Tag: Morris

HG Wells – The Time Machine

I listen to audiobooks in the car, and on the subway, etc, and I should REALLY use that time to listen to texts relevant to this book project; however, I typically choose something light and fun without regard to responsibility (This is how I read the Dresden Files), or I choose something that I have always meant to read but somehow never got around to (This is how I read Jane Austen). The last week or so, I chose The Time Machine, because if I have ever actually read it, it was long long ago, and I don’t remember.

Anyhow, imagine my surprise, toward the end, when the Time Traveler, after relating his outlandish tale of Morlocks, announces that (paraphrasing) “You surely think it all a lie. Perhaps you think it a dream I had in the laboratory. Perhaps it WAS.”

Now, I am thinking about The Time Machine in comparison to William Morris’ News from Nowhere, another vision of the far future, in which the explicitly-dreaming narrator visits a socialist Utopia, recognizes that it is better than his contemporary London, and also recognizes that he is too much a product of his own time to endure living in the perfect future.

Where Morris’ vision is informed primarily by political thinking and optimism, Wells’ future is more influenced by Darwinian forces of necessity – his narrator approaches every new phenomenon by asking himself what biological or social need might have led to its evolution. This leads to a much less optimistic vision of the future, of course.

I’ll have to do some biographical reading on Wells, and reread The Time Machine in paper format so I can underline things and take some notes, etc. This will help me reach the 75,000 words McFarland wants, for sure.


You are not dreaming, but Dorothy is

In an effort to create accountability, I will share my thoughts and progress on my current book project here.

My manuscript is due for peer review at the publisher by the end of summer in 2017.

I am scheduled to give a presentation at the Annual Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo in May 2017, about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Because I am presenting on a panel called “Tales After Tolkien,” I will be discussing both the novel and the movie, assessing the impact of the implied dream frame on interpreting both.

I need to convert the presentations from previous years into book chapters. These earlier presentations include discussions of Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, and Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.”

I need to adapt material from my dissertation for use in my introduction, and a previously published article discussing primarily Oscar Wilde’s story “The Young King” and by comparison William Morris’ News from Nowhere for use as a chapter on Victorian political uses of the dream frame.

Additional texts to be discussed include A Christmas Carol, the dream stories of H.P. Lovecraft, and probably The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and “Rip Van Winkle.”