Friday, June 29, 2012
TRAVERSED THE SNOWS...
Like many other pages in this book, this is an example of how many words are represented by a few illustrations. This was necessary to present "Frankenstein" in this pictorial format. I see this book more of a companion to the Mary Shelly unabridged version. But it is necessary to make these cuts to present the story page by page with a constant flow of illustrations. Sometimes I cringe at the beautiful text that is being cut. But on the other hand, this version of Frankenstein will offer so much that the original Shelley version does not. I hope that, like my Edgar Allen Poe books, this book will drive the youth to be interested in this classic tale...and one of my favorite stories ever. That is why this book is not, and will never be, a replacement for the original but a companion on the shelf alongside Mary Shelley's, Cliff's and Bernie Wrightson's (at the least). Other great versions include Theodor Von Holst and Lynd Ward.
Here is the text from the original Mary's Shelley's version that is cut and represented by the artwork in this week's page:
"My courage and perseverance were invigorated by these scoffing words; I resolved not to fail in my purpose; and, calling on heaven to support me, I continued with unabated fervour to traverse immense deserts, until the ocean appeared at a distance, and formed the utmost boundary of the horizon. Oh! how unlike it was to the blue seas of the south! Covered with ice, it was only to be distinguished from land by its superior wildness and ruggedness. The Greeks wept for joy when they beheld the Mediterranean from the hills of Asia, and hailed with rapture the boundary of their toils. I did not weep; but I knelt down, and, with a full heart, thanked my guiding spirit for conducting me in safety to the place where I hoped, notwithstanding my adversary's gibe, to meet and grapple with him.
Some weeks before this period I had procured a sledge and dogs, and thus traversed the snows with inconceivable speed. I know not whether the fiend possessed the same advantages; but I found that, as before I had daily lost ground in the pursuit, I now gained on him; so much so, that when I first saw the ocean, he was but one day's journey in advance, and I hoped to intercept him before he should reach the beach. With new courage, therefore, I pressed on, and in two days arrived at a wretched hamlet on the seashore. I inquired of the inhabitants concerning the fiend, and gained accurate information. A gigantic monster, they said, had arrived the night before, armed with a gun and many pistols; putting to flight the inhabitants of a solitary cottage, through fear of his terrific appearance. He had carried off their store of winter food, and, placing it in a sledge, to draw which he had seized on a numerous drove of trained dogs, he had harnessed them, and the same night, to the joy of the horror-struck villagers, had pursued his journey across the sea in a direction that led to no land; and they conjectured that he must speedily be destroyed by the breaking of the ice, or frozen by the eternal frosts.
On hearing this information, I suffered a temporary access of despair. He had escaped me; and I must commence a destructive and almost endless journey across the mountainous ices of the ocean, - amidst cold that few of the inhabitants could long endure, and which I, the native of a genial and sunny climate, could not hope to survive. Yet at the idea that the fiend should live and be triumphant, my rage and vengeance returned, and, like a mighty tide, overwhelmed every other feeling. After a slight repose, during which the spirits of the dead hovered round, and instigated me to toil and revenge, I prepared for my journey."