Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) meets the monster (Boris Karloff) in 1931’s Frankenstein. (John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Mary Shelley’s warning about the dangers of heedless scientific advancement takes on new relevance today.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A sign of great literature is that one can return to it at different times and find that, though its words have not changed, alterations in either the reader, the world itself, or both can change or heighten the import of the text. Such is the case with Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, published in 1818 and which I first read some 15 years ago. Shelley’s gothic tale has become a byword for the view so, uh, ably expressed by Jeff Goldblum (playing Ian Malcolm) in Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could,


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