Jules Verne Forum



FW: Verne-question/ Nemo and Auguste Blanqui

From: Ariel Perez <aprod00~at~hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 11:46:05 +0000
To: jvf~at~Gilead.org.il

Dear forum members,

Below, it is the answer Thomas Riepe sent me two weeks ago when he asked in
the forum about a possible relantionship between Auguste Blanqui and Verne's
Nemo. Gilles has answered and here it is what he wrote. Sorry for the delay.

Dear Ariel:

thanks! When I have my copy of Benjamin's book back (I gave it a student who
now on holiday), I mail you which quotations I think about. When I read them
years ago, they immediately gave me the impression to know the voice, but it
took quite a while to think at Verne.

Walter Benjamin takes Blanqui's philosophical texts on a kind of eternal
recurrence as the most intense and explicit expression of the spirit of the
century and the loss of the ideals of the french revolution. Blanqui wrote
text ("L'Eternite par les Astres") and others when he was in prison and was
denied to read anything than science books. He apparently read books from
Lagrange. Earlier, Blanqui was the head of a kind of secret army of
revolutionaires, described by (if I remember correctly) Toqueville as
and frightening outcasts when they stormed (screaming something about the
liberation of Poland?) the french parlament or national assembly. Blanqui
declared war by the french government, taken for some decades in a prison
him as only prisoner, and seems to have become a kind of mythical figure
"the man of 40 years prison").
Other texts were apparently socio-economic speculations based on his
in economic experiments in France of factories or farmes owned by the
If I remember W. Benjamins descr. correctly, Blanqui prognosed the failure
socialistic economies after some initial success and the unification of
under a market economy. A Blanqui-biography I read indicates that his
could be questioned, as he was not only a kind of freedom-fighting
but took criminal means like shootings. I imagine from the few descriptions
read, that he appeared to the political establishment and middle class of
time as a nightmare like re-appearance of some Robbespierre with an army of
sanscoulotes out of the underground.

Unfortunately I know too few of Vernes books to have an idea of any analogy
just an accident. A similarity between Blanqui's and Nemo's rethoric could
from a general way to write in the 19th century. The mentioned historian
me that Verne and Blanqui were probably members of the same group of
freemansions(?) near Lyon, which could further explain similarities.

It could be interesting to know if Verne took a long time to invent the Nemo
figure and story? If he did not, that may indicate that he took someone real
model. That would acc. to theory of literature make sense, insofar tale-like
stories often get their fascination from their way to reformulate traumatic
social, political or common individual experiences and turn them into
for children. In this case, the traumatic experience would be the french
revolution - perhaps too some bad feeling concerning the underclasses?

It would be interesting too to know if Verne expressed ideas about human
freedom etc. Do you know anything about that?

Nietzsche had his idea of eternal reccurence from indian philosophy through
Schopenhauer. To my knowledge, it is not clear wether he took it
had his idea from Lagrange's cosmology, i.e. the state of art of cosmology
his time, and took it probably serious. A possible way to distinguish
from Nietzsche and Blanqui could perhaps be how Verne took up Darwin.
philosophy sems to be deeply influenced by it (Man as transitional step in
evolution), I never read that Blanqui thought about it.


>From: Gilles Carpentier <gilles.carpentier~at~laposte.net>
>Reply-To: Jules Verne Forum <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>
>To: Jules Verne Forum <jvf~at~Gilead.org.il>
>Subject: Re: FW: Verne-question/ Nemo and Auguste Blanqui
>Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 23:11:31 +0200
>I have never read that Verne took Auguste Blanqui as model of Nemo. Could
>you give us more informations about these "strange similarities" ?
>One interesting thing with this hypothesis is that Jules Verne, late in his
>life, wrote "L'Eternel Adam - Edom" (perhaps with his son Michel) . And
>Blanqui wrote a theorie (1870 ?) on the eternal recurrence of the things (
>was it the first ?). And this "eternal recurrence of the things" is the
>central theme of "L'Eternel Adam". In fact , many people think that it was
>a Nietzsche influence upon Verne. But why not a Blanqui influence ?
>So perhaps it could be interesting to study this possible influance of
>Blanqui upon Verne...
>Hope this could help Thomas Riepe...
>Gilles Carpentier
>Ariel Perez a écrit:
>>Hi everybody,
>>Can anybody help Thomas with his question?

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Received on Mon 25 Apr 2005 - 14:46:15 IDT

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