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It includes wide margins in which appear both autograph corrections by Verne and comments by his publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel. As well as reproducing the manuscript, this volume includes the engravings used in the first illustrated edition and an appendix containing the technical sketches made by Verne when writing the first draft of his novel — a draft of about forty pages.
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From the Earth to the Moon. Non-stop in 97 hours and 20 minutes. Trajet direct en 97 heures et 20 minutes From the Earth to the Moon. In this novel, which was to be the precursor to Autour de la Lune , he describes the amazing plan hatched by an artillery club to send three travellers on a trip to the moon by firing them in an aluminium shell from a giant cannon in Florida. All the preparations for this expedition and its scientific background right up to the firing of the gun are described in great detail and the experiment is successful but ends on a note of suspense.
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What is the fate of Michel Ardan, Barbicane and Nicholl, the three heroes imprisoned in the aluminium shell? With the firing of the projectile from Florida, just a few hundreds of kilometres from Cap Canaveral, to its final splash-down in the ocean and even the choice of three astronauts, Jules Verne anticipated in uncanny fashion the main elements of twentieth century space travel and in particular the Apollo 8 mission which was the first to orbit the moon.
In fact France has a rich tradition of science fiction going all the way back to Cyrano de Bergerac in the 17th century and continuing without a break right up to the present day. We might wonder why an entire literary tradition has been shrunk, in the English imagination, to a single writer. We might also wonder why that writer's enormous output - more than 50 novels - has been reduced to a handful of titles: Journey to the Centre of the Earth , Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days Verne is famous today as the inventor of Phileas Fogg, and of Captain Nemo, and for little else.
It's unfair, for not only did Verne write much more than this, he wrote much better. Why, from his large output, are those few titles the ones still remembered? The answer is clear enough: cinema.
- De la terre à la lune.
- Jacques le Fataliste de Denis Diderot (Analyse de loeuvre): Comprendre la littérature avec lePetitLittéraire.fr (Fiche de lecture) (French Edition).
- Terre Lune by Jules Verne - AbeBooks.
- Car Boot Sales (Making Money Guides Book 1).
- De la Terre a la Lune - AbeBooks - Jules Verne: .
Those are the three books that have been filmed most often and most memorably, the ones that lend themselves best to filmic spectacle - the wondrous subterranean caverns and prehistoric monsters of the first, the aquarium of splendours in the second, the scenic travelogue of the third. And it is true that, better than almost any writer of the 19th century, Verne knew how to stage the sort of spectacular 'event' that blockbuster cinema was later to make central to its artform.
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His novels are full of objects on the grandest scale: the giant cannon in Anti-Topsy-Turvy designed to be fired so its recoil will jolt the earth out of its angle of rotation, stabilise the seasons and free up millions of acres in the polar latitudes for cultivation; the massive artificial island built to travel about the Pacific in Propeller Island ; the huge aeroplane, made of a kind of treated papier-mache, that has the potential to dominate the world from the sky in Master of the World and my personal favourite, the 'steam elephant' in The Steam House , a pachyderm-sized mechanical contrivance in which an engineer named Banks travels around northern India.
But there is more to Verne than big guns and big machines.
Indeed, the cinema has not been a friend to Verne's true skill; it flattens his achievement, seeing him capable only of widescreen effects. In fact his writing, though rarely stylistically elevated, achieves brilliant and memorable metaphorical and even poetic effects. Of Verne's novels there are two that achieve a unique blend of pseudo-technical precision and almost surreal metaphorical sweep.
Since they've never been filmed they are practically unknown. But they deserve to be remembered. Each uses his portion of the money to build ideal communities in the wilderness of the American northwest: Sarrasin builds the idyllic, pastoral 'France-ville' and Schultz constructs Stahlstadt 'Steeltown' ; a place of rigid mechanisation and ruthless adherence to social and technological order.
The main output of Stahlstadt is weaponry, including a gigantic cannon with which Schultz intends to destroy France-ville by firing an enormous shell filled with compressed carbonic acid to simultaneously gas and freeze the French settlers.
But Schultz's evil plans are thwarted by his own incompetence. The novel was published only a few years after France's humiliating defeat at the hands of the German army in the Franco-Prussian War of and has been read by some critics as a crude piece of wish-fulfilment.
ISBN 13: 9780686550426
But surely not: the deliberately extrapolated schematism of these binary 'good' and 'bad' cities removes the novel from the realm of political reality; it achieves instead something more lasting, a satirical and strikingly odd interrogation of utopian idealism: the pastoral and the authoritarian. Much odder is the plot of Hector Servadac This book has on occasion been published in English under the title Off On A Comet, which, though ungainly, does contain the nub of the story. A comet crashes into the world and scoops up a lump of North Africa and the Mediterranean and carries it into space complete with human survivors.
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