1589: "Frankenstein"

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:49 pm UTC

Yeah, this is not a semantic argument about the term "fanfic," which remains an entirely serviceable label for precisely what it unambiguously means, but an argument about how we ought to feel about the thing itself. I don't have anything to say on that subject.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:18 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
RogueCynic wrote:
xtifr wrote:Perhaps he's "The Doctor" in his universe, but "Doctor Who" in ours. :D

As for the famous monster, he may have been nameless in the original book, but the monster is Frankenstein in many adaptations. Those adaptations may be low quality (and usually low budget), but within the canon of that work, it's perfectly correct to say that Frankenstein is the monster. Randall may have done this deliberately, but I'm pretty sure he's not the first to have done it.
Uh, no. He has a name in his universe but it is not used. River Song whisper's the name in one episode to win the Doctor's trust. In another episode, he and I believe Rose Tyler solve a problem in a school and run into Sarah Jane Smith. He calls himself "Doctor Smith". As to the correct pronunciation of "Frankenstein", it is "Frunkensteen". Just ask Eyegore.


"John Smith" is his most-used pseudonym; "Doctor" (or "The Doctor") is his common use-name. There is also the secret name, which appears to be hidden even from Carrionites.

So maybe the secret name is Doctor Who?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

madaco wrote:He does say he is a /modern/ prometheus after all.
I really hope this is an instance of Poe's law; but the word "modern" changes with context. Shelly was a modern woman. Julius Caesar was a modern man. Basically anybody in history except Jidenna could've said "I'm a modern.."
Pfhorrest wrote: saw a brief clip of some show I don't watch and can't recall now, where characters exclaimed that they were being chased by "draculas". I cringed.
What makes this cringe-worthy to me is that we have a perfectly fine word for the species of monster to which Bram Stoker's and Konami's Draculas belong.

I think the reason "Frankenstein" as the monster or the species of monster is so prevalent is because we needed a word for them.
Copper Bezel wrote: If a character demanded an absurd honorific title or something as a gag, and others in the work did not follow that character's preference, I doubt I would either.
A wonderful example of this is the character from Boondocks named "A Pimp Named Slickback". The name is intentional long and stupid so it's only natural for real and in universe people to not want to say the whole thing.
Pfhorrest wrote:I will usually say The Doctor whenever context permits understanding, and will argue that that is correct in-universe, but sometimes for the purpose of communicating with people outside of that context I find myself having to say "Doctor Who".
This seems wise. Outside of the Whoniverse, "The Doctor" suffers from not being an actual name, and from not being a unique or original phony name. Even in universe "the doctor" has refereed to Dr. Martha Jones or Dr. Yana.
rmsgrey wrote:"John Smith" is his most-used pseudonym; "Doctor" (or "The Doctor") is his common use-name.
I think "John Smith" actually would have to be his legal name in the eyes of the UK since he worked under that name for UNIT.
Coyoty wrote:Mary Shelley's Frankenstein's monster was created through alchemy and was probably a homunculus of unusual size.
This is pure pedantism on my part, but "homunculus" literally means a diminutive man, so a large homunculus is an oxymoron.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby speising » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:45 pm UTC

A humongoulus?

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:45 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:So maybe the secret name is Doctor Who?

No, that's the First Question. The secret name is the answer to it.

(This is an actual plot point during Matt Smith's run).
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Echo244 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:18 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote: If a character demanded an absurd honorific title or something as a gag, and others in the work did not follow that character's preference, I doubt I would either.
A wonderful example of this is the character from Boondocks named "A Pimp Named Slickback". The name is intentional long and stupid so it's only natural for real and in universe people to not want to say the whole thing.


While we're referencing Doctor Who, I think "Stormageddon, Lord of All" deserves a mention. Only the Doctor can speak Baby and so knows to call him this; everyone else just calls him Alfie...

(from the Matt Smith era - one of the specials, with James Corden as his dad?)
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:31 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:Very well, I shall henceforth insist that the monster was called "Frankenstein Canonically". Maybe FC for short?


Invented by the well-known inventor Alfred Modern Prometheus (A. Modern to his friends). Magister343 told me on the internet so it must be true.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:32 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:While we're referencing Doctor Who, I think "Stormageddon, Lord of All" deserves a mention. Only the Doctor can speak Baby and so knows to call him this; everyone else just calls him Alfie...

(from the Matt Smith era - one of the specials, with James Corden as his dad?)


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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby mikrit » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:10 am UTC

xtifr wrote:Every work of fiction is canon unto itself. To argue that one depiction of a character is "more" canon than another shows a frighteningly tenuous grasp on the distinction between fiction and reality.

As Sir Terry Pratchett once said*, "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds."

* Yes, I know he was quoting Emerson. I don't expect the kind of people who argue about canon to recognize the name Emerson, though. ;)

Bah. Of course I have heard of Keith Emerson the keyboardist.

Anyway, Hamlet is just a fanfic of Amleth: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2212
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

mikrit wrote:Anyway, Hamlet is just a fanfic of Amleth: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2212

Wow, just ... wow. I did not know that until just now. So... basically, Shakespeare came up with a new name by just anagramming "Amleth" ? Not even a good anagram, just moving the last letter to the front. So, either this is a strike against the whole "Shakespeare was a great writer" theory, or else ... he was the first to come up with this idea, and it just seems lazy to me now? A combination of two TV Tropes (warning etc), "Zeroth Law..." and "Seinfeld is Unfunny"?

I mean, I know W.S. also had a son named Hamnet, who was born before the play was written, so I guess there were two sources for the name, but still... seems lazy, old English dude.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:18 pm UTC

All of Shakespeare's plays have direct sources like that. What he's remembered for now is how they're told; at the time, most of the plots would have been fresh to a given audience, because some of them were first times in English and things. Not the end of the world if they weren't, though. The world works differently without copyright.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:23 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:seems lazy, old early modern English dude.

FTFY. ;)
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:44 pm UTC

That's only a strike against "Shakespeare was a great writer" if it (and Hamlet itself) is equally a strike against "Lion King is a great movie/musical".

Which is to say, no one's complimenting Shakespeare or Disney on the total originality of their plots. Any praise they deserve is and always has come from *how* those plots are presented.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

Mathmannix, think of it this way: Hamlet is 31,950 words. Wikipedia's plot summary of that play is 1,435 words. "The plot" is about a 20th of the content of the play. Arguably the most important 20th, but that other 95% is there for an important reason.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Coyoty » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:28 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Mathmannix, thank of it this way: Hamlet is 31,950 words. Wikipedia's plot summary of that play is 1,435 words. "The plot" is about a 20th of the content of the play. Arguably the most important 20th, but that other 95% is there for an important reason.


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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:12 am UTC

Coyoty wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:Mathmannix, thank of it this way: Hamlet is 31,950 words. Wikipedia's plot summary of that play is 1,435 words. "The plot" is about a 20th of the content of the play. Arguably the most important 20th, but that other 95% is there for an important reason.

To give an infinite number of monkeys something to do? Why do we even have those monkeys?

Given monkeys' usual behavior, do you want an infinite number of them not writing Shakespeare?

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:41 am UTC

Given the nature of infinity, who's to say there aren't already another infinity of monkeys not writing Shakespeare?
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:21 pm UTC

Somebody better get that loose infinity of monkeys back on the Shakespeare project before they fill the internet with poorly spelled fanfiction.

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

Shakespeare wrote poorly spelled fanfiction, when you get right down to it.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby The Moomin » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:01 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:That's only a strike against "Shakespeare was a great writer" if it (and Hamlet itself) is equally a strike against "Lion King is a great movie/musical".

Which is to say, no one's complimenting Shakespeare or Disney on the total originality of their plots. Any praise they deserve is and always has come from *how* those plots are presented.


Exactly. Anyone can relate a series of events, the skill is in making it entertaining.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby dg61 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:11 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:That's only a strike against "Shakespeare was a great writer" if it (and Hamlet itself) is equally a strike against "Lion King is a great movie/musical".

Which is to say, no one's complimenting Shakespeare or Disney on the total originality of their plots. Any praise they deserve is and always has come from *how* those plots are presented.


He actually made some fairly significant plot changes-in the case of Hamlet, he made the murder of Hamlet's father a hidden thing(as opposed to the source, where it was more obvious and Hamlet pretended to go insane because otherwise it was obvious to all that Claudius was going to murder him). Given that this pretty much changes the entire plot and puts in most of what drives it, it would be a bit strange to claim he just "recycled the plot wholesale). Also, it's not like the basic plot of "guy kills someone, other guy seeks revenge and/or has to conceal his revenge plot" was terribly original to Elizabethan audiences or really anyone. What makes Hamlet more interesting than most is the way it subverts or plays with the conventions of Elizabethan revenge tragedy (e.g. rather fewer deaths onstage, making it clear that Claudius is not aware that Hamlet knows the truth or at least is less aware than he might have been otherwise, relying much more heavily on solioquy) to do something unusual with the play and make it much more about Hamlet's own internal conflict over what he should do.

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:46 pm UTC

And the Lion King made some pretty significant changes from Hamlet, as well. (For example, Hamlet was a human in the original, and was named "Hamlet" rather than Simba. Ophelia was a human in the original, and was named "Ophelia", and killed herself. I could go on.)

It's still very clearly a similar overall plot, was my point.
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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby dg61 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And the Lion King made some pretty significant changes from Hamlet, as well. (For example, Hamlet was a human in the original, and was named "Hamlet" rather than Simba. Ophelia was a human in the original, and was named "Ophelia", and killed herself. I could go on.)

It's still very clearly a similar overall plot, was my point.


Yes of course, I was more responding to people who were saying "lol how unoriginal of Shakespeare to use an existing story".

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Re: 1589: "Frankenstein"

Postby Coyoty » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:29 pm UTC

SuicideJunkie wrote:Somebody better get that loose infinity of monkeys back on the Shakespeare project before they fill the internet with poorly spelled fanfiction.


That could explain "The Eye of Argon". Argon is an anagram of Orang. It had to have been written by orang-utans.


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