To the Editor:
To her credit, Germaine Greer correctly spells my name and gives the
title of my new book, The Man Who Wrote
Other than that, her 9 April 2007 article trashes my book without ever
once confronting my arguments or my evidence. It begins and ends with
ad hominem arguments and gratuitous insults, insinuating that I was
motivated to write my book either from hatred of “radical
feminists” (not my term) or in order to flog “another dead
We are all entitled to have our ideas evaluated — one at a time.
Although my writings on “AIDS” and on “poppers”
(nitrite inhalants) are irrelevant to my work on Frankenstein, I stand
by them. Some of these are archived on the Internet <virusmyth.net>.
Greer's pronouncement — Frankenstein “is
not a good, let alone a great novel” — cannot go unchallenged. To those
who can really read, the 1818 Frankenstein
is a radical and disturbing work, containing some of the most beautiful
prose in the English language. Though not an easy work, Frankenstein,
even in the bowdlerized 1831 edition, has been in print for nearly two
centuries. How many people will be reading the Harry Potter novels in
the 23rd century?
Greer dredges up old feminist misinterpretations of Frankenstein:
motherhood, dead or aborted babies, and so on. No. Frankenstein,
from start to finish, is a man's book; it is about male relationships:
romantic friendship, companionship and, for the poor monster, ostracism.
The time has come to raise Frankenstein to
its deserved stature: it is a profound and moving masterpiece, fully
worthy of its author, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
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