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Nothing new under the earth: The geology of Jules Verne's journey to the Centre of the Earth
Rien de nouveau sous la terre : la géologie du voyage au centre de la terre de Jules Verne
Voyage au centre de la Terre (1864, 1867: Journey to the Centre of the Earth) by Jules Verne (1828-1905) has been a bestseller in both French and English for well over a century. Literary scholars, however, have taken an almost exclusively intrinsic approach to studying the novel, without referring to its sources or writing. The source of the science has not been documented. Louis Figuier (1819-1894), a contemporary and compatriot of Verne, was a prolific writer on scientific and technological matters for the general public. His La Terre avant le déluge (1863: The World before the Deluge) sold an unprecedented 25,000 copies in four French editions in less than two years. Much of the scientific information in Verne's novel was taken directly from this work. Venue incorporates scientific details and concepts treated by Figuier in La Terre in the Journey and describes and discusses them in nearly identical language. Exact numbers are duplicated and lengthy lists are reproduced in the same order. The borrowing is widespread and blatant. Venie, nonetheless, exhibits considerable skill in integrating the material borrowed from Figuier into the Journey and interpreting it in specifically literary terms.
West Virginia University
ISSN : 0736-623X
Earth sciences history A. 2003, vol. 22, n° 1, pp. 36-54 [19 pages] [bibl. : 19 ref.]
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