The Mysterious Island [with Biographical Introduction]

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A handful of those books, all from the first dozen or so of those 42 years, are known, at least by name, to any person literate in modern Western culture. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was made into a fine early special-effects movie by Disney in Some of the later novels, including that one, were not translated into English. The fault here does not lie entirely with Verne. Because the books were considered to be for children, and therefore to have no literary importance, translators felt free to abridge, amend, or even rewrite them. Translation work was in any case and still is badly paid and otherwise unrewarding.

Furthermore, the metric system Verne used was unfamiliar to his British and American translators, so that the conscientious calculations he sometimes included in his text were, when not omitted altogether, frequently garbled in English-language editions, leading the more attentive reader to think that Verne was careless or innumerate. With the growth of college English departments in recent decades, and the acceptance of science fiction as a proper field of study for literary theorists and cultural historians, some salvage work has been undertaken.

This is the context for the publication by Wesleyan University Press of four new English translations of Verne novels, with annotations and introductions by scholars. These four translations came out between December and November , and apparently they will be followed by others.


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T he Mysterious Island was published in installments through and It was translated into English twice in the s, and all the other English-language editions available prior to this one from Wesleyan were derived from the first of those translations, usually much abridged. This Wesleyan edition of January is a completely new and full translation of the French text, and includes the original illustrations as do the other three books in this series.

The Mysterious Island builds on the same idea. All are trapped by various circumstances in Richmond, Virginia in March During a tremendous storm they make their escape from the city in a balloon, which is then swept far across the world to the empty wastes of the southwest Pacific.

The balloon fails at last, and the five are washed up on an uncharted island. They are Americans, though, and this was the beginning of the era — it ended with the Apollo program — when the U. When they need to remove a rock barrier to lower the water level of a lake, Smith manufactures nitroglycerin.

The various chemical processes are carefully described. He actually does so. The youngest of the castaways, a boy of fifteen, is a walking encyclopedia of botany and zoology, so that our heroes encounter few difficulties in provisioning themselves, and in seeking out construction materials like those juncus fibers. It is all a bit implausible, and one finds oneself wondering whether people in their situation, and of their energy and abilities, would not bend their efforts to escaping from the island rather than making it a home away from home.

Nemo dies; the island explodes; the castaways are rescued by a passing vessel out of one of the subplots, and all ends happily. The translators, it must be acknowledged, were right: this is kid fiction, or at best young-adult fiction.

The Mysterious Island

It has no social dimension. The characters of the castaways are merely sketched, and they do not interact with each other in any interesting ways. Personally I found no difficulty in glossing over it. I could not, in fact, detect it. The story of the princess and the pea comes to mind. The Negro of The Mysterious Island seems to me to be as capable as his comrades. His main aim is to destroy the City of Well Being.

Good France therefore triumphs over evil Germany, redressing, at least in fiction, the humiliation of the Franco-Prussian War eight years earlier. Does anyone have information about Jules Verne's letters to his brother Paul? It doesn't matter if they are in french or english. Does anyone know of quotes from these letters in out-of-print biographies, articles or any other source?

Didn't Jules Verne write a novel or short story on the "Invisible Man" theme? Story took place in Budapest? Anyone pick this up?

Jules Verne - Biography and Works. Search Texts, Read Online. Discuss.

Worth the read? This what I got from Amazon. This first English translation of Verne's awkward hybrid of travelogue and coded detective story, originally serialized in , centers on Dutch brothers Karl and Pieter Kip. In the novel's first part, which details nautical journeys around various Australian and New Zealand islands, the English captain Harry Gibson, of the James Cook, rescues the shipwrecked Kips.

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When mutineers Flig Valt and Vin Mod kill the captain, it's Karl and Pieter who are convicted and who spend the novel's second part trying to escape a horrible Australian penal colony. Descriptions of exotic destinations from Verne's own travel books help c I recently bought an edition of this Verne classic. It was rereleased in early April. Point Pescade has become one of my favourite Vernian characters.

Anyone else read it? Wo ho! Really, this Jules Verne board is the most active one on the whole forum - just bubbling over with the energy of myriads of posts. But to be serious. Jules Verne is a brilliant author. He was among the pioneers of sci-fi, and he has such a way of merging reality with unreality that you can almost believe his high-flown stories. He really grips you with suspense, which I think is vital to any good science fiction story.

Still searching for UFO's, Loki Please submit a quiz here. Here is where you find links to related content on this site or other sites, possibly including full books or essays about Jules Verne written by other authors featured on this site. Jules Verne Search.

Advanced Search. Happy Birthday Happy birthday, sir!! You wrote great books in your time Posted By misterreplicant in Verne, Jules 1 Reply. How many Jules Verne books did you read?

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Posted By in Verne, Jules 1 Reply. Jules Verne: Quotes "Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real. The Kip Brothers Anyone pick this up? Mathias Sandorf I recently bought an edition of this Verne classic.

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Best character In your opinion who is Verne's best character?? Posted By alejandra in Verne, Jules 13 Replies. A brilliant author Wo ho! Jules Verne. A Winter Amid the Ice. All Around the Moon. An Antarctic Mystery. His main aim is to destroy the City of Well Being. Good France therefore triumphs over evil Germany, redressing, at least in fiction, the humiliation of the Franco-Prussian War eight years earlier.

It is curious to see such a strongly drawn caricature of the racist, bombastic, obsessive-compulsive, militaristic German at such an early date, but the novel is otherwise without much interest. The story, including this subplot, was actually a reworking by Verne of a manuscript Hetzel had bought from a colorful character named Paschal Grousset, a fugitive from justice at the time.

The translator of this volume is Stanford L. I have no doubt that Prof. That comment needs some qualification. In his sixties and seventies Verne was in fact a working politician, though how he found the time while turning out a book and a half a year is baffling to me. From to he served as a municipal councillor in the provincial town of Amiens, where he lived.

His service seems to have been conscientious and useful — he was elected four times — but it is hard to deduce from it much of a fixed ideology, or even a coherent set of ideas about politics. Reborn in our own time, Verne would likely have been a libertarian. He was very strongly attracted to the idea of natural liberty, at least for people like himself.

That is why his only really compelling characters are those like Captain Nemo and Phileas Fogg, who do just as they please.

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He actually favored the anarchist movement that was plaguing Europe in his later years — Prince Kropotkin was one of his acquaintances. The assassination of the French President by an anarchist in seems not to have dismayed Verne. Yet he was first and foremost a provincial French bourgeois, and in the practical affairs he was obliged to vote on as a councillor, he favored order and convention over liberty and social innovation. The Indian widow rescued by, and eventually married to, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days is the merest of ciphers, and none of the other big Verne classics contain any women at all that I can recollect.

It would have been easy enough to include a woman among the castaways in The Mysterious Island. It is hard to imagine Verne thinking of this, though, and the chances are it never occurred to him.