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Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Midnight Labors

Surrealistic dream figures move about, watched over by a skeletal figure wrapped in bandages. There Stalked a Multitude of Dreams, 1969. Federico Castellon. Photographic reproduction of a lithograph. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine Collection.
There Stalked a Multitude of Dreams, 1969. Federico Castellon. Photographic reproduction of a lithograph. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine Collection.

Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil, as I dabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave, or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay?

Victor Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, 1818

With feverish excitement, Victor Frankenstein pursues nature to her hiding places. By moonlight, he gathers the body parts he needs by visits to the graveyard, to the charnel house, to the hospital dissecting room and the slaughterhouse. Although he finds his solitary preoccupation repulsive, he is not deterred from his quest to restore life.