The difference a review can make

Book reviews are not necessarily an author’s favorite choice for late-night reading. But last night, caught in the grips of pre-back-to-school insomnia, I happened to stumble upon the review of The Frankenstein of 1790 by Katarzyna Bartoszyńska, in Modern Philology (2014): E001-E004. I have never met Katarzyna Bartoszyńska nor set foot on the campus of Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, where she works. But as I pondered, weak and weary, if I still have the stamina to meet the expectations of college teaching again this fall, her words were a wonderful boost. She clearly had taken the time to read the whole book, and she accepted the invitation I extended to readers, to seek out other traces of the revolutionary legacy today, wherever they may be found. A note on recent events in Ukraine (see related interview with Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot) accomplished my hopes–that the book would incite readers to take my findings and plumb the stories for what they may teach tomorrow’s readers, about the power of words to keep revolutionary hopes alive.

So I’d like to say thank you, young colleague, for giving me back the energy I thought I might have lost.

2 thoughts on “The difference a review can make

  1. Wow! I just googled myself (I was actually wondering if another book review I’d written had been published yet) and stumbled across this post. I’m so glad that my review of your wonderful book brought you sustenance of some kind. I’m not at Bilkent any more; I’m now at Monmouth College, in Illinois. I had actually meant to come and introduce myself to you at ASECS this year, but didn’t get a chance to. Next year, perhaps! In any case — thanks for the kind words. And for your work, which is fascinating.

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