1722 1822 1922

From Clockworks2
Jump to navigationJump to search

Meisl, Carl. 1722 1822 1922 (retitled for book publication in 1823). Play in German, produced 1822. Discussed in John J. Pierce's "Imagination and Evolution: A Conceptual History of Science Fiction" (unpl. ms) and in Matthew Guerrieri's "Rare score ties Beethoven to time travel" in The Boston Globe on line for 26 September 2015[1]

Guerieri notes and Pierce quotes: "Meisl’s vision of the 20th century is ludicrous, but only slightly. Rumpler," the protagonist, "is astonished by self-propelling farm equipment, intrigued by air travel (balloon-taxis abound), and finds equally 'stupid' and 'terrible' armies of war machines that automatically fight each other. After inadvertently ruining an 'artificial thinking machine' — a clockwork automaton doing its rich owner’s paperwork — Rumpler, fleeing retribution, uses his second wish to return to 1822, in Rumpler’s (and, probably, the audience’s) estimation, 'the happiest time.'" Balloons are common in the proto-SF of the period, but note the autonomous farm machinery and, definitely, early clockwork expert AI.

RDE, Initial compiler, with thanks to JJ Pierce