The Monster Analogy: Why Fictional Characters are Frankenstein’s Monsters


The Unwritten (2009–2015), a Vertigo comics series created by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, demonstrates through metafictional storytelling that all fictional characters share important features with Victor Frankenstein’s infamous creature: they are simultaneously synthetic and mimetic, human and nonhuman, textual and transtextual, crafted to serve specific functions, yet difficult to control. This article explores how structuralist, cognitivist and emerging transtextual theories of literary characters have attempted to grasp and reconcile these paradoxical qualities. This allegorical cross-reading highlights previously ignored points of connection between different theories, forming a basis for a more holistic, dynamic and transmedial view of characters.

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