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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

UF is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by reading it out loud

<p dir="ltr" align="justify">An actor from the play "All Girl Frankenstein", which was shown at the Hippodrome Theatre in 2015, reaches out a hand. </p>

An actor from the play "All Girl Frankenstein", which was shown at the Hippodrome Theatre in 2015, reaches out a hand. 

Students can sit under a tent and listen to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” read out loud from dusk to dawn Wednesday on the Plaza of the Americas.

The 10-hour long “Frankenread” is one of three events celebrating the 200th anniversary of “Frankenstein” from Tuesday to Wednesday, said UF English professor Terry Harpold.

Harpold organized the two-day event, sponsored by the George A. Smathers Libraries, the Harn Museum of Art and the UF Science Fiction Working Group, with his colleague Judith Page, a UF English professor.

The book questions how to be human and deal with monsters, Harpold said.

“The novel has tremendous relevance,” he said. “It’s really a book about the certain struggle to be human, to be accepted.”

The celebration kicks off with a screening of “The Bride of Frankenstein” at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Harn Museum of Art Auditorium.

The “Frankenread” is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Thirty readers, including Mayor Lauren Poe and Samuel Proctor Oral History Program director Paul Ortiz, will take turns reading in 20-minute blocks, Harpold said.

Meanwhile, author Lester Friedman will present vintage Frankenstein films from noon to 1 p.m. in Smathers Library Room 100.

A “Frankenstein” book exhibit will remain on on display on the third floor of Marston Science Library until Nov. 25, Harpold said.

Poe said he volunteered to read at the event to promote literacy and pay tribute to Mary Shelley, a great female novelist and the inventor of the science fiction genre.

“I love the book,” he said. “It’s been since high school since I read it, but it’s an amazing world that Shelley creates.”

The event brings awareness to literacy and encourages creativity, he said.

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“It is a timeless story about alienation, fear and people turning against the unknown,” he said. “I think the theme is relevant to what’s going on in our world today.”

Contact McKenna Beery at mbeery@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @mckennabeery

An actor from the play "All Girl Frankenstein", which was shown at the Hippodrome Theatre in 2015, reaches out a hand. 

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