Contents Index

I cannot forbear recording it

Walton, who cannot resist the impulse to continue a creation whose end he cannot predict, bears an uncanny resemblance to the obsessive Victor Frankenstein racing to the denouement of the Creature's birth in Ingolstadt (1.3.6). The difference, and it is one maintained throughout the novel's self-reflexive mirroring of its own operations, is that writing has no effect in the world until it is read. The writer's obsession with the text may seem both narcissistic and solipsistic, but this antisocial dimension is confined to a conceptual plane. Still, Walton's unselfconscious acquiescence in the claims of what seems to him irresistable reinforces our sense that what drives Victor is little different from the passions we all share as human beings.