Monday, October 5, 2015

A Day in the Lonesome October-fest, October 5th

The continuing account of reading A Night in the Lonesome October with an eight-year-old nine-year-old, out loud and during the day.

October 5

With the exception of some commentary from Lily about how she pictures our cats when I describe Graymalk, I read this chapter without almost no interruptions until the end.

Me: Nightwind said, "For three nights now a small, hunched man has been raiding graveyards. I saw him on my patrols. Two nights back I followed him by the full of the moon. He bore his gleanings to a large farmhouse to the south of here, a place with many lightning rods, above which a perpetual storm rages. Then he delivered them to a tall, straight man he addressed as the 'Good Doctor.' It may be they are seven, or perhaps eight."

Lily: Is the Good Doctor Sherlock Holmes?

Me: No, they call Sherlock Holmes “The Great Detective”. The Good Doctor is Doctor Frankenstein.

And we had a lengthy digression about Frankenstein. She was better informed than I had expected, and she complained that people should call Frankenstein's monster "the monster" or "the creature" I fear I was in danger of being out-pedanted by a nine-year-old. We got in a discussion about Victor Frankenstein, and she became very passionate about him, and wanted to know why people got so upset when he was just trying to make something. "You don't get mad at people when they make babies the regular way!" I didn't offer much of an opinion, as I was more interested on hearing her expound on her observations.

I'm a big fan of Frankenstein, so this was of particular interest to me. My story, Mother of Monsters, is a very direct homage. I've long thought Mary Shelley a very admirable person, and I decided I wanted to be the kind of parent her father was to her when I read this quote, where he described her at fifteen, as "singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible."

Lily pursued the Frankenstein angle at some length, even pestering her mom for an opinion, and growing irritated when she, inexplicably, in Lily's mind, didn't have a strong opinion on the morality of Frankenstein's actions.

After the digression, we finished up the chapter. She really appreciated the fact that this one was a little longer than the previous ones had been.

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