Jules Verne: a wonderful world to discover (4th part)


Saudações vernianas aos seguidores do blogue e leitores ocasionais. Ontem resolvi acompanhar a função pública portuguesa e estive de greve. Como tal, não publiquei nada de novo aqui no meu cantinho. E assim quebrei a linha de um post verniano por dia.

Como sabem, escrevi um artigo em inglês para esta revista online coordenada pela minha professora e decidi publicar o texto aqui no blogue, procedendo à sua divisão em folhetins, um por cada dia da semana. Depois das três primeiras publicações 2ª, 3ª e 4ª feira não me lembrei de colocar a parte de 5ª feira. No entanto, este facto não será relevante a longo prazo, visto que neste mesmo post vou colocar o quarto segmento do artigo, amanhã (Sábado) publico a quinta parte e depois (Domingo) apresento o grande final.

Neste quarto excerto que vos apresento começo por estabelecer a transição da escrita verniana para a sua segunda fase, mais ligada a questões humanas, relegando a ciência e a técnica para um segundo plano, e caracterizo os principais aspectos das obras deste período. Posteriormente, dou seguimento ao relato entusiasmado dos pormenores do percurso biográfico do herói, dando especial destaque aos momentos felizes das viagens do Saint-Michel III e aos três golpes profundos que abalaram a sua vida em finais de 1885 e princípios de 1886.

Experimentem o texto! A liberdade para comentários e sugestões é total, como sabem.

Second phase: Laic Humanism

Michel Strogoff: original illustration from one of the most significant moments of the story An illustration from Michel Strogoff

In 1876, he wrote a new book which was very different from the previous ones: Michael Strogoff. This tells us the adventures of a Russian fearless man who worked as the courier of the czar, facing a wide range of difficult challenges during his dangerous journey from Moscow to Irkutsk. It is a very emotionally strong story and it represented a turning point in Verne’s literary production. In fact, he stopped considering science as the centre of his romances and he began extending his stories to human questions which started holding the major role in vernian literature.

The books Dick Sand, a Captain at Fifteen, The Green Ray, Robur the Conqueror and North Against South are just some of the romances fitted in this second phase of Jules Verne literature. These sublime books contain interesting humanistic or philosophical ideas and represent symbolic hymns to the spiritual qualities of the human beings. Science is clearly thrown into a second level since it is overtaken by a laic humanism. Although some of these books evoke scientific issues, the story is always narrated through a social or human point of view and the characters conquer a deeper emotional dimension.

Happy Years for Jules: Saint Michel III

Saint-Michel III: a wonderful sailing treasure for Jules Verne

Saint-Michel III: a wonderful treasure for Jules Verne

By the time Jules Verne wrote these books, he was a happy middle-aged man. His literary success and the representation of the play Around the World in Eighty Days made Jules Verne a world famous writer and helped him in the financial way. In 1878, he had enough money to invest in whatever he wanted to and he decided to buy a ship: Saint-Michel III.

It was a 28 meter yacht which delighted Jules Verne between until 1884. He used to travel along his brother Paul by Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, visiting some of the most iconic places from these regions. Sometimes they were joined by Honorine, who also enjoyed the sailing adventures, in spite of the nauseas she had to face.

At the same time, Michel Verne was an adult at that moment and he was no long a problem for his parents. Although he had a troubled life in the decade of 1880, Jules and Honorine didn’t cared about him and they simply broke relations with their son. The couple moved permanently to a beautiful gardened mansion in Charles-Dubois Street (Amiens) and they had some fine days during that period.

Three heavy blows

However, in 1885, Saint-Michel III maintenance became too expensive for the couple and they had to sell the ship. This was a heavy blow to Jules Verne who loved the sea and was fond of his boat.

2 Charles-Dubois Street: Jules Verne's residence in Amiens

2 Charles-Dubois Street: the vernian residence

In addition, on the 9th March of 1886, he was shot by his own nephew, who had a mental disease. When Jules Verne was arriving at home, retarded Gaston fired at him twice. Fortunately, one of the bullets got lost and the other just hit his right leg. Despite his lucky escape, Verne needed to receive medical treatment and he became lame for the rest of his life.

Some days later, on the 17th March 1886, his long time editor and close friend Hetzel died. It was the third storm in a row Jules Verne had to face during that difficult time. Hetzel played a significant role in his literary success not only by publishing all his new books but also by helping him with helpful advices and constructive critics in order to improve his style. Unfortunately, Verne was lying in his hospital bed when he was told Hetzel had died and he couldn’t attend to his friend funeral. This difficult challenges shaked Verne’s life and threw him into a strong depression which had an obvious impact in his literature.

Anúncios

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