Vril: The Power of the Coming Race
inspired H. G. Wells
by O. B. Aamodt from Norway


In 1871, the novel Vril: The Power of the Coming Race, by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, was published. Personally, I found the book pretty boring; most of it is just a description of the society where the main character ends up. But there is little doubt that it has influenced H.G. Wells when he wrote The Time Machine (spoilers):

In Vril: The Power of the Coming Race, the main characters finds a subterranean race that is superior to the humans living on the surface, and he is worried what will happen the day they decide to rise from their underground kingdoms. The first person he meets has an outfit (including wings) and appearance that makes him look like a sphinx. In The Time Machine, a sphinx-like statue is the first thing the time traveller sees, and in both books, the character finds this meeting disturbing.

They are all vegetarians. They once lived on the surface, but were later forced under the earth. They share the same origin as us, but it is suggested that they and maybe also we evolved from a species with amphibian traits, and that later subterranean amphibians used by their children as pets, were degenerated descendants from a highly evolved race with common origin as themselves, that no longer were able to defend themselves against aggression. Also the vril-people have lost some of the drive we see in humans living on the surface, resulting in a decline or absent of art, music and literature. They have no facial hair, and there is a difference in size between them and normal humans (in The Time Machine, they were shorter, here they were taller). The main character become attached with a young female, and learns a lot of the society from her, and visits a museum with old machines, among other things. The need for eugenics to avoid degeneration is also mentioned, for instance by not breeding with inferior people, while in Wells' story, the humans have already degenerated.

In Samuel Butler's Erewhon from 1872, there are other similarities, where the main character again meets a girl, this time called Arowhena, which sounds a lot like Weena who starts hanging out with him and explain the society, and takes him to a museum with old technology.

Bulwer-Lytton himself was probably inspired by Jules Verne (among others). In both books, there are species living underground who are descendants from animals who once lived on the surface. And even if it was never confirmed in Verne's A Journey to the Centre of the Earth (published seven years earlier), there is a moment where we see a silhouette or something of a human that is much taller than on earth. Then there are all the mysteries about the written messages of Arne Saknussemm, and the hints that there have been humans before them entering the underground world, and which may even still be around.

And there seems to be some similarities between the opening of The Time Machine and Around the World in Eighty Days in how the main character is sitting in a room claiming in front of other people that a journey that they assume is impossible is actually possible.

From an article on the net:
"The Time Machine, for instance, came out of a Debating Society talk given during Wells' college days by a fellow student named E. A. Hamilton-Gordon; it was about the theory that time was the fourth dimension, a notion that had been suggested in 1875 by Heinrich Czolbe, and C. H. Hinton included several essays about dimensions, including "What is the Fourth Dimension?" in Scientific Romances published in 1884."

Darwin and Marx were of course two other influences. Wells also claimed to have been influenced by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but this could just as well have been the writing style.

About the publishing of the story, he wrote to an old college friend named Elizabeth Healey; "It's my trump card, and if it does not come off very much I shall know my place for the rest of my career. Still we live in hope".

Den her texten ovan var er et innlegg jeg postet i et diskusjonsforum, derfor er det skrevet på engelsk.

Samt en artikkel jeg fant som omhandler blant annet H.G. Wells og Tidsmaskinen:

Husket en annen likhet mellom b�kene n� i ettertid, og det er tendensen til � holde navnet p� bl.a. hovedpersonen skjult:

I am a native of _____, in the United States of America.
In the year 18__, happening to be in _____, I was invited by a professional engineer, with whom I had made acquaintance, to visit the recesses of the ________ mine, upon which he was employed.

The Medical Man was standing before the fire with a sheet of paper in one hand and his watch in the other. I looked round for the Time Traveller, and--"It's half-past seven now," said the Medical Man. "I suppose we'd better have dinner?"

"Where's_____?" said I, naming our host.

Ogs� setningen:
"'You have told Blank, and Dash, and Chose about the machine?' he said to me, leaning back in his easy-chair and naming the three new guests", benytter seg av omtrent samme taktikk.

Med hensyn til at amfibiene som nevnes i Lyttons bok anses som degenererte etterkommere etter felles forfedre, er dette mer en negativ kritikk av Darwin enn en st�tte for hans teorier, noe denne korte artikkelen forklarer n�rmere; http://skullsinthestars.com/2008/12/15/edward-bulwer-lyttons-the-coming-race/, men en likhet er det like fullt.

Et par andre kommentarer:

Som det blant annet st�r i Wikipedia under Dying earth (subgenre) artikkelen, s� utgav Camille Flammarion boka The End of the World, aka Omega: the last days of the world i 1893, to �r f�r Wells' historie, som begge omhandler tar for seg jordens siste dager. Men dette kan selvsagt v�re en tilfeldighet. Temaet med det siste mennesket p� jorden hadde som de fleste vet derimot v�rt brukt noen ganger f�r, skj�nt ikke p� helt samme m�te.

Det er ogs� mulig at Wells var den f�rste, eller en av de f�rste, som inkluderte temaet evolusjonspsykologi i historiene sine, selv om begrepet p� den tiden enda var mange �r fra � bli definert. Frem til den industrielle revolusjon var mennesket og dets omgivelser mer eller mindre tilpasset hverandre. Den industrielle revolusjon skapte derimot et helt nytt milj� i l�pet av s� kort tid at evolusjonen ikke klarte � henge med, noe Wells var meget bevisst p�. Dette gjorde at ikke minst menneskets psyke ikke var i harmoni med den verden den levde i, med de konsekvenser dette m�tte medf�re. I dette tilfelle har det som kjent medf�rt et klasseskille der hver klasse opplevde frav�ret av visse faktorer ved den tradisjonelle seleksjon p� hver sin m�te, noe som p� sikt f�rte til at evolusjonen frembragte to ulike mennesketyper.

Det eneste jeg personlig kanskje skulle sett litt anderledes i boka, var morlockenes tilholdssted. N�r de f�rst har tatt overflaten i sin besittelse, er det rart at de fremdeles velger � bo s� langt under jorden, der de er n�dt til � vedlikeholde et mekanisert ventilasjonssystem, og bruke masse tid og krefter p� � klatre opp og ned hver natt. Kanskje hadde det virket mer logisk om de hadde gravd seg ut nye hjem bare noen f� meter under overflaten, omtrent som st�rre kjellerboliger uten etasjer over, selvsagt forbundet med hverandre gjennom underjordiske ganger. Det hadde symbolisert b�de deres opprinnelse og det at n� var overflatens herskere litt klarere. Men det er bare bageteller n�r man tenker p� hvor revolusjonerende boka var generelt sett. Kanskje representerer ogs� det et forfall, at morlockene etter s� lang tid ikke er i stand til � tenke nytt med hensyn til bosted, men velger � holde fast ved det gamle.

En liten korreksjon til det innlegg jeg skrev på engelsk; det stemmer at vril-ya, folket fra Lyttons bok, anser kj�ttspising som barbarisk og dreper alle kj�ttspisere over en viss st�rrelse, men de drikker likevel melk og benytter seg av skinn fra husdyr. De er med andre ord laktovegetarianere. Og n�r jeg tenker meg om, er det ogs� en viss likhet mellom slutten p� de to b�kene. Et utdrag fra Lytton n�r bokens slutt:

The Gy kissed me on my forehead, passionately, but as with a mother's passion, and said, as the tears gushed from her eyes, "Farewell for ever. Thou wilt not let me go into thy world--thou canst never return to mine. Ere our household shake off slumber, the rocks will have again closed over the chasm not to be re-opened by me, nor perhaps by others, for ages yet unguessed. Think of me sometimes, and with kindness. "...

Her voice ceased. I heard the swan-like sough of her wings, and saw the rays of her starry diadem receding far and farther through the gloom.

Ogs� Wells avslutter sin bok med vennskap mellom to ulike mennesketyper fra to ulike verdener, mellom en mann og en kvinne:

But to me the future is still black and blank--is a vast ignorance, lit at a few casual places by the memory of his story. And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers--shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle--to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man.

Hovedpersonen i Wells' bok m� flykte fordi morlockene omsider har bestemt seg for � f� has p� ham, og er innesperret i bygningen med sfinxen p� toppen. Hovedpersonen i Lyttons bok m� flykte fordi folket i byen han bor i omsider har bestemt seg for � henrette ham s� snart dagen gryr (i den grad en dag kan gry under jorden), og er innesperret i �verste etasje i bygningen hvor han bor.


Legger ved utdrag av b�kene hvor jeg synes likheter forekommer, om det skulle ha interesse (ikke noe nytt egentlig, bare tydeliggj�ring av hva som allerede er kommentert). Om du synes det blir litt for langt, er det bare � overse dem:

Lytton, i det hovedpersonen ankommer bebyggelsen for f�rste gang:

I now came in full sight of the building. Yes, it had been made by hands, and hollowed partly out of a great rock. I should have supposed it at the first glance to have been of the earliest form of Egyptian architecture. It was fronted by huge columns, tapering upward from massive plinths, and with capitals that, as I came nearer, I perceived to be more ornamental and more fantastically graceful that Egyptian architecture allows. As the Corinthian capital mimics the leaf of the acanthus, so the capitals of these columns imitated the foliage of the vegetation neighbouring them, some aloe-like, some fern-like. And now there came out of this building a form-human;-was it human? It stood on the broad way and looked around, beheld me and approached. It came within a few yards of me, and at the sight and presence of it an indescribable awe and tremor seized me, rooting my feet to the ground. It reminded me of symbolical images of Genius or Demon that are seen on Etruscan vases or limned on the walls of Eastern sepulchres-images that borrow the outlines of man, and are yet of another race. It was tall, not gigantic, but tall as the tallest man below the height of giants.

Its chief covering seemed to me to be composed of large wings folded over its breast and reaching to its knees; the rest of its attire was composed of an under tunic and leggings of some thin fibrous material. It wore on its head a kind of tiara that shone with jewels, and carried in its right hand a slender staff of bright metal like polished steel. But the face! It was that which inspired my awe and my terror. It was the face of man, but yet of a type of man distinct from our known extant races. The nearest approach to it in outline and expression is the face of the sculptured sphinx-so regular in its calm, intellectual, mysterious beauty. Its colour was peculiar, more like that of the red man than any other variety of our species, and yet different from it-a richer and a softer hue, with large black eyes, deep and brilliant, and brows arched as a semicircle. The face was beardless; but a nameless something in the aspect, tranquil though the expression, and beauteous though the features, roused that instinct of danger which the sight of a tiger or serpent arouses. I felt that this manlike image was endowed with forces inimical to man. As it drew near, a cold shudder came over me. I fell on my knees and covered my face with my hands.

Wells, i det hovedpersonen f�r sett seg rundt f�rste gang:

I stood up and looked round me. A colossal figure, carved apparently in some white stone, loomed indistinctly beyond the rhododendrons through the hazy downpour. But all else of the world was invisible.

"My sensations would be hard to describe. As the columns of hail grew thinner, I saw the white figure more distinctly. It was very large, for a silver birch-tree touched its shoulder. It was of white marble, in shape something like a winged sphinx, but the wings, instead of being carried vertically at the sides, were spread so that it seemed to hover. The pedestal, it appeared to me, was of bronze, and was thick with verdigris. It chanced that the face was towards me; the sightless eyes seemed to watch me; there was the faint shadow of a smile on the lips. It was greatly weather-worn, and that imparted an unpleasant suggestion of disease. I stood looking at it for a little space-half a minute, perhaps, or half an hour. It seemed to advance and to recede as the hail drove before it denser or thinner. At last I tore my eyes from it for a moment and saw that the hail curtain had worn threadbare, and that the sky was lightening with the promise of the sun.

"I looked up again at the crouching white shape, and the full temerity of my voyage came suddenly upon me.



Lyttons beskrivelse av sin kvinnelige ledsager, som var en utmerket representant b�de for kvinnene og rasen generelt:

She was tall even for a Gy (kvinne), and I saw her lift up a cannon as easily as I could lift a pocket-pistol. Zee inspired me with a profound terror- a terror which increased when we came into a department of the museum appropriated to models of contrivances worked by the agency of vril; for here, merely by a certain play of her vril staff, she herself standing at a distance, she put into movement large and weighty substances. She seemed to endow them with intelligence, and to make them comprehend and obey her command. She set complicated pieces of machinery into movement, arrested the movement or continued it, until, within an incredibly short time; various kinds of raw material were reproduced as symmetrical works of art, complete and perfect.


Though I had a secret persuasion that, whatever the real effects of vril upon matter, Mr. Faraday could have proved her a very shallow philosopher as to its extent or its causes, I had no doubt that Zee could have brained all the Fellows of the Royal Society, one after the other, with a blow of her fist.

Hos Wells er rollene snudd om:

There was nothing in this at all alarming. Indeed, there was something in these pretty little people that inspired confidence-a graceful gentleness, a certain childlike ease. And besides, they looked so frail that I could fancy myself flinging the whole dozen of them about like nine-pins.



En av personene i Lyttons bok fremsetter hypotesen om at menneskets felles forfedre har gitt opphav til to ulike arter, men at den ene etterhvert har degenert og blitt underlegen dem selv:

"Pardon me," answered Aph-Lin: "in what we call the Wrangling or Philosophical Period of History, which was at its height about seven thousand years ago, there was a very distinguished naturalist, who proved to the satisfaction of numerous disciples such analogical and anatomical agreements in structure between an An (et menneske) and a Frog, as to show that out of the one must have developed the other. They had some diseases in common; they were both subject to the same parasitical worms in the intestines; and, strange to say, the An has, in his structure, a swimming-bladder, no longer of any use to him, but which is a rudiment that clearly proves his descent from a Frog. Nor is there any argument against this theory to be found in the relative difference of size, for there are still existent in our world Frogs of a size and stature not inferior to our own, and many thousand years ago they appear to have been still larger."

"In the Wrangling Period of History, whatever one sage asserted another sage was sure to contradict. In fact, it was a maxim in that age, that the human reason could only be sustained aloft by being tossed to and fro in the perpetual motion of contradiction; and therefore another sect of philosophers maintained the doctrine that the An was not the descendant of the Frog, but that the Frog was clearly the improved development of the An. The shape of the Frog, taken generally, was much more symmetrical than that of the An; beside the beautiful conformation of its lower limbs, its flanks and shoulders the majority of the Ana in that day were almost deformed, and certainly ill-shaped. Again, the Frog had the power to live alike on land and in water - a mighty privilege, partaking of a spiritual essence denied to the An, since the disuse of his swimming-bladder clearly proves his degeneration from a higher development of species. Again, the earlier races of the Ana seem to have been covered with hair, and, even to a comparatively recent date, hirsute bushes deformed the very faces of our ancestors, spreading wild over their cheeks and chins, as similar bushes, my poor Tish, spread wild over yours. But the object of the higher races of the Ana through countless generations has been to erase all vestige of connection with hairy vertebrata, and they have gradually eliminated that debasing capillary excrement by the law of sexual selection; the Gy-ei naturally preferring youth or the beauty of smooth faces. But the degree of the Frog in the scale of the vertebrata is shown in this, that he has no hair at all, not even on his head. He was born to that hairless perfection which the most beautiful of the Ana, despite the culture of incalculable ages, have not yet attained. The wonderful complication and delicacy of a Frog's nervous system and arterial circulation were shown by this school to be more susceptible of enjoyment than our inferior, or at least simpler, physical frame allows us to be. The examination of a Frog's hand, if I may use that expression, accounted for its keener susceptibility to love, and to social life in general. In fact, gregarious and amatory as are the Ana, Frogs are still more so. In short, these two schools raged against each other; one asserting the An to be the perfected type of the Frog; the other that the Frog was the highest development of the An. The moralists were divided in opinion with the naturalists, but the bulk of them sided with the Frog-preference school. They said, with much plausibility, that in moral conduct (viz., in the adherence to rules best adapted to the health and welfare of the individual and the community) there could be no doubt of the vast superiority of the Frog. All history showed the wholesale immorality of the human race, the complete disregard, even by the most renowned amongst them, of the laws which they acknowledged to be essential to their own and the general happiness and wellbeing. But the severest critic of the Frog race could not detect in their manners a single aberration from the moral law tacitly recognised by themselves. And what, after all, can be the profit of civilisation if superiority in moral conduct be not the aim for which it strives, and the test by which its progress should be judged?

"In fine, the adherents of this theory presumed that in some remote period the Frog race had been the improved development of the Human; but that, from some causes which defied rational conjecture, they had not maintained their original position in the scale of nature; while the Ana, though of inferior organisation, had, by dint less of their virtues than their vices, such as ferocity and cunning, gradually acquired ascendancy, much as among the human race itself tribes utterly barbarous have, by superiority in similar vices, utterly destroyed or reduced into insignificance tribes originally excelling them in mental gifts and culture.

Selv om dette kun var ment som en parodi p� datidens debatt om hvorvidt aper og mennesker hadde felles forfedre, som en f�lge av utgivelsen av Artenes opprinnelse noen �r tidligere, har trolig ideen om at to n�rbeslektede og intelligente arter, hvorav den ene har degenerert etter menneskelige standarder, satt fantasien i sving hos flere lesere, blant dem ganske sikkert Wells.

Videre sies det:

I saw no other pet animals among this community except some very amusing and sportive creatures of the Batrachian species, resembling frogs, but with very intelligent countenances, which the children were fond of, and kept in their private gardens.

I Wells'sin fortelling er ikke den ene menneskearten blitt til kj�ledyr (selv om morlockenes tendens til � lage pene kl�r og fott�y til dem kanskje kan tyde p� visse tendenser), men til buskap:

I understood now what all the beauty of the over- world people covered. Very pleasant was their day, as pleasant as the day of the cattle in the field. Like the cattle, they knew of no enemies and provided against no needs. And their end was the same.

Videre har sitatet fra Lytton en viss likhet med den delen av Tidsmaskinen som ble utelatt da den ble gikk fra f�ljetong i magasinet The New Review til � utkomme i bokform, og som i dag bare kalles for The Grey Man (og også The Further Vision, enligt forlaget Signet Classic), hvor menneskets ultimate degenerering omtales:

"I got off the machine, and picked up a big stone. I had scarcely done so when one of the little creatures came within easy range. I was so lucky as to hit it on the head, and it rolled over at once and lay motionless. I ran to it at once. It remained still, almost as if it were killed. I was surprised to see that the things had five feeble digits to both its fore and hind feet-the fore feet, indeed, were almost as human as the fore feet of a frog. It had, moreover, a roundish head, with a projecting forehead and forward-looking eyes, obscured by its lank hair. A disagreeable apprehension flashed across my mind. As I knelt down and seized my capture, intending to examine its teeth and other anatomical points which might show human characteristics, the metallic-looking object, to which I have already alluded, reappeared above a ridge in the moor, coming towards me and making a strange clattering sound as it came.


Lytton forklarer hvorfor det underjordiske samfunnets kulturelle utvikling, hva kunst, litteratur og musikk ang�r, har g�tt mer eller mindre i st�:

Amid the various departments to which the vast building of the College of Sages was appropriated, that which interested me most was devoted to the archaeology of the Vril-ya, and comprised a very ancient collection of portraits.

The type of face began to evince a marked change about a thousand years after the vril revolution, becoming then, with each generation, more serene, and in that serenity more terribly distinct from the faces of labouring and sinful men; while in proportion as the beauty and the grandeur of the countenance itself became more fully developed, the art of the painter became more tame and monotonous.

The most interesting works of a purely literary character are those of explorations and travels into other regions of this nether world, which are generally written by young emigrants, and are read with great avidity by the relations and friends they have left behind.

I could not help expressing to Aph-Lin my surprise that a community in which mechanical science had made so marvellous a progress, and in which intellectual civilisation had exhibited itself in realising those objects for the happiness of the people, which the political philosophers above ground had, after ages of struggle, pretty generally agreed to consider unattainable visions, should, nevertheless, be so wholly without a contemporaneous literature, despite the excellence to which culture had brought a language at once so rich and simple, vigorous and musical.


So, too, a vast part of our ancient literature consists of historical records of wars an revolutions during the times when the Ana lived in large and turbulent societies, each seeking aggrandisement at the expense of the other. You see our serene mode of life now; such it has been for ages. We have no events to chronicle. What more of us can be said than that, 'they were born, they were happy, they died?' Coming next to that part of literature which is more under the control of the imagination, such as what we call Glaubsila, or colloquially 'Glaubs,' and you call poetry, the reasons for its decline amongst us are abundantly obvious.

Painting is an amusement to many, but the art is not what it was in former times, when the great painters in our various communities vied with each other for the prize of a golden crown, which gave them a social rank equal to that of the kings under whom they lived. You will thus doubtless have observed in our archaeological department how superior in point of art the pictures were several thousand years ago. Perhaps it is because music is, in reality, more allied to science than it is to poetry that, of all the pleasurable arts, music is that which flourishes the most amongst us. Still, even in music the absence of stimulus in praise or fame has served to prevent any great superiority of one individual over another; and we rather excel in choral music, with the aid of our vast mechanical instruments, in which we make great use of the agency of water, than in single performers."

"We have had scarcely any original composer for some ages. Our favourite airs are very ancient in substance, but have admitted many complicated variations by inferior, though ingenious, musicians."

Wells gir uttrykk for sin tristhet ved tanken om at b�de intelligens og kultur vil forsvinne n�r det ikke lenger finnes noen utfordringer, forandringer eller utvikling igjen i samfunnet:

"Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. I thought of the great precessional cycle that the pole of the earth describes. Only forty times had that silent revolution occurred during all the years that I had traversed. And during these few revolutions all the activity, all the traditions, the complex organizations, the nations, languages, literatures, aspirations, even the mere memory of Man as I knew him, had been swept out of existence. Instead were these frail creatures who had forgotten their high ancestry, and the white Things of which I went in terror. Then I thought of the Great Fear that was between the two species, and for the first time, with a sudden shiver, came the clear knowledge of what the meat I had seen might be. Yet it was too horrible! I looked at little Weena sleeping beside me, her face white and starlike under the stars, and forthwith dismissed the thought.

"It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that has to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers.


Som du sikkert har lest til n�, s� var Lyttons bok meget popul�r og uhyre innflytelsesrik i sin tid, og p�virket langt flere enn bare Wells, selv om den i dag er i ferd med � g� i glemmeboken, i motsetning til visse andre klassikere. B�de vril-ya og eloiene beskrives for�vrig som vakre folkeslag.

Og helt til slutt en kort referanse fra Jules Verne sin historie fra jordens indre:

My uncle was gazing with intense and eager interest.

"Come on!" said he, seizing my arm. "Forward! forward!"

"No, I will not!" I cried. "We have no firearms. What could we do in the midst of a herd of these four-footed giants? Come away, uncle - come! No human being may with safety dare the anger of these monstrous beasts."

"No human creature?" replied my uncle in a lower voice. "You are wrong, Axel. Look, look down there! I fancy I see a living creature similar to ourselves: it is a man!"

I looked, shaking my head incredulously. But though at first I was unbelieving I had to yield to the evidence of my senses.

In fact, at a distance of a quarter of a mile, leaning against the trunk of a gigantic kauri, stood a human being, the Proteus of those subterranean regions, a new son of Neptune, watching this countless herd of mastodons.

Yes, truly, huger still himself. It was no longer a fossil being like him whose dried remains we had easily lifted up in the field of bones; it was a giant, able to control those monsters. In stature he was at least twelve feet high. His head, huge and unshapely as a buffalo's, was half hidden in the thick and tangled growth of his unkempt hair. It most resembled the mane of the primitive elephant. In his hand he wielded with ease an enormous bough, a staff worthy of this shepherd of the geologic period.

Med fare for � gjenta meg selv, s� blir det selvsagt bare spekulasjoner, men en fortelling om et underjordisk rike, med kolossale reptiler (en kjempe�gle er den f�rste skapningen hovedpersonen i Lyttons bok m�ter), skapninger som er utd�dde p� overjorden og ukjente menneskeraser, som ble utgitt bare noen �r tidligere, kan godt ha fungert som inspirasjon for Lytton da han skrev romanen sin.

En annen interessant kuriositet mellom de to b�kene g�r p� den vitenskapelige diskusjonen som foregikk da de kom ut. Egentlig mer en parallel enn en likhet, og har s�ledes ikke nevneverdig relevans for det som hittil er omtalt.

Kraften som Lytton kaller vril, er en ur-energi som alt har sitt utspring fra, og er som du kanskje allerede har lest i en av linkene inspirert at datidens vitenskap som fors�kte � sammenfatte de kjente kreftene i naturen i en tidlig form for theory of everything, noe kvantefysikere strever med den dag i dag. Denne kraften er p� mange m�ter bokens ryggrad.

Wells p� den annen side, foregriper den teorien som siden skulle lede til relativitetsteorien, der tiden og rommet kombineres til en sammenhengende enhet ved � gj�re tiden om til en fjerde dimensjon som h�rer sammen med de tre romdimensjoner. En teori som omsettes til tidfarerens reise inn i fremtiden.

Wells og Verne blir jo som regel ansett som to av science fiction litteraturens mest innflytelsesrike forfattere. Men mens Verne fors�kte � vise samtiden teknologiens og vitenskapens vidundere p� en realistisk m�te, hadde Wells som man vet en annen agenda med flere av b�kene sine, i alle fall de tidligste av dem, ettersom hans senere science fiction stort sett begrenset seg til utopier og dystopier (skj�nt de alle sammen er politiske i innhold og samfunnskommentarer generelt, i likhet med s� mange av sine forgjengere).

Fra en internettside som tar for seg inspirasjonskildene til Star Wars:

"The subtle lesson Star Wars borrows from Flash Gordon is the idea of a fairytale in which technology plays the traditional role of magic. This idea ultimately came from H.G. Wells. He arguably invented the genre we now call "science fiction" in his first novel, The Time Machine (1895). Wells believed that culture requires myth to move forward, and myth requires a shred of plausibility to work properly - take for example modern America's dominant myth, that we are visited by extra-terrestrials. Wells believed the Industrial Revolution had quietly destroyed the idea that fairy magic might be real, thus draining the power from fairytales. He used the Industrial Era to create a new kind of magic: time machines instead of magic carpets, Martians as dragons and scientists as wizards. Wells based his "new kind of myth" partially on the work of other writers, including Jules Verne, Edgar Allen Poe, and especially Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (who probably updated the Jewish "Golem" myth into her proto-science fiction novel Frankenstein in 1818). He combined these ideas with the political cartoons he had loved as a child (from the humour magazine Punch), exaggerating some aspect of the real world to circumvent his reader's preconceptions and make political points. Wells called his new genre "scientific fantasia."

Og som allerede sett, s� er det hos b�de Lytton og Wells ingeni�rkunst som omsetter datidens teoretiske fysikk til praktisk anvendelse p� en umulig, men mer eller mindre troverdig m�te, i stedet for � benytte seg av tryllestaver og annen magi (i Tidsmaskinen er det dessuten evolusjonen som har skapt monstrene, ikke trolldom).

O. B. Aamodt from Norway, July 15-21, 2011


Sandras kommentar:
En mycket intressant artikel som visar alla de olika vägar som inspirationen kan ta. Och min fantasytrilogi Maktens tiaror och dess uppföljare Traniborens återkomst är delvis baserad på H.G. Wells roman Tidsmaskinen, och i uppföljaren är världen som visas i filmen Tidsmaskinen från 1960 medtagen, fast hundra år senare, och den är döpt till "Terra Geopal" efter Herbert George Wells, filmregissören George Pal och nu, efter denna artikel, även efter Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton ...


O. B. Aamodts kommentar:
Jeg fant en Google-versjon av The Coming Race med en temmelig lang introduksjon av en viss David Seed, som tar for seg b�de inspirasjon og senere innflytelse. Ogs� Wells nevnes kort, selv om det stort sett er det samme som allerede er nevnt. Dette er det eneste stedet p� nettet jeg har v�rt i stand til � finne, hvor Lyttons innflytelse p� Tidsmaskinen nevnes, men i langt mindre grad enn p� hjemmesiden din. Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=WQWqTjE_AOoC&pg=PR9&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false


Sandra Petojevic, Master of Arts, July 30, 2011 (updated August 14, 2011)
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