Jules Verne

BookJules Verne

Jules Verne

Journeys in Writing

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies


October 1st, 2005

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A hundred years after his death, Jules Verne (1828-1905) has in the popular imagination become synonymous with prediction of the future. Yet the actual texts of Verne’s major novels (the vast series known as the Voyages extraordinaires) still remain unknown to many. In the English-speaking world, translations of Verne’s best-known novels (Around the World in Eighty Days, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon) have often contained wholesale distortions of his plots and characters, and the popular (and false) image of Verne as a foreteller of the future often comes not through what he actually wrote, but through films and other adaptations of his work. It is against this background of misrepresentation and misconception that the present study has been produced. Verne was, Unwin argues, a master of the self-conscious novel, his work a pastiche of science discourse, fictional and non-fictional writings, and flamboyant, theatrical narrative. Unwin makes a compelling case for Verne as a master of the nineteenth-century experimental novel, in the company of Gustave Flaubert and other canonical French writers. The text will be a wonderful addition to the shelves of those interested in science fiction, experimental writing, and critical theory.

This collection of essays reflect the diversity of approaches currently being brought to bear on the writings of Jules Verne.

Author Information

Timothy Unwin is Professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Bristol. He has published extensively on nineteenth-century authors and has recently completed editing The Cambridge Companion to Flaubert. He is joint moderator of the Francofil electronic discussion list for French Studies and runs the Dix-Neuf online resources site. He is President of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
1: Verne, SF, and Modernity: an Introduction9
2: Jules Verne and the French Literary Canon19
3: Jules Verne and the Limitations of Literature48
4: The Fiction of Science, or the Science of Fiction54
5: ‘L’Ici-bas’ and ‘l’Au-delà’ … but Not as they Knew it. Realism, Utopianism and Science Fiction in the Novels of Jules Verne68
6: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Paris: Paris au XXe siècle86
7: Future Past: Myth, Inversion and Regression in Verne’s Underground Utopia102
8: Measurement and Mystery in Verne117
9: The Science is Fiction: Jules Verne, Raymond Roussel, and Surrealism130
10: Mysterious Masterpiece150