The National announced their anticipated new album, First Two Pages Of Frankenstein, today. As the band teased the project with some early Easter eggs, it seems they are at least committing to the theme.
However, those who aren’t as familiar with the book might be wondering: What is even on the first two pages of Frankenstein? And why is it so important?
Firstly, Frankenstein was originally published by the British author Mary Shelley in 1818.
The story opens with a letter that is addressed to a Mrs. Saville in England and dated on December 11. Written in the first person, the narrator (later known as R. Walton) details a walk that he takes through the cold of St. Petersburgh, only to reveal that he’s sent it to his sister.
The National used a similar letter style on their previously password-protected website. By using the code “EVIL FOREBODINGS,” fans discovered a note that bore the same “Letter 1” that Shelley used on the first of the first two pages of Frankenstein. However, they addressed it to “Mrs. Bridgers, England,” paying more homage to the book — and teasing a Phoebe Bridgers collab.
And the connections haven’t stopped there.
“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking,” the opening paragraph of Frankenstein reads.
The National used nearly the exact structure in their letter, except for swapping “yesterday” for “Once Upon A Poolside” — a clue for their new album’s opening track.
Additionally, fans can pre-order The National’s First Two Pages Of Frankenstein ahead of its 4/28 release from a website titled “AmericanMary.com.” (No, that’s not a coincidence.)