Jeff Vandermeer and China Mieville discuss monsters! So much good stuff in here, you should really read the whole thing if you have any love of monsters. But two things I want to pull out that Mieville (one of my all time writing heroes) says:
I spend a lot of time arguing for literalism of fantastic, rather than its reduction to allegory. Metaphor is inevitable but it escapes our intent, so we should relax about it. Our monsters are about themselves, and they can get on with being about all sorts of other stuff too, but if we want them to be primarily that, and don’t enjoy their monstrousness, they’re dead and nothing.
And this gem…
It’s anecdotal, but I regularly see Frankenstein’s monster described as a warning against scientific hubris, an alarum about Tampering With Things That Should Be Left Alone™. This I think is quite wrong: I think it is a story about what happens when one fails the (still at the time of writing) radical enlightenment by failing to take social responsibility for one’s actions and interventions. If it’s a warning, it’s a warning about turning one’s back, out of cowardice, on what one creates, not about creating it in the first place.
YES! THIS! SO MUCH THIS!!!!!