The Bell Tower
Melville, Herman. "The Bell Tower." 1855. Rpt. Selected Writings of Herman Melville. New York: Modern Library, 1952.
A very "practical materialist" seeks to fulfill a "utilitarian ambition" that is no less than using the craft of a mechanician to overcome nature: "to rival her, outstrip her, and rule her" (369-70). His means is to build Talus, what we would call a robot. See for an important author's presentation of a mad rationalist, competing against Nature and God. See HM listings under Background.