The Bell Tower

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Melville, Herman. "The Bell Tower" (also "The Bell-Tower"). 1855. Rpt. Selected Writings of Herman Melville. New York: Modern Library, 1952. Also: H. Bruce Franklin's Future Perfect: American Science Fiction of the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology. For additional reprints, see Internet Speculative Fiction Database, as of August 2023, here.[1]

A very "practical materialist" seeks to fulfill a "utilitarian ambition" that is no less than using the craft of a mechanician to overcome nature: "to rival her, outstrip her, and rule her" (369-70). His means is to build Talus, what we would call a robot. See for an important author's presentation of a mad rationalist, competing against Nature and God. (Inevitably, cf. and contrast aspects of Moby-Dick.)

See "Automata (H. Bruce Franklin)" for Franklin's brief, insightful comments.


RDE, initial, finishing 31Aug23, 1Sep23