Jules Verne

Jules Gabriel Verne, French novelist, poet, and playwright was born on 8  February 1828. Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism.

Verne impressed the world with his amazing novel Around the World in 80 days, the adventurous journey of Philleas Fogg and Passepartout remains in many hearts. The one thing that I cannot forget is how an Indian woman is saved from Sati by Passepartout. Their adventures were calculated, hilarious and very interesting. The film with the same name starring Jackie Chan was a runaway hit. Still read the book to absorb the essence of the story.

Around the World in 80 days (1873)was the on the List of Suggested books for reading by CBSE. (page 104) http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material/CBSE-Updates(Compendium_of_CBSE%20Circulars)Vol-I.pdf

Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christi and William Shakespeare.

He used to spend a lot of time at the  Bibliothèque nationale de France, conducting research for his stories and reading about recent discoveries, especially in geography. It was in this period that Verne met the illustrious geographer and explorer Jacques Arago.

They became good friends, and Arago’s innovative and witty accounts of his travels led Verne toward a newly developing genre of literature: travel-writing. Verne’s aim was “to outline all the geographical, geological, physical, and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and to recount, in an entertaining and picturesque format that is his own, the history of the universe”.

Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey from the centre of the earth, 1864), 

De la Terre à la Lune (From the earth to the Moon, 1865),

 Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues in the Sea, 1869) and

 Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in 80 days) are some of his famous works.

The translated versions are as entertaining as the original in French, a must read when you want to go away to faraway lands, but cannot leave home.

Verne is often characterized as a futurist or science-fiction author, The mélange of geography and science made a combination that succeeded. The technological innovations of the 19th century had opened the possibility of rapid circumnavigation and the prospect fascinated Verne and his readership.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe was in its own kind a work of travel genre that continued with the works of Jules Verne.

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Author: Srishti Rajeev

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