ABSTRACT. Deep pain and exuberant joy are the two facets of Mary Shelley’s biography and literary output. In order to better understand the connections between trauma (physical or psychological) and forms of (literary) creativity, and in order to better answer questions related to the genesis of the still enigmatic Frankenstein and its remarkable creator, we need to focus on the intricate network of events in this author’s life and on the complexities of her literary works and thought. There is a still unanswered question, unfortunately rarely posed, as to why the pages describing the crucial days in the months of June and early July 1816 are missing from both Mary Shelley’s and Claire Clairmont’s diaries. Was there indeed a “conspiracy of silence” between the two sisters, because such might have been thought to prove beneficial for the success of Mary Shelley’s work? Or was the reality so dark and haunting that revealing it might have frightened the public away? Further still, and in connection therewith, another question of great significance, yet little, if at all, asked in contemporary Mary Shelley studies, is that regarding Mary Shelley’s possible visit, in September 1814, to Castle Frankenstein. Knowledge of these pieces of the puzzle making up Mary Shelley’s biography may prove to be of fundamental importance in our understanding of how secrecy, alongside deep pain and exuberant joy, can play an essential role in the operations of human creativity. pp. 203-224

Keywords: adventure, loss, trauma, natural disaster, Eureka act, creational chaos, experience unbound, Castle Frankenstein, secrecy

Mihai A. Stroe
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University of Bucharest, Romania

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