I am posting selections from Book 3 of the Herasaga, along with a short introduction for each chapter. I will post one each week for the next month or so. Here is the intro to Chapter 2.
The introduction of large-scale machinery into factories in the nineteenth-century, and (with railroads) into the public sphere, was a great shock to the artistic imagination. In such imaginative works as the short stories by Herman Melville, “The Bell-Tower” (1855), and E. M. Forster, “The Machine Stops” (1909), this development was portrayed as presenting deep challenges to humanity’s sense of self, leading to the possibility that humankind could wind up as the passive and uncomprehending victims of the triumph of the machine.