Move him into the sun--
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it awoke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds--
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs so dear-achieved, are sides
Full-nerved,--still warm,--too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
--O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

- Wilfred Owen

A novel by Morgan Robertson.

The book tells the story of a large triple-screw luxury ocean liner named the Titan. The Titan was the largest ship afloat with the best in modern technology, including 19 watertight bulkheads, causing it to be widely regarded as unsinkable. The Titan was also the largest ocean liner built, at a length of 800 feet, a weight of 45,000 gross tons, and a capacity of 3000 people. It had just set off on a voyage across the North Atlantic, carrying many wealthy and affluent passengers.

Moving at her full speed of 24 knots through cold waters on an icy April night, the Titan collided with an iceberg on the fore-starboard side close to midnight, tearing gashes in the ship below the waterline. The Titan lacked enough lifeboats for all of those aboard, and eventually sank resulting in a tremendous loss of life, despite the watertight compartments. Survivors were few compared to the ship's original compliment.

You may be thinking "Well shit, the author just ripped off the story of the Titanic!" You would think so, considering the similarities. Observe:

The Titan was an 800 foot-long triple-screw steamer, while the Titanic was 882.5 feet long, also a triple screw steamer. Both had a capacity of 3000 people. The Titan weighed about 45,000 gross tons, and the Titanic weighed in at 46,328. The Titan had 19 watertight compartments, and the Titanic had 15. Because of the availability of the compartments, both ships were regarded as unsinkable. The Titan and the Titanic carried wealthy and well known passengers. Both the Titan and the Titanic struck an iceberg on a cold April night while crossing the North Atlantic, causing damage to the forward starboard section. The Titan hit the iceberg "close to midnight", while the Titanic collided with its iceberg at 11:40pm. Both ships lacked enough lifeboats to save all aboard, causing great loss of life.

Even with all of these blatantly obvious similarities, Robertson did not rip off the story of the Titanic. "Bullshit! Of course he did! How could you say that?!" you ask?

"Futility" was written in 1898 - fourteen years before the Titanic sank in 1912.

(Insert Creepy Music Here.)

Fu"til`i*ty (?), n. [L. futilitas: cf. F. futilit'e.]

1.

The quality of being talkative; talkativeness; loquaciousness; loquacity.

[Obs.]

2.

The quality of producing no valuable effect, or of coming to nothing; uselessness.

The futility of this mode of philosophizing. Whewell.

 

© Webster 1913.

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