Apokalipsa iz svemira: kosmološka evolucija u priči „Zvezda“ H. Dž. Velsa
Keywords:H. G. Wells, Laplace, evolution, cosmos, transvaluation, earth, star, catastrophe
This paper analyses H. G. Wells’s science-fiction story “The Star”. The study is centred on the scientific thought of the astronomer Laplace, whose model of godless cosmological evolution paved the way for the late nineteenth century pessimism. Wells, as one of the critics of technocratic optimism, undermines the Victorian burgeoisie with Laplace’s cosmological evolutionism or, more specifically, with the idea that collisions between heavenly bodies play an integral role in the evolution of the Universe. Apropos of that, the planet Earth is considered to be by no means privileged in the overall arrangement of the cosmos, which results in both Christian and Deist anthropocentrism being invalidated. Our analysis, which in particular stresses the scientific background of “The Star”, concludes that Wells sets a precedent for all the future representations of star-Earth collisions in art, which, in scientific terms, is an unlikely but not an impossible event. In addition, it is concluded that Wells’s narrative language is extraordinary, and also a guess is made that Wells, to an extent, may have inspired the so-called “slingshot effect”, a phenomenon to be later on exploited in space engineering. In all-encompassing thematic terms, a conclusion is reached about the smallness of man against the background of the endless and violent cosmos.
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