Sunday, July 05, 2009

Are There College Professors on the Moon?

Apparently so! Consider the following excerpt from a radio transmission by the esteemed Mr. Cavor, describing the various social castes among his Selenite hosts:

The erudite [class] for the most part are rapt in an impervious and apoplectic complacency, from which only a denial of their erudition can rouse them... [moreover] some of the profounder scholars are altogether too great for locomotion, and are carried from place to place in a sort of sedan tub, wabbling jellies of knowledge that enlist my respectful astonishment.

Apparently, there are graduate students as well:

I have already mentioned the retinues that accompany most of the intellectuals: ushers, bearers, valets, extraneous tentacles and muscles, as it were, to replace the abortive physical powers of these hypertrophied minds. Porters almost invariably accompany them. There are also extremely swift messengers with spider-like legs and 'hands'...and attendants with vocal organs that could well nigh wake the dead. Apart from their controlling intelligence these subordinates are as inert and helpless as umbrellas in a stand.

(From H.G. Wells, First Men in the Moon [1901], Chapter 24.)

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