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Jules Verne (1828 – 1905)

Nationality: French Periods: French: 1789-1900

author, known for his early science fiction works

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Criticism about Jules Verne

Filling the Void: Verne, Wells, and Lem
“Concerned with the human in relation to the non-human, SF could only emerge in the context of a culture that articulates crucial aspects of its experience in those terms. Moreover, because it represents a secular transformation of religious concerns, SF could only emerge in a context in which the claims of traditional religion were still felt but in which belief was at best problematic.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Mark Rose
From: Science-Fiction Studies Vol. 8 no. 24; p. 121-142; July 1981
Jules Verne and French Literary Criticism
“Present-day critics are studying Verne’s imaginative gifts, narrative techniques, and world view, passing over the illusory scientific or parascientific value of the novels, which has at last come to be considered simply irrelevant. Nobody today would try to link Verne’s originality with his so-called prophecies. Moreover, it has become obvious that he was not even the first writer to orchestrate scientific themes that had previously lain fallow. Pierre Versins, the indefatigable Swiss student of SF and utopia has clearly demonstrated that all of Verne’s inventions�travel to the moon, submarine ships, artificial satellites, live fossils, super explosives, serial vehicles�had been described in previous utopian romances. Verne’s genius is not to be found in the origination of discrete concepts.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Marc Angenot
From: Science-Fiction Studies Vol. 1 no. 1; p. 33-37; Spring 1973
Jules Verne and French Literary Criticism (II)
“During the past three years, six significant studies have conclusively placed Jules Verne among those writers whose works mark a turn not only in the history of utopian and technologico-adventurous SF but also from the 19th to 20th century. These recent works as well as numerous less extensive articles place Jules Verne in the center of the methodological debate on literary criticism, since each work is representative of a particular approach which leads to differing and even contradictory conclusions.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Marc Angenot
From: Science-Fiction Studies Vol. 3 no. 8; p. 46-49; March 1976
Science Fiction vs. Scientific Fiction in France: From Jules Verne to J.-H. Rosny Aîné
“When discussing the 19th-century roots of modern science fiction (SF), literary historians often tend to cite Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires as an important generic starting point for this brand of fiction. Such assertions, however, tend to suffer from reductionism; they are almost always based on a number of loosely defined thematic resemblances rather than on any rigorous examination of the narratological functioning of these texts. Instead of a primitive variant of a later genre (satisfying the literary historian’s need for origins and species continuity), Verne’s �romans scientifiques� should be viewed as what they were and are–i.e., the first important examples of scientific fiction in Western literature, quite distinct from SF.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Arthur B. Evans
From: Science-Fiction Studies Vol. 15 no. 1; p. 1-11; March 1988

Biographical sites about Jules Verne

A Chronology of Jules Verne
Contains: Timeline
Author: William Butcher
From: Backwards to Britain Chambers: 1992
Verne, Jules-Gabriel, 1828-1905
“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?”
Contains: Extensive Bio, Commentary
Author: William Butcher
From: Contemporary Authors Gale Research Company, Chicago: 1991, pp. 462-65

Other sites about Jules Verne

The Complete Jules Verne Bibliography (work in progress)
Contains: Bibliography, Pictures
Author: Volker Dehs, Zvi Har’El & Jean-Michel Margot
From: Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection http://JV.Gilead.org.il/
Jules Verne Forum
“An Internet mailing list, discussing Jules Verne related subjects.” Archives are available.
Contains: Commentary
Author: Zvi Har’El
From: Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection http://JV.Gilead.org.il/

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013