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Self Effacement

July 22, 2010

I feel sorry for Mary Shelley at the moment. She is leaving Geneva and heading back to England where her life will take a speedy downturn. Not for another year or so, but soon. I can feel it coming and maybe this is why I don’t feel like writing today. That, and it is bleary and gray out. Sticky and hot. I’ve decided that Mary did not struggle to come up with Frankenstein, no matter what she said sixteen years later. In 1831, she wrote that she could not think of a ghost story to tell at the Villa Diodati while that the men sat right down and composed their tales. She had to wait until she had her famous nightmare. I think she is being self-effacing. No one else mentions her search for a story and since they record most of her other activities, this seems like too huge an omission. I have many other thoughts about this — all of which I wrote about yesterday — but it has just occurred to me that I should save them for the book.

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