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Literature to the Glory of God: Theodore Dalrymple on H. G. Wells' 'The Time Machine'


Video from Ralston College


"Ralston College presents a lecture by Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels) on H. G. Wells’ extraordinary 'scientific romance', 'The Time Machine'. A brilliant seer and prophet with a very pessimistic view of humanity, Wells was, nevertheless, a naive and shallow political thinker. The two sides of his mind—the artistic and the ideological; the 'unofficial' and the 'official'—were in conflict. It is the pessimistic artist, rather than the socialist, eugenicist, and futurist, that we remember today. Although Wells was an ardent believer in social progress, the future that he envisions in what is arguably his most famous novel is hardly a progressive fantasy. Instead, he conjures a dark, dystopian world, one which is in tension with his own political, evolutionary, and collectivist commitments. An artist whose creativity and insight were untrammeled by his personal politics, Wells offers an instructive example of a literary genius divided between his views and his muse, his own personal perspective and his enduring, inspired vision. Wells' prescient insights, and troubling self-contradictions, point to deep questions at the heart of human nature. This lecture and discussion were recorded with a live online audience on March 17th, 2022. Artists, Art, and Writings Mentioned in this Episode H. G. Wells 'The Misery of Boots' 'Experiment in Autobiography' 'Star Begotten' 'The Time Machine' 'War of the Worlds' 'The Island of Doctor Moreau' 'Tono-Bungay' 'Mind at the End of Its Tether' 'Gulliver’s Travels,' Jonathan Swift 'Hamlet,' specifically Gertrude on Ophelia's death (Act 4, Scene 7) 'Heart of Darkness,' Joseph Conrad 'London Labour and the London Poor,' Henry Mayhew" from video

introduction.


Even the most cynical of humanistic writers cannot help but point to God in their writings. Wells was deeply cynical yet in his writings we see the facets of our human nature that run deep and are rooted in God even if we do not know it. - Andy


book cover
Book Cover H.G.Wells The Time Machine

"H.G. Wells was a writer of science-fiction works, including 'The Time Machine' and 'War of the Worlds,' who had a great influence on our vision of the future.

Who Was H.G. Wells?

H.G. Wells' parents were shopkeepers in Kent, England. His first novel, The Time Machine was an instant success and Wells produced a series of science fiction novels which pioneered our ideas of the future. His later work focused on satire and social criticism. Wells laid out his socialist views of human history in his Outline of History.

Early Life

H.G. Wells was born Herbert George Wells on September 21, 1866, in Bromley, England. Wells came from a working class background. His father played professional cricket and ran a hardware store for a time. Wells's parents were often worried about his poor health. They were afraid that he might die young, as his older sister had. At the age of 7, Wells had an accident that left him bedridden for several months. During this time, the avid young reader went through many books, including some by Washington Irving and Charles Dickens." from the article: H.G. Wells Biography



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