Business: Demons and Monsters

"It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a compulsive motion agitated its limbs."

Mary Shelley's succulent description of Victor Frankenstein's moment of triumph—a moment that Hollywood traditionally illustrated with flashes of lightning and showers of sparks—dramatizes one of the most fundamental metaphors in mythology: the creation of an artificial man. It is an idea that can be traced...

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