What I found interesting about class yesterday was our total lack of admiration for the Time Machine. I assumed that because it is a piece of literature it would have this hegemonic sway over people. I was pleasantly surprised that we all seemed to hit upon the same literal shortcomings. The work was bustling with ideas, but the ideas were just not very well developed. The whole novel you felt you were groping around in the dark finding little spots of light here or there.
I think Kaitlin hit on something when she mentioned that it was originally written as a short story and then as a serialized novel. Short stories don’t work very well as in-depth think pieces, nor do serialized novels. It tends to lead to very episodic almost melodramatic writing. So instead of a very deep investigation of the future, Wells gives us a pretty blurry image of a future.
I also had one last thought on the Garrison state. It seems to me that the garrison state is no longer a major threat. Orwell did such a superb job of warning us about it that the danger of state fascism is minuscule. However I think the danger of a corporate garrison state, one predicated on mass consumerism and private espionage, is looming. The greatest danger to our liberty has become the corporate entity. The rise of mercenaries, the market of private information and neoliberalism all point as markers to it. I think a novel for this new Garrison state needs to be written. Morgan has tried with Market Forces, but it’s not the caliber of a 1984.