The Wondersmith

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O'Brien, Fitz-James. "The Wondersmith." The Atlantic Monthly Oct. 1859. The Poems and Stories of Fitz-James O'Brien. William Winter, ed. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1881. The Supernatural Tales of Fitz-James O'Brien, vol. 1: Macabre Tales. Jessica Amanda Salmonson, ed. (?) and introd. New York: Doubleday, 1988.

G. Hoppenstand puts the story "within the tradition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," helping "to establish the automaton, or robot, as an important literary motif in imaginative literature" (14). Hoppenstand finds F-JO's "killer dolls" also "loosely patterned after the human-like machines in [E.T.A.] Hoffmann's 'Automata' (1814) and 'The Sand-Man' (1816-1817)" (22). See for killer dolls and "a magical artificial eye" that gives a villain "second sight when he removes it" from its socket (Hoppenstand 19)—cf. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Caution: Includes some antisemitism and "senseless violence" (Hoppenstand 17, 21). Quotations from Hoppenstand, upon whom we depend for citation and annotation. (RDE, 30/10/94)