Monstret, barnet och disciplineringens konsekvens: Intermedial dialog i Allan Rune Petterssons berättelser om Frankensteins faster
Title: The Monster, the Child, and the Consequences of Discipline. Intermedial Dialogue in Allan Rune Petterson’s Novels about Frankenstein’s Aunt
Between Allan Rune Pettersson’s novels Frankenstein’s Aunt (1978) and Frankenstein’s Aunt Returns (1989) there emerges a contradictory view on discipline. Whilst being a dominant motif in the first novel, discipline of the monstrous is dissuaded from in the second. The aim of this article is to explain this contradiction through an analysis of the meaning ascribed to the monstrous body in the two novels, respectively. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s monster theory and Michail Bachtin’s work on the chronotope is used whilst intermedia theory provides a framework to explain the relation between the novels in the light of a TV series based on the first novel.
The first novel creates a gothic chronotope where the protagonist Hanna Frankenstein aims to atone for her nephew’s sins in the past (his creation of Frankenstein’s Monster). In the novel, the monstrous body is assigned meaning through a correlation with the discourse on the child which, thus, legitimizes her acts of disciplining the monsters. In the TV series, monstrosity is described a result of loneliness and consequently, the function of discipline is altered. The Monster falls in love with a human girl, and aunt Hanna aims to turn him into a ladies man. Finally, a wedding between the Monster and the human girl marks a harmonious ending where monstrosity is obliterated altogether.
In the second novel, the Monster and his bride live a bourgeois life and aunt Hanna accuses them of betraying their individuality. However, their lifestyle is the result of her own acts of discipline in the first novel. She therefore has to atone for new sins in the past, only now committed by herself. The second novel thus reinvents the gothic chronotope and also interprets the first novel in the light of the TV series, which provides a missing link between the novels. In the end, the second novel advocates the co-existence of the monstrous alongside the human.
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