In July , Verne and Aristide Hignard seized an opportunity offered by Hignard's brother: a sea voyage, at no charge, from Bordeaux to Liverpool and Scotland. The journey, Verne's first trip outside France, deeply impressed him, and upon his return to Paris he fictionalized his recollections to form the backbone of a semi-autobiographical novel, Backwards to Britain written in the autumn and winter of — and not published until Meanwhile, Verne continued work on the idea of a Roman de la Science , which he developed in a rough draft inspired, according to his recollections, by his "love for maps and the great explorers of the world".
It took shape as a story of travel across Africa and would eventually become his first published novel, Five Weeks in a Balloon. Verne made the proposed revisions within two weeks and returned to Hetzel with the final draft, now titled Five Weeks in a Balloon. Verne, finding both a steady salary and a sure outlet for writing at last, accepted immediately. When The Adventures of Captain Hatteras was published in book form in , Hetzel publicly announced his literary and educational ambitions for Verne's novels by saying in a preface that Verne's works would form a novel sequence called the Voyages extraordinaires Extraordinary Voyages or Extraordinary Journeys , and that 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".
It is said that there can't be any style in a novel of adventure, but it isn't true. But the Earth is very large, and life is very short! In order to leave a completed work behind, one would need to live to be at least years old! Hetzel influenced many of Verne's novels directly, especially in the first few years of their collaboration, for Verne was initially so happy to find a publisher that he agreed to almost all of the changes Hetzel suggested. For example, when Hetzel disapproved of the original climax of Captain Hatteras , including the death of the title character, Verne wrote an entirely new conclusion in which Hatteras survived.
The relationship between publisher and writer changed significantly around when Verne and Hetzel were brought into conflict over the manuscript for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Verne had initially conceived of the submariner Captain Nemo as a Polish scientist whose acts of vengeance were directed against the Russians who had killed his family during the January uprising.
Hetzel, not wanting to alienate the lucrative Russian market for Verne's books, demanded that Nemo be made an enemy of the slave trade , a situation that would make him an unambiguous hero. Verne, after fighting vehemently against the change, finally invented a compromise in which Nemo's past is left mysterious. After this disagreement, Verne became notably cooler in his dealings with Hetzel, taking suggestions into consideration but often rejecting them outright.
From that point, Verne published two or more volumes a year. Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours and Michel Strogoff , which he wrote with Adolphe d'Ennery. His brother Paul contributed to 40th French climbing of the Mont-Blanc and a collection of short stories — Doctor Ox — in Verne became wealthy and famous. Meanwhile, Michel Verne married an actress against his father's wishes, had two children by an underage mistress and buried himself in debts.
Though he was raised Catholic, Verne became a deist in his later years, from about onward. On 9 March , as Verne was coming home, his twenty-six-year-old nephew, Gaston, shot at him twice with a pistol. The first bullet missed, but the second one entered Verne's left leg, giving him a permanent limp that could not be overcome. This incident was hushed up in the media, but Gaston spent the rest of his life in a mental asylum. After the death of both his mother and Hetzel, Jules Verne began publishing darker works. In , Verne entered politics and was elected town councilor of Amiens , where he championed several improvements and served for fifteen years.
The Voyages extraordinaires series continued for several years afterwards at the same rate of two volumes a year. In , Verne's great-grandson discovered his ancestor's as yet unpublished novel Paris in the Twentieth Century which was subsequently published in Verne's largest body of work is the Voyages extraordinaires series, which includes all of his novels except for the two rejected manuscripts Paris in the Twentieth Century and Backwards to Britain published posthumously in and , respectively and for projects left unfinished at his death many of which would be posthumously adapted or rewritten for publication by his son Michel.
However, Verne's growing popularity among readers and playgoers due especially to the highly successful stage version of Around the World in Eighty Days led to a gradual change in his literary reputation. As the novels and stage productions continued to sell, many contemporary critics felt that Verne's status as a commercially popular author meant he could only be seen as a mere genre-based storyteller, rather than a serious author worthy of academic study.
However, the decades after Verne's death also saw the rise in France of the "Jules Verne cult", a steadily growing group of scholars and young writers who took Verne's works seriously as literature and willingly noted his influence on their own pioneering works. Their praise and analyses, emphasizing Verne's stylistic innovations and enduring literary themes, proved highly influential for literary studies to come. In the s and s, thanks in large part to a sustained wave of serious literary study from well-known French scholars and writers, Verne's reputation skyrocketed in France.
Since these events, Verne has been consistently recognized in Europe as a legitimate member of the French literary canon, with academic studies and new publications steadily continuing.
Verne's reputation in English-speaking countries has been considerably slower in changing. Wells than as a topic of literary study in his own right. This narrow view of Verne has undoubtedly been influenced by the poor-quality English translations and very loosely adapted Hollywood film versions through which most American and British readers have discovered Verne.
These early English-language translations have been widely criticized for their extensive textual omissions, errors, and alterations, and are not considered adequate representations of Verne's actual novels. It's a bizarre situation for a world-famous writer to be in. Indeed, I can't think of a major writer who has been so poorly served by translation. Similarly, the American novelist Michael Crichton observed:. Verne's prose is lean and fast-moving in a peculiarly modern way … [but] Verne has been particularly ill-served by his English translators. At best they have provided us with clunky, choppy, tone-deaf prose.
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