Mary's journals have provided scholars with ample evidence to support intertextual readings of her works. Pollin was one of the first studies to record the
«most essential» (98) subtexts to Mary Shelley's novel. Sandra Gilbert's and Susan Gubar's famous reading of Frankenstein in The Madwoman in the Attic as a revision of Milton's Paradise Lost is one example of extended studies devoted to rediscovering Mary Shelley as not only a popular novelist of remarkable power, but also as an intellectual in dialogue with the literary greats of the past as well as of her own age. Other examples include Stephen Bann's Preface to the critical anthology Frankenstein: Creation and Monstrosity, which argues that the ambiguity of Frankenstein mirrors Mary Shelley's conflicted process of revising the narratives inherited from her often radical family; and Ellis and Mellor's «Possessing Nature,» both of which draw heavily from Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to argue that Mary Shelley's tale of horror is an extension of the feminist work initiated by her mother. See Zonana for a discussion of the influence of The New Arabian Nights. See also Levine and Knoepflmacher's The Endurance of Frankenstein, the first anthology of critical essays devoted to Frankenstein, which contains an entire section on the biographical and intertextual echoes contained within Mary Shelley's classic. No study of Frankenstein's intertextuality would be complete without reference to Charles E. Robinson's The Frankenstein Notebooks, a comprehensive reproduction of the Frankenstein manuscripts which promises to change the face of Frankenstein scholarship and which takes on the mammoth task of tracing Mary Shelley's drafting and revision processes, in part, through reference to the reading lists contained in her journals.
Lodore lifts a main plot line (love in the poor house) from Mary Shelley´s own experiences following her elopement with Percy Shelley to the Continent in 1814. It is also a novelistic exploration of ideological tensions (appearance versus reality, subjectivity versus objectivity, Enlightenment Reason versus Romantic Passion), a point that becomes clearly distinguishable in the polarity of two heroines: Ethel Fitzhenry and Fanny Derham. A contrasting pair, Ethel and Fanny are both described in terms of Don Quixote: the latter in positive opposition to the delusional, bookish Cervantine protagonist and the former as a misguided victim of quixotic love. Mary Shelley's last novel, Falkner: A Novel (1837), also uses Don Quixote as means to explain a central character, the tragic captain John Falkner. Though responsible for the death and destruction of an
innocent woman, Falkner is described as having
«with all his sufferings and faults, much of the Don Quixote about him» (2: 130), and to have
«never heard a story of oppression without forming a scheme to relieve the victim» (2: 130).
See Parr and El Saffar for discussions of Don Quixote's layered levels of discourse.
For example, Walton's outer narrative is addressed to the sphinx-like and distant Mrs. Saville, his sister, who operates as both an excuse for the contained narrative and as a hostile, unenlightened audience. Her imagined opposition to his quest provides the occasion for Walton to identify himself as a would be conqueror of Nature's most northerly regions. Similarly, in both Victor's and the creature's narratives, the hapless and gullible Justine dies on the scaffold as an example of the sacrifices which must be made to ensure the ascendancy of masculine pride and power. Elizabeth too, according to Victor, dies as payment for a man's faithlessness, arrogance, and vanity.
My discussion of Safie as a geographic and thematic locus is indebted to Zonana's perceptive discussion.
My reading of Zoraida has been influenced by a number of the provocative discussions of «The Captive's Tale» which have appeared in recent years. I would like to make particular note of my indebtedness to Garcés, Smith, Gerli, Hathaway, and McGaha. See also Sieber.
On this point, Hathaway concludes a comparison of the Muslim Zoraida with the Christian Dorotea by stating that the Eastern heroine
«seems yes, certainly seems to be more spiritual, more religious, in contrast to... the fair Andalusian» (49).
Cervantes' reliance on certain cultural types for depiction of his female characters is well documented. Sadie Trachman conducted one of the more dated studies in the 1930s and separated Cervantes' Moorish women into four categories: Mohammedan Converts, Lovers of Valor, Lovers of their Christian Slaves, and Sorceresses. Of particular interest for my study, Trachman places Zoraida in the category of «Mohammedan Converts» and points out that Zoraida is a more complicated figure than most because she is capable of denying one father in the name of another. Trachman, like subsequent scholars, interprets Cervantes' Arab women in terms of passion. Whether inspired by Christianity or a Christian slave, these women are known on one level of Western consciousness in terms of a crafty willfulness, lust, and singular selfpossession. As a point of contrast (and as an example of the distances scholarship has traversed in the last sixty years), Garcés, Smith, and Kahf explore the position of Zoraida in more modern terms according to signs and socioeconomics. Where Garcés and Smith focus upon Zoraida as an object of economic exchange, Kahf explores the timing of Zoraida's appearance in literary history. Kahf argues that Zoraida is a transitional figure demarcating Western literature's turn away from depictions of the Muslim woman as vocal and willful to that of the immured princess, vulnerable and slight. For another perspective see Gerli's discussion of Zoraida in terms of Cervantes' revision of Neo-Gothic Reconquest mythology and, specifically, the cultural myth of La Cava Rumía. Gerli persuasively contends that Cervantes' consciously inverted the traditional story to produce an alternative myth
«of a Christian Spain in interracial marriage... and resolution as it transcends cultural, geographical, and linguistic difference» (57).
See in particular Mellor's Mary Shelley and Johnson.
Citations from Frankenstein are taken from the 1818 text, as edited by Hunter. All further citations are cited parenthetically in the text.