|Volume III, Chapter 7
|Adaptations of Frankenstein
The myth of Frankenstein implies defiance. The Creature turned Monster was created in defiance to Nature, God, Science, established order etc. Many of the direct or indirect interpretations of Frankenstein draw similarities based on Victor’s tremendous ambition and egocentrism that leads to isolation, impaired moral judgments, failed obligations, desertion etc. Others are based on the ugliness, physical and moral repulsiveness of the Creature, the unfeasibility to be controlled etc.
The Frankenstein myth takes on a life of its own and continues to offer endless adaptations, interpretations and comparisons in any media, science, new technology, art, literature, medical research, food and everything else.
One such reference is the work of Frederic Thompson, a 26 year old drop out of architectural school New Yorker, who would take the challenge to conceptually create and build in 1903 one of the most unusual and technologically advanced amusement parks on Coney Island –Luna. He is the first professional designer on the island to impose a theme, whose metaphoric meaning will isolate the grounds as “not part of the earth” but that of the Moon. The center of Luna Park becomes a huge lake, surrounded by a forest of needlelike structures, “specimens of Moon Architecture”. His ambition is unparalleled, supreme; he eliminates all classical conventional forms from its structure and using spires, minarets, domes and everything in between, aspires to create a sublime effect of-joy! He is planning the proliferation of his creatures randomly, and is very successful in doing so. In less than three years the towers, spires, minarets are 1,326, and when illuminated at night by 1,300,000 electric lights, the effect is smashing. During the day, however, they are the best example of the curse to architecture and design, the formula: technology+ cardboard (or any other flimsy material) = reality. For 1906, the 38 acres of the Luna infrastructure are the most modern fragment of the world but it is a cardboard reality, an appearance, an exterior. In the words of the Dutch architect, philosopher and writer Rem Koolhaas, “Thompson is finally unable or unwilling to use his private realm, with all its metaphorical potential, for the design of culture. He is still an architectural Frankenstein, whose talent for creating the new far exceeds his ability to control its contents”.Julia M.(Juja)
Work cited: Rem Koolhaas, “Coney Island: The Technology of the Fantastic” in Koolhaas, Delirious New York (New York: The Monacelli Press, Inc., 1994), 29-79.