A Sneak Peek on the Novel that Riffs on Sex Dolls

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A Sneak Peek on the Novel that Riffs on Sex Dolls

Frankissstein is no doubt an on-the-nose title of Mary Shelly’s 19th-century monsterpiece. It was also long-listed for Booker Prize this year. But despite its title, Frankissstein is more than just a reimagining of Mary Shelly’s award-winning novel. Rather, it is a novel that is fizzing with ideas and sex toys with timelines as well as intersexuality. 

This novel tackles everything from Gothic to satirical. Apart from that, it also seamlessly interweaves social commentary about everything including gender, obsessions with social media, cultural hegemony, and future technology. 

Jeanette Winterson, the author of the said novel, is a fearless woman who takes on both literary behemoth. Her form of writing lurches so far into the famous culture. In fact, telling where the original ends and “The Munsters” begins is almost impossible. 

However, her fearlessness is the stock in trade of Winterson. Those who have read “Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?”– her extraordinary and searing memoir can attest to this fearlessness. Then there is her another novel called “As we’re told on the cover, this is a love story. 

Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein is More Than Just A Reimagining of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein

A lot of people and literary enthusiasts say that Frankenstein was the name of the scientist in the novel and not the name of the monster. Pedantic literary clarification has become so ingrained. It has been frequently repeated in order to attain the “near-parody” status. However, the truth is none of Victor Frankenstein’s reanimated creation is the real monster. This honorable title belongs to only the book itself. 

Mary Shelley’s aim in writing this timeless novel is to give her readers a frightening story that enlivens a Swiss holiday that’s soaked with rain. However, this aim has long bee outgrown. Frankenstein, her deathless artistic story is inspiring yet cautionary. 

But what if your creation is not a novel? For instance, if you created an atom bomb, or to give an example of something that is already implanted in the public consciousness, artificial intelligence, would it be able to assume an independent existence? 

The answer is yes. In fact, the troubling ramifications of technological advancement are becoming a central preoccupation of contemporary British fiction at a fast phase. Novels like James Smythe’s “I Still Dream” and Will Eaves’s award-winning “Murmur” looks into the development of artificial intelligence. 

Furthermore, Jeanette Winterson’s Frankissstein was able to make a space for itself in the crowded place of the literary field. The novel captured the attention of many due to its deeply pertinent engagement with hybridity. Dreamy romanticism and hard science exist in harmony within this novel. 

What is Inside Winterson’s Frankissstein?

At the beginning of the story, Winterson introduced the main character named Ry Shelly. She was a transgender doctor who describes herself as a hybrid. Ry met Victor Stein, a celebrated professor who works at the bleeding edge of evolution using self-designing life. 

Victor’s interest in Ry is both detachedly philosophical and sexual. He was able to see transhuman implications in Ry’s post-surgery body. Moreover, Ry was able to quickly acknowledge the distinct and somewhat lonely intersection between gender fluidity and science– something that she was able to encompass through her existence. 

At one point, Ry said that she lives with doubleness. Her view is more focused on the discomfort with the present. On the other hand, Victor Stein sees her as a “harbinger of the future,” who opted to intervene in her own evolution. 

Stein’s vision is toward artificial intelligence. He thinks that the future will be unconstrained by physical form. There both automated and human consciousness is transcending the messy complications of the fragile gendered human bodies. However, Ron Lord, Victor’s business partner, has different priorities. For him, the advancements in technology serve as an
opportunity to dispense with all the moral obstacles that are inconvenient, yet attend the innate desire of men for dominion over women. 

Moreover, Ron has a sexbot business. He creates hyper-realistic girls who have “top-grade silicone nipples,” extra-wide splayed leg positions, as well as vibrating vaginas. At first, Ron thought that Ry is a man. But when she explained that Ry is short for “Mary,” Ron insisted that Ry must be a woman.

Ry stood firm and said that she was a hybrid. Ron reduced to an interrogation of her genitalia, to which she answered, “Is manhood dickhood?”

Frankissstein is An Intelligent Work of Art

Frankissstein is an intelligent meditation about the responsibilities of creation. It also tackles things about the possibilities of artificial intelligence. Apart from that, it pointed out the implications of both transhumanism and transsexuality. 

The novel’s characters are not only fictional present-day creations. Instead, it consists of historical figures that are subjected to the author’s own power of reanimation. Her characters Shelley, Byron, Turing, and Ada Lovelace all made appearances. 

There are times when the novel’s speculative nature was so powerful that it overwhelmed its own sense of tangible reality. This is something that you can expect from a book that was constructed from both beholden and nebulous realm of ideas. 

In particular, Victor Stein is prone to lengthy disquisition about death, consciousness, as well as spirituality. This resulted in some readers feeling as if they themselves are being disembodied. Some readers, on the other hand, are feeling immersed in the deoxygenated atmosphere of pure thought. 

Moreover, Jeanette Winterson’s great gift as a writer is her ability to give her characters their own joyous life through pure thought. 

Winterson filled the novel with inventions. There was a scene where reanimated human hands crawl like spiders across the floor of an underground research facility. There was also a malfunctioning sex robot that unfolded from a holdall and talked dirty in a room that’s full of bemused spectators during a rarefied drinks gathering. 

Furthermore, Winterson noted that “what will happen has begun.” This is something that’s true as we are now able to use technology to redesign ourselves. In addition, we need technology to understand ourselves.


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