11th september 2003
bertie, why do you bound?
Reading Melville's Typee, I suddenly realise, this is where Wells' The Time Machine came from.
The narrator arrives in a remote place and is unable to return (Melville jumped ship which sailed off without him, Wells' machine was stolen? hidden? broken? I forget). He meets a culture of people who have a life of idleness: food is no problem, they live on fruit from the trees, they spend their time playing seemingly childishly. He discovers a dark secret, in both cases cannibalism. He leaves in a violent episode (Melville beat someone off with a boat-hook, Wells' character fights them off as he operates the Time Machine to escape).
The only difference is that Wells has split the Typees into two species, the Eloi and Morlocks, separating the light and dark sides of their nature. Any Wells scholars out there know more about this?