"The Transformation" starts with the typical Shellian framework narrative where the narrator states that he feels compelled to tell his story despite swearing never to do so. The narrator's story begins with the perfunctory descriptions of his family and his reckless behavior. After saving his foster sister Juliet from being carried off by his older cousin at the age of 11, Guido and Juliet exchange vows to one another ... (courtesy of mary-shelley-wikia.com)
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
" Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale,
And then it set me free.
" Since then, at an uncertain hour.
That agony returns;
And till my ghastly tale is told
This heart within me burns."
— Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
I HAVE heard it said, that, when any, strange, supernatural, and necromantic adventure has occurred to a human being, that being, however desirous he may be to conceal the same, feels at certain periods torn up as it were by an intellectual earthquake, and is forced to bare the inner depths of his spirit to another. I am a witness of the truth of this. I have dearly sworn to myself never to reveal to human ears the horrors to which I once, in excess of fiendly pride, delivered myself over. The holy man who heard my confession, and reconciled me to the Church, is dead. None knows that once —
Why should it not be thus? Why tell a tale of impious tempting of Providence, and soul subduing humiliation? Why? answer me, ye who are wise in the secrets of human nature! I only know that so it is; and in spite of strong resolve, — of a pride that too much masters me — of shame, and even of fear, so to render myself odious to my species, — I must speak.
Genoa! my birthplace— proud city! looking upon the blue Mediterranean — dost thou remember me in my boyhood, when thy cliffs and promontories, thy bright sky and gay vineyards, were my world'! Happy time! when to the young heart the narrow-bounded universe, which leaves, by its very limitation, free scope to the imagination, enchains our physical energies, and, sole period in our lives, innocence and enjoyment are united. Yet, who can look back to childhood, and not remember its sorrows and its harrowing fears! I was born with the most imperious, haughty, tameless spirit. I quailed before my father only; and he, generous and noble, but capricious and tyrannical, at once fostered and checked the wild impetuosity of my character, making obedience necessary', but inspiring no respect for the motives which guided his commands. To be a man, free, independent; or, in better words, insolent and domineering, was the hope and prayer of my rebel heart.
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