The Time Machine - H.G. Wells (2)

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The Time Machine - H.G. Wells (2)

Post by cutelilduckie077 » Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:04 pm

I have another question although it doesn't really apply to word origins or meanings and what not, but I'll ask anyway because I really need to know. In The Time Machine why does H.G. Wells not use names for his characters? For example, he just calls them "Medical Man" or "Psychologist".

And I have another question, but it's about The Invisible Man . I bought this book that i have to read for Summer until I go back to school and it has a bunch of superscripts (the little numbers). When you go to the back it explains the text next to the number, but it had one next to The Invisible Man's subtitle. The subtitle was A Grotesque Romance. When I went to the back, it said the following: Well's subtitle locates this work in the context of supernatural writing; a romance is a story in which scenes and incidents are removed from oridinary life, as opposed to a novel, which concerns itself with realistic character and society. He is also signaling the reader that this "grotesque" (horrifying) tale may also contain encoded or secret messages; that is, he suggests that the work may be an allegory, that there is more to it than its literary meaning.

What does all of that mean, especially the part where it comments about the encoded messages. Even if you can't answer both questions and answer one please do so!
-me
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The Time Machine - H.G. Wells (2)

Post by russcable » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:25 pm

To the question you didn't ask: those little numbers along with the text that goes with them in the back are called endnotes. If the explanatory text is at the bottom (foot) of the page, they are called footnotes.

"Horrifying (or ugly)" is not the original meaning of grotesque as a art or literary term. It's rather complex topic but you might try : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grotesque or http://www.victorianweb.org/genre/grotesque.html or http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/Grotesque/ ... ature.html
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:30 pm

I knew what they were called I just couldn't think of the names...I just dont get why they said about the encoded messages. And it did mean horrifying b/c thats what it said in the back of the book. Thanks
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:31 pm

"Well's subtitle locates this work in the context of supernatural writing; a romance is a story in which scenes and incidents are removed from oridinary life, as opposed to a novel, which concerns itself with realistic character and society. He is also signaling the reader that this "grotesque" (horrifying) tale may also contain encoded or secret messages; that is, he suggests that the work may be an allegory, that there is more to it than its literary meaning."

That is what it said WORD FOR WORD in the back of the book including the part where horrifying is in parenthesis.
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The Time Machine - H.G. Wells (2)

Post by russcable » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:55 pm

And the editor(s) who wrote the note couldn't have possibly over-simplified it or even made a <gasp> error... In any case, the note is someone else's interpretation of what the author originally meant many years ago. In any case, I suggest you actually read at least one of the links (or do your own search on grotesque literature) and form your own opinion - it might even impress your teacher.
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:10 pm

i did read it thanks for them
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 9:54 pm

Does anyone know the answer to my first question?
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:58 pm

Anyone...at all?!
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Post by pingpong fan » Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:48 pm

cutelilduckie077 wrote: Anyone...at all?!
Such a plaintive plea I felt even I might respond. You will be lucky to get a definitive answer to this one. Unless the great man explained his authorial motivations somewhere any theories expressed about the issue would be speculative surmise. I liked a young reviewer's opinion though, in a review I read on Amazon, that addressed why the Traveller was called by that title; this was, he thought, to ensure the reader is not distracted by the details of characterisation at the expense of the ideas Wells was purveying.
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Post by russcable » Mon Jul 18, 2005 9:59 pm

Purely guessing... The first sentence : "The Time Traveller (for so it will be convenient to speak of him) was expounding a recondite matter to us." This part of the story is told in first person by one of the attendees of the dinner. He mentions the last name only of one other person who seems to be of no consequence, but hides the identity of people at the dinner who might be well known. One possibility is that the character of the narrator is attempting to protect the reputations of the well-known people involved (well-known in the fictional universe of the book). This may (or may not) make the story more believable to make it seem like these are "real" people who need their identities hidden.
This of course doesn't explain why the author chooses to have the narrator think this is necessary. There could well be other reasons - alienation, depersonalization, style, current trends in literature (lots of authors writing similarly), etc.
I believe that he also never names the title character in "The Invisible Man" either.
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Post by cutelilduckie077 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:07 am

Thank you soo much!
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