The following saying popped into my head this morning: a picture is worth a thousand words. Later, in my meditation, this idea came to me: A picture may be worth a thousand words--but I say that a mental image is worth a billion pictures (7.6 billion actually). And what’s required for creating that mental image? The masterful use of--Words! .......... Then I started to wonder what work of literature I could apply this new perception to. It didn’t take long for me to land on Frankenstein. Over the decades, how many attempts have people made? To try and capture this magnificent work of art in "pictures?" .......... I had found my first copy at the Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop on Newbury Street in Boston. It specialized in “eclectic literature of all kinds, the worthy but lost, long out-of-print novels, unusual biographies, and forgotten histories, as well as old periodicals and ephemera" (from their facebook page). I held onto that copy for years before deciding to pick it up one random day, to see what it might contribute to my Boris Karloff understanding of this monster story. .......... To say that it felt like my entire world changed, wouldn’t even scratch the surface of what was true for me. My writing is much too inferior to describe the transformation that took place in my mind, from those cheap images I had held onto for so many years to the masterpiece at my fingertips. .......... Nothing compares to The Author’s depiction. Not that I have seen that many renditions (I think because there are so many awful ones), but the portrayals I have seen do not even come close to how Shelley places us right into Victor’s mind as his “masterpiece” awakens: “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavoured to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -- Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath.” .......... The mental image that Shelley goes on to conjure for us is indeed worth a billion pictures--and that mental image can only come through the WORDS of a master artist.