Author: Juha K. Tapio

The monster reveal’d

Issue 1/1997 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Frankensteinin muistikirja (‘Frankenstein’s notebook’, Kirjayhtymä, 1996). Ern(e)st Hemingway and Gertrud(e) Stein – the narrator in these extracts – meet the famous creature in Paris. According to Juha K. Tapio in this, his first novel, Mary Shelley’s monster has been leading an interesting life during the past few centuries

My first impression was that there wasn’t anything particularly monstrous about him. I have already said that his age was hard to determine, but there was something about him that tempted one to apply the word ‘elderly’ to him. He was up in years, no doubt about that, but in a rather special, indefinable way – which made it hard to infer, at least from his outward appearance, what stage he had reached in terms of normal human life. It had to do with something outside of time. He was tall and a little more raw-boned than the average person, and this made one wonder, looking at him, what kind of body his very fashionable clothing concealed his suit and tie conformed to the latest style. This was certainly not the misshapen and monstrous creature I vividly remembered from Mary Shelley’s description.

It was obvious that the past decades had brought about an inevitable evolution. More…