“Verne, Jules-Gabriel, 1828-1905”

William Butcher

A version of this article was first published in Contemporary Authors (Gale Research Company, Chicago, 1991), pp. 462-65, with, however, more than half the text missing, and false information inserted at the beginning of the article. The original version appears here, therefore, for the first time.
Jules Verne has a very considerable renown with the public, but one that often has little to do with his writing, and is not always even internally consistent. If one asks the man in the street who “Jules Verne” is, a reply will always be forthcoming. To the average American, Verne was the inventor of science fiction, and predicted much of the twentieth century, including the exploration of the depths of the sea, of the interior of the earth, and of outer space. He is also meant to have foreseen the submarine, the aeroplane, and perhaps the motor-car. But the same person will rarely be able to name the actual books where this happened, will be vague as to when the predictions were made, and will virtually never offer any information about the writer himself. Indeed, he may assume by default that Verne was an American. After all, Djools Vurn is an all-American name; and how many foreign writers have adopted local names?

If one poses similar questions in other countries, one gets remarkably similar replies, with one important variation. The Italians have their Giulio Verne, the Spanish, Julio Verne, and so on—exactly as if he were a native son of the whole world. Only in his own country, France, does the name “Vairn” produce a different reaction, centred more on the man and especially his works.

Much of Verne's reputation—even his perceived internationality—does contain a small grain of truth. Accordingly, we will use the popular conceptions as a sounding-board to approach the real writer. Thus, after studying both the most famous and some less well-known work, we will briefly examine Verne's life. Then some of the myths surrounding his name will be analysed, before the “meaning” or “message” of the works is examined: their religious, political, social, and personal perspectives and—perhaps the most important—their influence as literature.

Amongst the novels with a more or less scientific theme, three or four stand out for their originality and their popularity. Thus Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (“Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas”) (1869-1870) recounts a journey by submarine, with Captain Nemo (“nobody” in Latin) as the enigmatic hero. The novel includes dramatic episodes such as the passage under the Antarctic icecap, the planting of a flag on the South Pole, and the discovery of the ruins of Atlantis; but much of the interest comes from the intense if distant relationship between Nemo and his guest/prisoner, Dr Aronnax, who is also the first-person narrator. De la Terre à la Lune (“From the Earth to the Moon”) (1865) is perhaps the first serious literary attempt to present a vessel capable of escaping from the Earth's gravitation. The initial impulse is provided by a giant cannon, constructed as a concrete-lined hole in the ground and filled with huge amounts of explosive. Verne realised the problems that would be produced for the passengers by the rapid acceleration; but his only solution is to use water-filled, collapsible compartments designed to absorb the shock. The novel ends with the launch of the three passengers towards outer space. A sequel is, however, provided in Autour de la Lune (“Around the Moon”) (1870), where relatively accurate solutions are found to the problems of airlessness, weightlessness (believed at the time to occur only at the equilibrium point between the Earth and the Moon), and the navigation of the conical-shaped projectile (by expulsion of hot gases). Both space volumes are light-hearted in tone, due partly to the presence of the character Ardan (anagram of Nadar, close friend of Verne's and a famous French photographer). In Voyage au centre de la Terre (“Journey to the Centre of the Earth”) (1864, 1867), Prof. Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel (but not his fiancée, except in the film version) descend into an extinct volcano in Iceland. They eventually discover an underground world containing plants, fish, but also a marine dinosaur, and finally human beings: a dead white man, apparently a previous explorer, tantalising glimpses of a Giant Shepherd herding Giant Mastodons. The final episode, where the heroes ride a volcanic eruption on a wooden raft, is typical of this book—and many others—in describing unlikely events in the most plausible way possible.

A second category consists of novels which are only slightly less well-known or which contain less science or none at all. Thus Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (“Around the World in Eighty Days”) (1872) describes the journey undertaken for a bet by an eccentric Englishman called Phileas Fogg. The mood is again humorous and the pace fast-moving, with counterpoint provided by Fogg's acrobatic domestic, Passepartout, and the young Indian widow rescued from suttee; but there are also serious points to the work. For Verne, the shrinking of the world, caused notably by the end of the age of exploration and the building of the railways, is of radical importance; but also, as shown in the denouement where Fogg “gains” a day by having crossed of the International Date Line, space and time are inextricably linked. In contrast, Cinq semaines en ballon (“Five Weeks in a Balloon”) (1863) conducts its heroes across the still-unexplored areas of Central Africa, while playing games with the dates of real exploration, and also with those of its own publication (just before the final events of the novel). Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras (“Travels and Adventures of Captain Hatteras”) (1866) takes the obsessed captain of the title ever further north over the Arctic icecap. Like many of the novels, it involves murder and cannibalism; even the hero was meant to die at the Pole at the end—that is until Hetzel, Verne's publisher, stepped in and made him bring Hatteras home again. In Les Enfants du capitaine Grant (“Captain Grant's Children”) (1866-68), the younger Grants receive a half-effaced message-in-a-bottle giving the latitude of their father's shipwreck, but not its longitude; thus prompting a straight-line round-the-world trip through South America, New Zealand, and Australia. L'Ile mystérieuse (“The Mysterious Island”) (1874-75) represents the culmination of many long-maturing Vernian ideas. It deals extensively with the desert-island dream, closely associated in Verne's mind with the ideal community; but is also designed to show up the facile and implausible manipulation of the plot in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. It presents the “re-invention” of the whole technological history of mankind; and it re-employs characters from Capitaine Grant but also Nemo, revealed at the end of the novel to be the reason why the settlers were so successful in all their endeavours. Nemo dies at the end, victim of his attempt to solve the problems of society by fleeing them: “I die because I thought that one could live alone.” Robur-le-conquérant (“Robur-the-Conqueror”) (1886), finally, centres on the still-vigorous debate between the protagonists of the “lighter-than-air” (balloons, etc.) and the “heavier-than-air” (fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters). Robur is a rebel, a spiritual descendant of Nemo, a man whose brilliant aeronautical ideas are ignored and who resorts to violence to prove his point. His aircraft is memorable for its ship-like characteristics and its 37 horizontal propellers on masts, which manage to leave unruffled the headgear of the passengers on the deck just below.

Although popular attention has concentrated on the above novels, few of the remaining seventy or so works can be considered negligible. One of the reasons is that the works from a continuing progression—or, it sometimes seems, regression. First, the short stories from before 1863, although often derivative, have been shown by Delabroy to contain in embryo many of the Vernian themes, ideas, and obsessions, and are often brilliantly written. The period 1863 to 1875 includes all but one of the works discussed above, and is the most complete presentation of the author's primary themes. From 1875 to 1905, on the other hand, the novels undergo a large number of transformations. The subject is less often exploration or scientific innovation and more often mere tourism; the mood is more pessimistic, ironical, or bitter (although Verne's early optimism has been much exaggerated, being rather the result of the pressures of the age, and particularly of his publisher); the British and even the Americans are no longer presented in favourable fashion; the novels often close with the death or madness of even the sympathetic protagonists; the few machines that are shown finish up utterly destroyed; and in real life, as Charles-Noël Martin has shown, the novels sold progressively less well.

Nevertheless, some critics, like Raymond, defend the later works. They point out that their irony, scepticism, and self-analysis are more “modern” than in the more straightforward novels—and more revealing of what Verne is really concerned with. As just one example, the theme of cannibalism, which had occurred regularly but briefly in the previous novels, receives a full and systematic treatment in Le Chancellor (“The Chancellor”) (1875), a transcription of the terrible events on the hunger-bound raft of the Méduse. This same novel has also been claimed to be the first one in Western literature to be written in the present tense—a remarkable self-conscious device that would be hard to imagine in the earlier, happier period. Verne himself recognised that there were changes, writing to his publisher in 1883: “I don't have any subjects left whose interest is in the extraordinary: balloons, Captain Nemo, etc.” One sign of the lack of primary invention was the number of sequels he produced—whether to his own previous novels or to works like Wyss's Swiss Family Robinson or Poe's Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Verne's novels of his final thirty years, in sum, work less well as adventure stories, but many of them may be considered interesting or important in other ways.

The six or seven works that appeared after Verne's death were different again. Les Naufragés du “Jonathan” (“The Survivors from the Jonathan”) (1909) goes much deeper in its analysis of anarchism, socialism, and communism than any of the previous works; and seems to conclude that solitude is the only satisfactory social or political solution. L'Etonnante aventure de la mission Barsac (“The Astonishing Adventure of the Barsac Mission”) (1919) presents an authoritarian anti-Utopia in darkest Africa, complete with self-correcting aircraft and robots. The (long) short story “L'Eternel Adam” (“The Eternal Adam”) (1910), above all, is a masterpiece: it ranges 20,000 years forward, and back to the very beginnings of human history. On the way, it observes the Flood, Atlantis, and a total destruction of civilisation in the third millennium AD. One of its conclusions is that all man's “efforts in the infinity of time” are destined to be fruitless, that we must realise “the eternal recommencement of all things”. But the story's structure, which is unique in being equally divided between two widely separated eras and two protagonists of equal stature, points the way to a divergent conclusion. Only by contemplating the apparently endless cycle, it implies, and by benefitting directly from the experience of elders, can man begin to escape the cycle and hence achieve true wisdom, situated somewhere between a hopeless pessimism and a blind optimism.

For a long time, critical opinion was divided as to why most of the posthumous works should be so different. One school of thought, including Verne's own grandson, Jean Jules-Verne, considered that the author had delayed publication of his most radical works until after his death so as to avoid a possibly unfavourable public reaction. But another school believed that Verne's son, Michel, had in fact written whole chunks of them (though he claimed merely to have put the manuscripts in order). Only in 1978 did Piero Gondolo della Riva, settle the question. He discovered very considerable differences between the 1905 typescripts of the posthumous works and the published works; ones which had to be ascribed to the efforts of Michel. Thus La Mission Barsac was shown to be mostly by Verne's son, and “L'Eternel Adam” probably entirely by him!

Critical opinion does not seem to have entirely recovered from the shock. But it would seem necessary to accept that Michel Verne is an authentic writer in his own right, and one of considerable merit. But his contributions to Les Voyages extraordinaires were published under Jules's name, and in fact fooled most of the people most of the time. Even if with the benefit of hindsight we can see a certain ironical distance from the other works (and sometimes direct attacks on them), the general spirit of Michel's works would seem sufficiently close to that of his father's as to permit us to consider the Voyages extraordinaires as a single entity. Other creative works by two or more people do exist, after all. For the critic the advantage of this position is that he can then view the works as a curve with a pleasing upturn at its end.

Other circumstances of the publication are important. With the exception of the first two, all of Verne's novels were first published as serials in periodicals. Many of them appeared in Hetzel's Magasin d'éducation et de récréation, whose twin goals were reflected in its title and whose readership was designed to include both adults and young people. Hetzel often played a major part in the production—writing whole pages for his author, for instance, or insisting that Nemo's nationality be changed from Polish and the reason for his misanthropy, from Russian atrocities to international ones. Verne made large numbers of corrections at each stage of the proofs, and indeed between the serial and first book publication (18mo), which was usually unillustrated.

The famous illustrations, drawn by independent artists under the supervision of Verne and Hetzel, appeared only in the octavo edition, usually a few months after the first book publication. It is these octavo editions which have become the main target of collectors, with prices sometimes reaching $2,000 a volume (for those that sold fewest copies, and therefore often are the least interesting to read).

As for Verne's life, it is interesting mainly insofar as it informs his writing, and less for any intrinsic originality. Virtually his whole life was spent either writing, or preparing for it. The following account is drawn mainly from the biography by Jean Jules-Verne.

Born as the second child of four in a middle-class Nantes family in 1828—on an island in the river—Verne's schooldays were reasonably successful without being brilliant. From 1848 he lived in Paris (narrowly missing the revolution of that year), studying law in preparation for joining his father's law-firm. But at the same time, he started writing short stories and, above all, a large number of plays. In 1859, still living in cramped conditions in the Latin Quarter, but now with his pregnant wife and two step-daughters, he was invited by a friend on a free trip to Scotland and England. Considering himself of “Celtic” ancestry on both sides, Verne accepted; and was delighted by his visit, which was to be reflected in much of his later writing. In 1862, still unsuccessful as an author, having meanwhile become a stockbroker, he presented a manuscript to a publisher in the Rue de la Seine. According to the story, Hetzel was immediately impressed; and from that point on, Verne's livelihood was guaranteed by successively more lucrative contracts, although requiring him to produce between one and two books each year.

For the next 43 years, in Paris and then in Amiens, Verne wrote steadily. Often he would be changing the published serial version of one novel while correcting the proofs of another, writing the manuscript of yet another, and planning the extensive reading required for a fourth. In 1866, he bought the first of a series of successively larger yachts on which he travelled through the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and the North Sea. His marriage was not totally happy; and he seems to have had mistresses. At various stages, also, his son Michel caused him problems, eventually culminating in his being packed off to India as a midshipman; and in 1886 in mysterious circumstances, one of Verne's nephews shot him in the leg while insane, rendering him lame for the rest of his life. In 1905 he died of diabetes, having become perhaps the most famous story-teller of all time.

The simplicity of Verne's life is thus in opposition to—and perhaps the reason for—the complexity of his works: a complexity demonstrated, above all, by recent critical reception.

Verne soon received positive appreciations from writers such as Baudelaire, George Sand, or Tolstoy. But from then on, his subject matter, genre, and audience seem to have caused him to be completely ignored by those writing about mainstream literature. The paradoxical result was that for about a century the best-known of French writers was also one of the least-known. Doctorates were written in Germany and the United States—and sank without trace. There were brief studies in the 1950s, but a wide critical awareness developed only in the 1970s (and then only in France). In the Anglo-Saxon countries, in particular, despite pioneering articles by Ray Bradbury, a few mostly derivative biographies, and an excellent bibliography in 1980, serious literary study of Verne has been very slow in coming. Three English-language doctorates (all written partly in Paris) have been produced; but at the moment of writing [1986] there has still been no original book on Verne in English.

The studies carried out in France have given us a multi-faceted vision of the writer. Raymond and Compère have written perhaps the fairest account of “Verne Studies”, and the following is indebted to them and to Gallagher et al. After René Escaich's general survey, classification, and evaluation in Voyage au monde de Jules Verne (1951, 1955), Marcel Moré pioneered the detailed, literary analysis of the individual texts. In Le Très curieux Jules Verne (1960), he argued for a strong link between Verne's works and his life: Nemo, for instance, shares many traits with Hetzel; the numbers in the cryptograms dotted about the works correspond to important dates for the writer; and fictional fathers and brothers closely reflect Verne's severe lawyer-father and beloved naval-captain-brother Paul. In Nouvelles explorations de Jules Verne (1963), finally, Moré studied three particular themes: the evolution of twentieth-century music, as foreseen by Verne; his influences on Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Huysmans, and Bloy; and the writer's misogamy, as reflected in his constant disparagement of the idea of marriage and—claims the critic—in a strong undercurrent of homosexuality. If, in fact, many of Moré's ideas have since been considered tangential or mistaken, they did give an impulse for subsequent studies of Verne.

Thus Jean Chesneaux's Une Lecture politique de Jules Verne (1971) (“The Political and Social Ideas of Jules Verne”) (1972) argues for the influence on Verne of contemporary political views such as Fourierism and Saint-Simonism, and in particular his early faith in science, his belief in the subjugation of Nature, his attention to contemporary independence movements, and his surface optimism. The book is, however, selective in its choice of subject-matter. And because it ignores the tensions at the very heart of many of Verne's positions, it neglects the specifically literary aspects of the works, such as the interaction of form and content and the role of ambiguity. Simone Vierne's 750-page Jules Verne et le roman initiatique (1973), in contrast, adopts a subtle psychological approach, arguing that all the Voyages present a hero's initiatory quest, divisible into three stages: the preparation, the journey into the sacred, and the subsequent rebirth of the hero. Vierne's central thesis is perhaps over-systematic (in the Gallic tradition), but the book is full of sensitive insights into the meaning of the works. Other studies followed in rapid succession. Marie-Hélène Huet's L'Histoire des “Voyages extraordinaires” (1973) is a competent survey of history in the works, especially the conflicts of interest between the European powers. At the other extreme, Michel Serres adopts brilliant but idiosyncratic positions in Jouvences sur Jules Verne (1974): by analysing the scientific or mathematical structures very much in evidence in the Voyages, he argues, for instance, that the tension between horizontal displacement and vertical displacement is vital; but he simultaneously throws off illuminating sparks in the directions of Verne's verbal play and, amongst others, the Odyssey and James Joyce.

Daniel Compère's Un Voyage imaginaire de Jules Verne: “Voyage au centre de la Terre” (1977) is a useful and reliable survey of methods and results bearing on the rich novel of the title: as just one detail, it points out the frequency of anagrams of the name “Verne” in this work—a sign of its constituent self-reflexiveness. Jean Delabroy's 1200-page thesis, “Jules Verne et l'imaginaire”—unfortunately not published—is a perceptive and wide-ranging “psycho-” and “socio-thematic” analysis of the works written before 1875. It argues that there are two sorts of time for Verne: a controlled and scientific, but vacuous and ultimately dead one; and one where “every moment counts”, where vitality and intensity are paramount. The necessary synthesis of the two conceptions leads paradoxically, back into the past; but it eventually culminates, Delabroy argues, in a recognition of the futility of searching for a totally coherent solution to the problem of time.

It will thus be seen that recent critical work has concentrated on historical, social, personal, and metaphysical themes more than on “anticipations”. But it is also clear that any attempts at synthesis are impeded by dichotomies in the works. Amongst those demonstrated by the critics are: a respectable conservatism combined with a support for oppressed peoples from the Québecois to the Australian Aborigines; descriptions of technological progress, but also analyses of its pernicious effects on human society; the use of conventional happy endings with everybody married off, but also the presence in the texts of a strong sensuality; and direct borrowing from many contemporary sources, but also influences of classical mythology and of Scott, Dickens, and Stendhal.

It is this perspective of their literary functioning that is perhaps the most valuable way of approaching Verne's anticipations. Great care, however, is necessary.

A first point is that the Voyages were not, in general, set in the future. The first work to have a setting after the year of publication was Robur-le-conquérant (1886). Although seven or eight others may be observed after that date, it was perhaps only Verne's decreasing success with the general public that led him to adapt these works to his own reputation!

Whatever the reason, there certainly are many bold innovations in the works from 1886: an aeroplane/helicopter, a pneumatically-driven train under the Atlantic, a giant cannon designed to correct the Earth's axis, perfect audiovisual reproduction, a Trans-Siberian railway, a motorised floating island, and a project to turn the Sahara into an extension of the Mediterranean. One short story, first published in English (by Michel) and called “In the Year 2889” (1889), describes such innovations as: the disappearance of horse-drawn transport, trains at 1500 km/hr, worldwide news in colour, weather control, a life expectancy of sixty-eight years, communication with the planets, algebraic “compteurs” (computers?), aerial publicity, skyscrapers, and a reduction of the chemical elements first to three basic units and then to one. In “L'Eternel Adam”, the major novelty is that “the secrets of the phenomenon of life had been successfully explored [...], and the tremendous discoveries that had ben made allowed one to foresee that organic beings could soon receive the gift of immortality”.

But the works set in the future do not have a monopoly of “predictions”. In the other works, as well, one can observe such innovations as: the extensive role of electricity, various submarines, an explosive which is claimed by its inventor to be capable of blowing up the globe, and laser, telecontrol, artificial rain, radiotelephone, and torture by means of electric shock. Amongst particular events “predicted”, the most striking is the fact that Verne's moon-rocket is the same height and weight as Apollo 8, like it is launched from Florida and observed by means of a giant telescope in the Rocky Mountains, and splashes down in the Pacific at a point only four kilometres away from that where Apollo 8 did.

Critical judgement is necessary, however, in assessing Verne's “predictions”. First, care must be taken not to read too much into the texts—as certain critics have done. The element of chance has also been forgotten by many commentators, as undoubtedly in the case of the splash-down. The Einsteinian (or anti-Einsteinian?) hint of “their speed [...] reduced their weight” and the nuclear hint of “water is the coal of the future” are probably also due to mere coincidence. Similarities between fact and fiction must be considered in the perspective of the many remarks in the Voyages that go very wide of the mark.

Thirdly, many of the ideas were not original to Verne. Submarines, for instance, were built and tested between 1796 and 1801, and were used in the American Civil War: even the name Nautilus probably came from the prototype built by Robert Fulton. Jules Verne himself pointed out that his reading about contemporary scientific developments was the source of most of his ideas. In any case, virtually all of the ideas had already appeared in fiction. “In the Year 2889”, in particular, seems to have plagiarised Albert Robida's Le Vingtième siècle (1882). More generally, Versins claims that in at most three of Verne's thirty-one novels of anticipation, the basic idea had not already been used in fictional works.

Fourthly, the vision of the future is often merely the result of extrapolating past and present tendencies. This method does throw up many accurate projections concerning giant artefacts or improvements in land-, water-, or air-based transport. But its philosophy is basically conservative, in accordance with Michel Verne's belief that “nothing ever happens that has not been determined by what came before, and the future is produced by the continuation of the past”. This uncritical attitude works better in the area of applied science than in international politics or the arts: if the general prediction of the increasing dominance of the United States is correct, those of its physical absorption of Britain and Canada are as wide of the mark as Verne's repetition of the nineteenth-century conventional wisdom of paintings being replaced by photography and novels by newspapers.

The final limitation of the “predictions” in Verne's works is that, despite their use of extrapolation, they do not seem to betray an awareness of the acceleration of history, the exponential rate of technological innovation, and so their time-scale is all wrong. They speak, for instance, of a “constant progression [...] of ‘industrial and commercial development’ ”. Thus the inventions of “In the Year 2889” will take a thousand years (Robida placed them in 1953); and coal resources will be exhausted in about “a hundred centuries”—or just when “far-sighted nature” has had time to produce more! Perhaps concomitant with this tendency, the machines themselves always break down or break up, and every trace of them is invariably lost, almost as if inventors and inventions had never existed. The “predictions” usually come to have instead the nostalgic whiff of what might have been.

Nevertheless, these reservations as to the accuracy, originality, and permanence of the scientific innovations in the Voyages cannot completely destroy their importance. Verne's works do demonstrate a shrewd awareness of technological implications, an “instinct for the direction of science”, as Blum says. From his extremely wide reading, Verne selected the ideas he found most plausible. Florida was chosen as the launching-pad because it was the southernmost part of the United States, the Rockies for the telescope because they were the highest. Since Verne played relatively safe, many of his scientific extrapolations have worked—at least until recently.

Because of their lucidity and their clairvoyance (in the non-mystical sense), the Voyages have above all had a popularising and educational role. Verne himself claimed: “my aim [...] was not to prophesy, but to spread knowledge”. Explorers, geographers, and scientists acknowledging their debt to Verne include Nansen, Lyautey, Simon Lake, Von Braun, Marconi, Gagarin, and Richard Byrd. In sum, Verne's presentation of future scientific developments is far from naive.

What, finally, is Verne's ultimate contribution to literature? In certain genres, there has been demonstrable influence. Verne has probably had a very wide influence on that considerable proportion of mankind which has come into contact with the Voyages at a formative age. But what of Verne's contribution to “serious” literature? And what reputation is he likely to have in the future?

Verne's distinctiveness is in his avoidance of the detailed description of interactions of human beings, and the resultant lack of development of personality. Bildungsromans, the Voyages certainly are not. The characters do not progress, but regress from a stable and fair-to-middling humanistic position to a precariously solipsistic, aggressive, or desperate one. But, in compensation, as Vierne, Delabroy, and Andrew Martin have all convincingly shown, the observation of the interaction of the individual and the material (although apparently sentient) environment, is acute. It presages many aspects of the modern era, and is apparently still of considerable interest today, to judge from the sales-figures.

Many of Verne's positions and factual observations are on the surface naive. Their value is in their oblique but unmistakable posing of many questions which remain vital today. His adolescent dream of recounting the whole world, for instance, gives way, in a deeper analysis, to an understanding of the ideas of exhaustiveness, obsession, and even totalitarianism.

Despite the “objectivity” of the style, then, the Vernian vision of the world is an intensely personal one. The political, historical, scientific, and geographical themes act principally as vehicles for a profound angst. Nihilism—or at least systematic scepticism—is one of the few common threads running through all the Voyages. Understanding the works must therefore pass through an understanding of the subject within them, and hence not the surface themes.

Verne thus remains attached to the nineteenth century but also continuingly relevant; more French than has generally been recognised but also universal; intimate but an “outsider”; obvious but discreet; light but deep; annoying but attractive; and finally readable and memorable. As the twenty-first century edges closer, Djools Vurn's reputation outside France is surely due for a most radical revision.



Kenneth Allott, Jules Verne, Crescent Press, London, 1940

Rene Escaich, Voyage au monde de Jules Verne, Editions Plantin, Paris, 1955

I. O. Evans, Jules Verne: Master of Science Fiction, Sidgewick and Jackson, London, 1956

Marcel Moré, Le Très curieux Jules Verne, Gallimard, Paris, 1960

Marcel Moré, Nouvelles explorations de Jules Verne, Gallimard, Paris, 1963

I. O. Evans, Jules Verne and His Work, Twayne Publishers, New York, 1966

Jean Chesneaux, Une Lecture politique de Jules Verne, Maspero, Paris, 1971

Jean Chesneaux, The Political and Social Ideas of Jules Verne, Thames and Hudson, London, 1972

Marie-Hélène Huet, L'Histoire des “Voyages extraordinaires”, Minard, Paris, 1973

Jean Jules-Verne, Jules Verne, Hachette, Paris, 1973

Simone Vierne, Jules Verne et le roman initiatique, Sirac, Paris, 1973

L'Herne: “Jules Verne” [Paris], n° 25, 1974

Michel Serres, Jouvences sur Jules Verne, Editions de minuit, Paris, 1974

Jean Jules-Verne, Jules Verne: A Biography, MacDonald and Jane's, London, 1976, trans. and adapted by Roger Greaves

Jules Verne 1: “Le Tour du monde”, Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1976, ed. François Raymond

François Raymond and Daniel Compère, with the collaboration of Olivier Dumas and Christian Robin, Le Développement des études sur Jules Verne (domaine français), Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1976

Daniel Compère, Un Voyage imaginaire de Jules Verne: “Voyage au centre de la Terre”, Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1977

Peter Costello, Jules Verne: Inventor of Science Fiction, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1978

Europe [Paris], n° 595-96, “Jules Verne”, Nov.-Dec. 1978

Jules Verne 2: L'Ecriture vernienne, Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1978, ed. François Raymond

Jean-Michel Margot, Bibliographie documentaire sur Jules Verne, privately published, Ostermundigen (Switzerland), 1978

Charles-Noël Martin, La Vie et l'oeuvre de Jules Verne, Michel de l'Ormeraie, 1978

Marc Soriano, Jules Verne, Julliard, Paris, 1978

Jules Verne et les sciences humaines, UGE, Paris, 1979, ed. François Raymond and Simone Vierne

Jean Delabroy, “Jules Verne et l'imaginaire”, thèse d'Etat, Univ. de Paris-III, 1980

Edward J. Gallagher, Judith A. Mistichelli, and John A. Van Eerde, Jules Verne: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography, G. K. Hall, Boston [USA], 1980

Jules Verne 3: Machines et imaginaires, Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1980, ed. François Raymond

Jean-Michel Margot, Bibliographie documentaire sur Jules Verne [Vol. II], privately published, Nyon (Switzerland), 1982

Jules Verne 4: Texte, image, spectacle, Minard: Lettres modernes, Paris, 1984, ed. François Raymond

Arthur Evans, “Jules Verne”, Ph.D., Univ. of Columbia, 1984

William Butcher, “A Study of Time in Jules Verne's Voyages extraordinaires”, Ph.D., Univ. of London, 1985

Bulletin de la société Jules Verne [Paris] [BSJV]

Individual Articles:

Ray Bradbury, “Marvels and Miracles-Pass It on!”, New York Times Magazine, 20 March 1954, pp. 26-27, 56, 58

Ray Bradbury, “The Ardent Blasphemers”, in Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Garamond Press, Baltimore, 1962, pp. 1-12

François Raymond, “Jules Verne ou le mouvement perpétuel (Essai de Patanalyse appliquée)”, Subsidia pataphysica [Paris], n° 8, 22 sable 97 [1969], pp. 21-52

Darko Suvin, “Introduction”, in H. G. Wells and Modern Science Fiction, Bucknell U. P., Lewisburg [PA], 1977, ed. Darko Suvin, with Robert M. Philmus, associate editor, pp. 9-32

Piero Gondolo della Riva, “A propos des oeuvres posthumes de Jules Verne”, Europe, n° 595-96, pp. 73-88

William Butcher, “Le Sens de ‘L'Eternel Adam’ ”, BSJV, n° 58, 2e tri. 1981, pp. 73-81

Ross Chambers, “Cultural and Ideological Determinations in Narrative: A Note on Jules Verne's Les Cinq cent millions de la Begum”, L'Esprit createur, Vol. XXI, 1981, n° 3, Fall, pp. 69-78

William Butcher, “Le Verbe et la chair, ou l'emploi du temps”, in Jules Verne 4, 1983, pp. 125-48


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