Contents Index

corrected and augmented

The question of narrative truth is here given a sudden new twist. As readers over the course of nearly three volumes containing Victor's narrative, we have come to assume that it is a straight-forward account, unmediated by another voice. Now we are forced to recognize that what we have read in this simple understanding has been twice edited, first by Victor, and then by Walton acting at Victor's behest. What Walton first wrote has in its second draft not only been "corrected," but "augmented," added to, leaving us with the uncomfortable feeling that mistakes could still survive in the text, or that they could have been accidentally or -- much more worrisome -- deliberately introduced in the process of editing, or that further areas for augmentation might still exist that, if properly elaborated, might materially change the focus of our perspective. In other words, Mary Shelley, having just enjambed two distinct narrative voices and their respective audiences, now further destabilizes her text as an embodiment of a fixed, immutably true account of its personalities and events. Our knowledge is indeterminate and relative, wholly dependent on those voices that filter it.