The French Influence on Data

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The things you discover when you create classes.

I am writing the lectures for a World Literature class  and one of the readings is Guy de Maupassant’s  “The Necklace”.  We often think we know everything about the classics in general and famous writers in particular, like that de Maupassant is French.

But further research revealed a couple more interesting details:

He lunched at the base of the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place where you couldn’t see the damn thing.EiffelTowerVegas

His wrote his own epitaph: “I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing.”  Which could be considered very Fin de Siècle.

And Maupassant influenced Gene Roddenberry. In the  The Questor Tapes, Roddenberry created his  android character,  Questor as a being who was actually well read, which included Maupassant’s theory that “the human female will open her mind to a man to whom she has opened other channels of communications.” This idea influenced an early draft of the TV movie’s script in which the android Questor is trying to obtain information from a woman who knew his creator, but was reluctant to give up both the information and herself. Questor responded logically, in that he seduced the woman in order to finally get the information he desired.  Unfortunately, because of complaints from NBC executives about a “robot” making love to a woman, this particular part of the script was never filmed. Roddenberry would later succeed in having an android and a woman make love when the character of Data is seduced by fellow crewmate Tasha Yar in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Naked Now which was a remake of the Naked Time, which explores what would happen if everyone’s inhibitions were suppressed.

In the original Star Trek Episode, no one has any sex, which makes no sense.  Nor is it very French.


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