Jules Verne Forum



Re: A possible origin for the harfang in Les Indes noires

From: Ian Thompson <ithompson~at~geog.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 09:31:52 +0100
To: "Jules Verne Forum" <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>

You are right...there are other sources..a useful survey is by Lise
Sabourin, "Jules Verne et l'Ecosse: lire, voir, créer. Le récit de voyage et
roman", 2001.
There are a few more "borrowings" from Nadier by Verne...his dislike of the
statue in Parliament Square in Edinburgh, and like Nadier, Verne is
unimpressed by St Giles cathedral, and again, like Nadier, does not bother
to enter Edinburgh Castle.Much of the description of fables (Ossian) the
supernatural etc again coincides as does the description of weather beaten
"natives" above Inversnaid. It is of course possible that Verne saw a large
owl himself in the Trossachs (though not a harfang which is not a native of
Scotland) but this is unlikely since most Scottish owls (except for the
smaller short-eared owl) are nocturnal and would not have been active during
Verne's daytime passage. I tend to think that Nadier's account might have
inspired Verne to feature a large owl, but he enhances the drama further by
making it a harfang, one of the largest and most aggresive of the owl
family. Moreover, by choosing the owl, rather than any other raptor, he
selected a nocturnal bird with acute night vision and therefore a credible
beast to be found in semi-darkness underground. So, whether inspired by
Nadier or not, Verne does not stretch credibility too far.
Received on Thu 21 Apr 2005 - 11:32:02 IDT

hypermail 2.2.0 JV.Gilead.org.il
Copyright © Zvi Har’El
$Date: 2009/02/01 22:36:11 $$