The Library’s new app for iPad, Frankenstein: The Afterlife of Shelley’s Circle, asks users to engage in the central themes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in new ways. One feature allows readers to respond to questions that relate to the source material, engaging in a dialogue about everything from what books inspired them as children to ethics in science.
Here’s how Lance Bohy, an IT Architect from Seattle answered a question about technology:
Q: People today are perhaps more likely to read the novel Frankenstein as an e-book, which is somewhat ironic given that a major theme of the novel is technology run amok. As the monster comes to life, Victor Frankenstein says: “I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. … But now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.” Can we see e-books, now in their infancy, leading to the fulfillment of a dream — or starting down a path that leads to ultimate horror, the dream turned nightmare?
A: A dream turned nightmare? Nonsense. This work that I now hold in my hands bears evidence to just how good we have it. With this device half as thick as my finger I have book, history lesson, master class, art gallery and more all within just this one app alone. This is the stuff of dreams! This is not simply Gutenberg-redux, this is more. Much more. NYPL’s Biblion is a shining example of what is possible and coolest part: we’ve just begun! I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
Now it’s your turn: fire up your iPad, download Frankenstein, and tell us what you think.