Talk:The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein

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"Germaine Greer on who really wrote Frankenstein"[edit]

The article is not titled "Germaine Greer on who really wrote Frankenstein", it is clearly "Yes, Frankenstein really was written by Mary Shelley. It's obvious - because the book is so bad." I've changed the reference. --tronvillain (talk) 16:10, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:54, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

General comment[edit]

Is this Wikipedia article even worth retaining? The Robinson edition, which, to put it in terms of sheer numbers, indicates 65,000 words by Mary Shelley, and 5,000 words by Percy Bysshe Shelley (where he altered her original text) quite clearly indicates that she wrote it, and that Lauritsen is, to be nice about it, bloody wrong. Frankly, Lauritsen sounds like those people who say that Shakespeare didn't actually write all those plays. DJRafe (talk) 23:19, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Well, just being wrong doesn't necessarily mean something isn't worth retaining. Still, something I had considered adding that ties directly into the The Original Frankenstein is this episode of The Book Show, where Lauritsen and Robinson are interviewed together, and Robinson says "The novel is roughly 72,000 words, and out of the 72,000 words we can show from manuscript evidence that at least 4,000 of the words were Percy Bysshe Shelley's." --tronvillain (talk) 14:47, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
DJRafe, you may wish to review WP:NOTFORUM. It is not the purpose of this talk page to debate Lauritsen's thesis, but to discuss how to improve the article. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:08, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
As an additional point, some of the text you added here ("Whilst not necessarily written in specific rebuttal to Lauritsen") was inappropriate editorializing. Just to state the obvious, the "reception" section needs to summarize the reactions to Lauritsen's book, and should not add editor's personal comments or opinions about those reactions, or about anything else, for that matter. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:27, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Arguably, DJRafe may have been questioning whether or not the article meets WP:NOTE, but it seems pretty clear that it does. Of course, it also seems pretty clear that it's WP:FRINGE, and that could be made clearer in the article - I'll see about incorporating The Book Show interview, unless someone else wants to do it. --tronvillain (talk) 21:02, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
He was trying to argue about Lauritsen's views. That isn't what we are here to do, and if editors insist on trying to argue about the merits or demerits of Lauritsen's views, rather than discussing how to improve the article, then their comments can in principle be removed or archived. Lauritsen's thesis may not be widely accepted, but the work would only qualify as "fringe" for Wikipedia's purposes if there were a consensus among sources discussing it that it is a fringe work. That is not the case as far as I'm aware, and it seems unlikely to be true. It's simply a book that has received a mixture of positive and negative reactions, like many books. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:09, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
No, identifying a theory as fringe does not require "a consensus among sources discussing it that it is a fringe work" - it only requires that the theory be at odds with the existing consensus, and the existing consensus is clearly that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. As WP:FRINGE says, "We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe an idea that departs significantly from the prevailing views or mainstream views in its particular field." In any case, I'm not suggesting adding anything other than an interview about the book where Lauritsen is disagreed with by experts. --tronvillain (talk) 21:24, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
If you want the article to state that The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein is considered a fringe work, then you would need a reliable source stating, in so many words, that The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein is a fringe work, per WP:VERIFY. You are unlikely to find one. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 21:28, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Again, that's not how WP:FRINGE works - all that would have to be established the is that the idea departs significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view. In any case, I never suggested explicitly labeling it "fringe" within the article. --tronvillain (talk) 21:39, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Despite that, if you want the consensus explicitly tied to Lauritsen and this book, at The Chronicle we have (after a description of the book), "Lauritsen is an outlier among Shelley scholars, almost all of whom consider Frankenstein to be Mary's work." --tronvillain (talk) 22:50, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
If you do not wish to add the words "The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein is a fringe work" to the article, then in exactly what way do you propose to make it clear that it is considered a fringe work? The Chronicle article is not useful to me, by the way, since I do not have a subscription. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 05:25, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
That's not actually my problem - sources aren't required to be freely available online (see WP:PAYWALL and WP:RSC). And as I said initially, all I am going to do is add The Book Show interview with Lauritsen, where he's contradicted by experts, and now possibly something about the existing consensus. --tronvillain (talk) 12:25, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Category:Fringe theories[edit]

I have self-reverted my own removal of Category:Fringe theories, added by tronvillain, because of WP:3RR. However, tronvillain, you really do need to supply more evidence that the category is appropriate. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 20:13, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

I really don't. As As WP:FRINGE says, "We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe an idea that departs significantly from the prevailing views or mainstream views in its particular field." As it said in The Chronicle, "Lauritsen is an outlier among Shelley scholars, almost all of whom consider Frankenstein to be Mary's work." The mainstream view in this field is that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and that makes this a textbook example of a fringe theory, just as the Shakespeare authorship question is. It's not a pejorative term, it's just an accurate description of the current state of affairs. --tronvillain (talk) 22:05, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE does not discuss categories. In particular, it contains no mention of Category:Fringe theories. So, as I said, the onus is on you to show that the category is appropriate. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:23, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Category:Fringe theory (of which Category:Fringe theories is a subcategory) says "A fringe theory is an idea or a collection of ideas that departs significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view. It can include work done to the appropriate level of scholarship in a field of study but only supported by a minority of practitioners, to more dubious work. Examples of the latter include pseudoscience (ideas that purport to be scientific theories but have little or no scientific support), conspiracy theories, unproven claims about alternative medicine, pseudohistory and so forth", and refers directly to WP:FRINGE. If something is a fringe theory, the category clearly applies. We could do a request for comment I suppose? --tronvillain (talk) 22:35, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
No thank you. I don't think a request for comment is necessary. I am not going to edit war over the category; nonetheless, I do think that more effort could be made to show that it's appropriate. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:54, 6 October 2016 (UTC)