Frankenstein – Refractory: a Journal of Entertainment Media
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With the Gothic, the Western has been fertile ground for transmedia adaptation, from the novels by James Fenimoore Cooper and Zane Grey to American to mid twentieth century DC and Marvel Western Comics, a form of popular fiction that has been similarly adaptable to new contexts, tastes and social conditions, able to absorb and reanimate already popular story lines. A penny dreadful installment was cheap at one penny and the story line ever-evolving until the readership faltered Springhall.
Authors cribbed story lines, plagiarized plots and cobbled story lines together from diverse sources and recycled popular stock characters endlessly. Moralists railed against them as having a pernicious influence on the young Chisolmbut they continued to flourish.
According to the celebrated nineteenth century journalist George Sala, who read them voraciously as a boy, they offered a world of dormant peerages, of murderous baronets, and ladies of title addicted to study of toxicology, of gypsies and brigand-chiefs, men with masks and women with daggers, of stolen children, withered hags, heartless gamesters, nefarious roues, foreign princesses, Jesuit fathers, grave-diggers, resurrection-men, lunatics, and ghosts Produced by Sam Mendes and John Logan, the television series Penny Dreadful exploits many of the traditional narrative techniques used in Victorian Gothic fiction, reframed as film noir.
"Will You Meet Me In The Graveyard?" lyrics
This is far from a deferential costume drama or a literary recreation. Penny Dreadful takes familiar characters such as Dr Frankenstein and his Creature, the ageless Dorian Gray, and various witches, vampires and monsters and uses them to evoke the idea of a haunted past as a background against which to tell new stories of a world that is, like our own, on the brink of unimaginable change.
The characters of Penny Dreadful do not think or behave in the same way or hold the same beliefs as their fictional forebears once did, but they represent familiar social and cultural identities and positions from that time. In various ways, the series engages actively with the discursive elements of its source materials, using the ideas and experiences of the characters as symbolic strands of influence for reweaving meaning and narrative.
Techniques such as recursive adaptation, hybridity and ensemble performance are well established in fantasy screen drama, in both cinematic and serial mode, from s Universal films, to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Stephen Norrington, to Agents of Shield Billy Gierhart et al. As this paper argues, however, Penny Dreadful takes up key ideas that emerged with force during late-Victorian culture and connects them in ways that reveal underlying connections and disconnections.
The evolving genre of transmedia fantasy fiction enables the series to create a new account of lasting issues and anxieties in Western culture; including the use of excessive power, mechanistic control over human creativity, the dangers of enchantment, the sufferings of the Other, and the struggle for women to transcend bodily and domestic confinement as autonomous rational beings. Recasting Women Among the many interesting elements of this finely crafted series is the way in which it recasts minor or supporting female characters from these stories as powerful leading figures.
Its depiction of women is broadly coloured by historical conditions in which women lived during the late Victorian period. The series alludes to feminist advocacy for changing social roles at a time when women were excluded from universities, politics and the professions 3. Murphy has argued with reference to late Victorian fiction that the figure of the New Woman emerges at moments of cultural anxiety and change Negotiations over changing attitudes to women went hand in hand with changes in other attitudes and beliefs.
New ways of thinking about selfhood were also becoming important, as is conveyed by the appearance of the character of Dr Seward Patti LuPone in Season Three: Its women are shown as capable agents of transformation, unconstrained by conventional Victorian social limitations; self-determined, articulate, desiring autonomy, or longevity or control.
More interesting than their mere potential to nurture and harm, theirs is nevertheless a compromised power, inflected with darkness, uncertainty and threat.
The Story of Kristy Killings : Snow White's Poison Bite - Album's lyrics
Their potency is, at the same time, limited by their relationship with more powerful male figures in their lives, whether human or inhuman. Although in Seasons One and Two, Vanessa resists dominance by the same satanic figure who seeks to embrace and control her powers, she is consistently depicted as a figure of suffering resistance and recovery.
She is ultimately portrayed as an acquiescent victim, rather than as an effectual force for good in the world 3.
Only Lily expresses her desire for control in political terms: Lily seizes agency and acts decisively to change her own circumstances and potentially those of others. Hers is a vision of a future in which female dominance is all and, as a force of destruction, she too is doomed to fail. Swiney turned the tables on the patriarchal establishment of evolutionary theory, as she saw it, to argue that biologically the male was a defective variant of the human species.
Lily offers a twist to this narrative — the spawning of a race of superwomen — that fails to bear fruit as the series draws to an end in the last episodes of Season Three and Lily is overcome by the rising power of institutionalised pseudo-science, represented by Dr Jekyll.
She is created in the first episode of Season Two by a mixture of design and serendipity as Victor Frankenstein lines up his human-making machine to receive the lightning strike that will animate dead flesh and bones.
Whereas his first attempts at animation were stitched together from body parts, this new female creature is made from the body of a whole woman, the consumptive street girl Brona Croft whom we first meet as the lover of toothsome American adventurer Ethan Chandler in Season One 1.
Here, the birth of Lily reflects the theme of unnatural disorder produced by mechanical technology. This theme is further explored in the series, in its various scenes of female entrapment, for example when Vanessa Ives is locked in a Victorian madhouse because of her visions 1. Lily rises from the forge of mechanical creation in perfect form, beautiful, seemingly innocent and born anew without memories of her past, and — as we discover — virtually impervious to destruction.
She is manufactured by Victor to supply his first created progeny, the scarred Creature, with a mate to mitigate the burden of his loneliness: But Lily recoils from the Creature, her promised husband, who calls himself John Clare after the self-made Romantic poet —— Although she models herself on her maker, adopting his accent and politeness, gradually she does remember the brutality and suffering of her past life 2.
Even more importantly, she realises that she now has supreme strength and power. Creed argues that women in screen drama are confronting not because they are monstrously other but because they are already fully formed and fearfully empowered Creed 6.
The female monster appears as a compelling figure of supernatural power partly because she is already beyond being human. Created by men, Lily refuses the modesty of covert sexuality and demands to be seen. She rejects her maker, Victor, and the romantic submission that John Clare proffers. Instead she is bent on revenge against man for the abuse suffered during her former life and conquest over the weak human race, and to make a new and pitiless world.
The Troubling New Woman The New Woman of the s emerged in the late nineteenth century as a trope of social and cultural change, one that was at once a sign of new possibility and of frightening upheaval. Often the subject of cartoons, in the popular imagination of the day she was at first the mannish, bespectacled bluestocking, neglectful of wifely duty that was frequently pilloried in Punch Shapiro and eventually the sporty, bicycling Amazon Heilmann The New Woman sought education, independence and a role in public life.
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References to the New Woman began to emerge in the British and American press at a time when Victorian Gothic sensation fiction, intimations of sexual decadence, urban serial killers and other threats, as the demands of women for access to education and suffrage were characterised by some popular journals.
Badged with feminist eccentricity, she was easy for some to dismiss as the inconsequential irritant of a dying century. Although modes of narrative consumption have evolved and hybridised radically since that time, undoubtedly the diversification and delivery of dramatised narrative via small screen media has expanded its mass audience to achieve a global reach.
The metaphor of consumption has special relevance in relation to the Gothic New Woman, as both an embodied figure of gendered difference and a subject of popular culture. The depiction of the late Victorian woman as voracious in her impetus for education, political and professional autonomy, shows the extent to which she was aligned in the public imagination with the personae of female destruction, the Eves, Liliths, Salomes and harpies of western cultural tradition Djikstra.
In Penny Dreadful, however, the New Woman is Gothic not simply because she is associated with destruction but because she is associated with unending change. Reforging her new persona in the furnace of revenge, Lily Frankenstein adopts elements of the New Woman as a figure of triumphal independence and conquest. She casts off the demure Victorian mantle of wifehood provided by Victor Frankenstein who dresses her in high necked lace gowns and constraining corsets.
In this role she prepares his food and lives as his secret companion. Even when she turns to him sexually 2. By now, however, Lily is awake to the memory of her former self. Stifled by the small dwelling where Frankenstein keeps her she seeks a life of her own, drawn back to the night life of the flaneur that she explores with the charming Dorian Gray 2.
Much more than the harbinger of doomful desire or the awkward figure of alterity that Punch depicted when it lampooned the bluestocking women who fought for female suffrage and higher education, Lily Frankenstein is, rather, a new new woman; a Gothic redefinition of the late Victorian persona.
Lily dismisses their efforts as, so awfully clamorous, all this marching around in public and waving placards. How do you accomplish anything in this life?
By the throat… quietly slit in the dead of the night 3. Remade by men, now Lily remakes herself. She rejects their attempts to romanticise their desire for her and dismisses the bargain they have between them about the purpose of her existence. As she says to John Clare at a key moment: As indicated, Lily is not the only character in Penny Dreadful with whom the theme of new womanist horror resonates: But where Vanessa seeks to triumph over supernatural evil and liberate herself from the clutches of the dark master, Lily wants much more than a life of adventure and desire.
She is determined to gain control, to establish a new race of superbeings and to destroy all that has gone before. In seeking visceral revenge for the harm she and other women have suffered, however, she takes her ambitions one step too far. She is drawn to Dorian Gray and his search to transcend the dullness of eternal existence through extreme excitation 2: As a remade woman her reincarnation as Lily — the flower of rebirth — gives her the supernatural strength needed to accomplish dominance over the men who exploited her in her previous life as the prostitute Brona Croft.
She is also uncanny because having been created by man she can never die in the usual way, or go back to existence as her former living self. She can only move forward with history, subject to its material conditions just as she also attempts to reshape them. In this sense she seems more human than humanity itself. She seeks a far more radical form of transformation.
Why have we been chosen? And the blood of mankind will water our garden. We are the conquerors. We are the pure blood. We are steel and sinew, both. We are the next thousand years. We are the dead. Two episodes into Season Three and the female monster has become a Superwoman ready to bathe the world in blood to achieve Liberty: But the partnership with Dorian also leads Lily to the limit of her possibility. Her greatest obstacle as a force for resistance is, however, that she remains throughout an object of male desire.
The discussion is underpinned by the work of feminist cultural theorists who have interrogated the spectacular representation of the feminine in screen narrative as at once desirable and terrifying.
Lily is created by Victor Frankenstein precisely out of male desire for possession of a feminine fantasy. Even before her creation, Lily is desired by John Clare as an ideal romantic companion with whom to share long walks and poetic thoughts 2.
Victor attempts to clothe Lily in girlish Victorian lace dresses and a tight laced corset so that she can barely breathe 2. What would they do if they did? After she leaves Victor, she is desired by Dorian Gray as a source of excitation and shared enterprise. Ultimately, however, Dorian sets her up and then betrays her just as the other figures of male power in her life have done.
In various ways, the female characters struggle with the attempt to seek empowerment, whether caused by enchantment, witches and demons that seek to inhabit their minds, or by institutional incursions and restraints.
In the scenes in which Vanessa Ives is trapped in one way or another by possession, hallucination, or memory, her thin white body is marked brutally by her sufferings, and her shadow eyes are particularly haunting. Vanessa alludes to her position as a woman whose truth is unable to be heard 3. She survives through mental determination, the force of will over physical suffering, whereas Lily Frankenstein chooses action through violent games and gestures of dominance.
Invoking Salome, she commissions her followers to bring her the severed hand of every man in London they can find 3: The focus on spectacular embodiment in particular shows this, for example as Lily Frankenstein first gains control of her own circumstances, testing her physical strength and psychological power and then seizing control over others through seduction and brutality.
These experiments in body technique can be seen, in part, as a manifestation of the hybrid transmedia environment that screen adaptations of the Fantastic mode entail. As characters are remade, recontextualised, relocated, so is their potential for narrative evolution. However, the attempts of Penny Dreadful to remake classic stories of the past and thus to revision the potentialities of its characters for the future are in practice constrained, both by the financial and ideological imperatives of mass screen entertainment.
Although powerful, the women of Penny Dreadful repeatedly face visible and invisible forces greater than themselves. The confluence between an ethos of advanced mechanical production and scientific inquiry with the presence of vast and fearsome ancient forces serve to remind the viewer of the shifting dangers and precarious conditions with which its central characters confront the world, making and unmaking themselves as agents, destroyers and victims of powerful forces around them.
The stories of Lily, Vanessa and the other female characters in this series seem to be little more than adaptive ways of telling the old story in which the Gothic New Woman must be contained. At the same time, they promise more: Women of the Future What possibilities, then, do Lily and Penny Dreadful suggest for the future stories of woman in screen narrative? Schubart argues that the identity of the contemporary female screen hero must be regarded as complex and conflicted Screen drama post-feminism portrays women who seek power and express desire, and refuse to sacrifice a sense of purpose for romance.
With Vanessa Ives, several of the female characters in Penny Dreadful show us a similar reframing of the late nineteenth century female persona, as women in possession of autonomy, desire and a personal or supernatural potency that enables them to overcome resistance to male authority and societal expectation.
That she is also portrayed as a mother in her former life further complicates her significance. However, Lily reauthors her own narrative and asserts her subjective will, transcending her status of object to achieve self-determination.
Arguably, she thus promises to overcome the idea of the abject mother, promising a new race of superwomen. Yet, she is also something more: As the extreme conventionalists of the s asserted, women were or should be slaves to their bodies. Their lot in life was to reproduce and to serve the family, not to pursue educational or political aims.
While woman preserves her sex she will necessarily be feebler than man, and, having her special bodily and mental characters, will have to a certain extent her own sphere of activity; where she has become thoroughly masculine in nature, or hermaphrodite in mind, — when, in fact, she has pretty well divested herself of her sex, — then she may take his ground, and do his work; but she will have lost her feminine attractions, and probably also her chief feminine functions Maudesley Although Penny Dreadful is undoubtedly a contemporary remaking of Victorian Gothic tropes, its characters and stories speak to a host of twenty-first century screen narratives and perspectives.
One of the most intriguing things about Lily as the Gothic New Woman is the way that she brings together themes and tropes currently at work in our contemporary global culture: The theme of mass production and consumption has particular resonances with the television series Penny Dreadful.
Here layers of historicity are appropriated for compelling story-telling, using techniques such as recursive adaptation to produce contemporary iterations of familiar stories and archetypal characters that resurface time and time again in popular mass consumption.
Yet, the overriding narrative driver for each of the female characters of Penny Dreadful is uncertainty. They must each face the possibility that what they make of themselves is fuel for the work of others who seek to exploit them.
Her enterprise is ambitious but seemingly unachievable as the series draws to a close. In the last four episodes of the third and last season, Lily is captured and drugged by Dr Jekyll and Dorian Gray and chained to a chair in the laboratory of the Victorian Lunatic Asylum where Jekyll performs his experiments on the unfortunate. The confluence between an ethos of advanced mechanical production and scientific inquiry with the presence of vast and fearsome ancient forces serve to remind the viewer of the shifting dangers and precarious conditions with which its central characters confront the world, making and unmaking themselves as agents, destroyers and victims of power.
The ambitious predator of a new age of transformation, Lily Frankenstein is the artificially revivified female monster who promises a superhuman triumph: Works Cited Chisholm, Hugh. The New Woman and the Victorian Novel. Oxford University Press, Literary Celebrity, Gender and Victorian Authorship University of Delaware Press, Its Definition, Scope and Aims.
University of Chicago Press, Edited by June Purvis and Sandra S. A Theory of Adaptation. Fiction and Feminism at the Fin de Siecle. Manchester University Press, Penny Dreadful and Adaptation. Visual and Other Pleasures. University of Missouri Press, A New Woman Reader: Fiction, Articles and Drama of the s.
- Serial Killer Girl (Come On, Come On, Kill Me!) lyrics
- SERIAL KILLER GIRL COME ON, COME ON, KILL ME!
- Michale Graves
Oxford and New York: Seven Sons of Mammon. Burnham, Shapiro, S. Or the Modern Prometheus. Women Writers of the Fin-de-Siecle. Rutgers University Press, Edited by Anne Gjeslvik and Rikke Schubart. Her academic books and journal articles include biography, studies in creative writing, literary and screen culture. As a practicing creative writer, she has published fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and cultural journalism.
Witches have been television material since Bewitched —72usually in comedy or light drama, and often for teen audiences. Penny Dreadful, however, is a horror-gothic show for adults, and Vanessa a woman plagued by her powers. She is traumatized by earlier sexual escapades and family losses, and now fights evil in late-Victorian London as part of a group led by Sir Malcolm. This analysis therefore takes an interdisciplinary approach to screen horror as phantasmagorical play Sutton-Smith, that enables emotional edgework.
The moors of the West country. I went in search for answers to who I was, to a woman I came to know as the Cut-wife of Ballentree Moore. She was the first witch I ever met.
Or the Mother of Evil? She pursues these questions until she is killed at the end of the series. In edgework players do activities from which they learn to manage their emotions, manage their selves, and become more skilled at their choice of edgework. The edge takes them to an emotional peak experience, which is desirable, exciting, and dangerous. Thus, edgework is both physical and exterior and also psychological and interior. So, too, for fictional character Vanessa and for us, the audience, who engage with her.
Vanessa faces exterior supernatural forces and her inner demons. We, the audience, face fictional events and our inner demons or, in the words of psychologist Michael Apter, we do self-substitution edgework We use fiction characters to substitute for our selves and do our edgework. It is an exploration of the darkness in the world and the darkness within.
Rather explore the dark than be bound to the light. The self is not a pot of gold at the end of the journey; rather, the self unfolds in the process of doing edgework and in the journey as lived life. The article starts with a brief look at Penny Dreadful and Vanessa. For Flaubert, at least, Mme Bovary was a treasured artistic progeny and became his creative legacy. Penny Dreadful is a horror-drama series conceived and written by the American playwright Logan and produced by American TV-network Showtime and English telecommunications company Sky.
The plot centers on a group of four people who battle dark forces in Victorian London in In the first season, Sir Malcolm is searching for his daughter Mina who has been abducted by a vampire. Vanessa Ives first joins him.
The Murray and Ives families were once neighbors and Mina and Vanessa once best friends. In Season Two the group battles a witch coven, and in Season Three they battle Dracula and the onset of the Apocalypse.
She is presented as a strong woman: Frustrated fans speculated that the show ended because Showtime, disappointed with ratings, offered Logan a new show to write. Penny Dreadful is an example of what Jason Mittell calls complex television, also known as quality television and literary storytelling due to its complexity of stories and psychological depth of characters.
So, whether or not the show was intended to be three seasons, we will read Vanessa as a complex and psychologically deep character, like Mme Bovary. Most edgework research I know discusses activities such as risk sports, criminal behavior, running with bulls in Spanish cities, and risky sex. In short, these are activities where players risk physical trauma. How is fiction, then, edgework, if the audience cannot break a leg or lose our life when watching?
It is beyond this article to discuss the relation between fiction, engagement, and psychology, however, let me offer two arguments: First, when we are fully engaged with fiction, we experience events and emotions as if they were real. Second, we understand that fiction is an as-if world, and that we will not die when characters die.Snow white's poison bite - Will you meet me in the graveyard (guitar cover)
Psychologically speaking, fiction can be edgework where the audience does high-level and low-level cognitive work, oscillating between experiencing real emotions and telling ourselves that although our fear is real, events are not real. Discover top playlists and videos from your favorite artists on Shazam!. Gruesome and the Gruesome Gory Horror Show. Because this story is cursed by fairy dust. Dead in the end, this end was made for you. The End Of Prom Night. This is murder, GO!
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It is used to season food, to supplement fodder in livestock feed, to preserve food, and to melt snow and ice. Share to Facebook Share. Bite-size knowledge for a big Blu-ray Blu-ray pronounced Blue ray is what Blu- ray. Story of my life Searching for the right But it. During winter, similarly sized depressions in the snow, often littered with old hairscharacterize bed-sites. The lower part of the legs is usually black and the tail usually has a white or black tip.
Dark naga have a non-poisonous bite and a poisonous tail-sting; the barbed stinger does. The Evil Queen is the child-hating, poison-apple-giving, mirror-loving Joan. Might be Poison - Nothing but a good time. Insects, mites and spiders may bite to feed or to defend themselves, leaving annoying.
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