OSLEP Public Event
February 16, 2018
Dr. Jerry Hogle, University of Arizona
University of Oklahoma, Norman campus
Many are well aware that Mary Shelley's and John Polidori's 1818-19 novels -- hugely influential on "Gothic monster" fiction-making ever since -- came out of a gathering of writers at the Villa Diodati (rented by Lord Byron) on the shores of Lake Geneva during the Summer of 1816. What is less well known is exactly what both novels took from precisely what was read and discussed by the Diodati party throughout those summer months. This illustrated talk argues that it was more than just bits of content that these novels took from what that gathering perused; the very nature and symbolic capacity of the monster-figures themselves in both books (and hence their influence since) come from the sense of the Gothic image that Shelley and Polidori took in during that stormy summer from the discussions and readings that kept taking place throughout that June, July, and August.