The Monstrous Cosmos of Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein
Keywords:Frankenstein, hybridity, metafiction, Postmodernity, Jeanette Winterson
In her 2019 novel Frankissstein: A Love Story, Jeanette Winterson weaves an intricate transtemporal and trans-spatial multiplicity, the coding of which is governed by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Through the double first-person narrative of Mary Shelley and her 21st-century reincarnation, Ry Shelley, Winterson approaches the literary phenomenon of Frankenstein in its entirety, seamlessly traversing and fusing the levels of the novel’s production, thematic and formal structuring, and reception. This paper argues that by employing the patchwork nature of Shelley’s monster as the principal metaphor for the creation of her own textual hybrid, Winterson upgrades the essentially Cartesian device of metafictional referencing into a bona fide world-building device that functions according to the governing principles of the post-Cartesian, i.e., postmodern, ontological order.
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