessed the capacity of bestowing animation … if I could bestow animation … I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate lifeless clay?” (35-36)
• “the dull yellow eye of the creature open[ed]; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.” (39) • “A mummy again endued with animation could not be so hideous as that wretch.” (40) • “A fiendish rage animated him…too horrible for human eyes to behold.” (119)
The Double and the Uncanny • weird • untrustworthy • unreliable • unsafe, even supernatural • Makes the observer feel uneasy, even frightened
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