East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Other People’s Pulps: 150 Years under the Seas

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20k_leagues_under_sea_01Sometimes we notice the weirdest things in the weirdest moments.

For instance, I mentioned 20.000 Leagues under the Sea a few days back.
The book is set in 1866.
Granted, it was written in 1869 and published in book form in 1871, but what the heck, it is set in 1866 – so it’s 150 years that the events narrated by Professor Aronnax took place.
It’s cause enough for a celebration.

So yes, I will do something, most certainly.
A few posts during the summer, possibly.
And I’m sure I have my copy of the Italian edition of Leagues here somewhere, but in case you were interested, there’s a fine public domain translation available on the web, and you can find it here.
Might as well use that as reference (or maybe the old 1872 translation on Project Gutenberg), since I’ll blog the Leagues in English1.

And I’ll certainly re-watch the Disney movie and do a post about that, too.


And once again I am surprised at the reaction I had when I did the math and saw it was a century and a half since Verne’s story “happened”.
Because when I first saw the Disney movie as a kid, yes, sure, I knew it was set in the past, but it was such a distant and far-away past that the story could have been set on Mars or in the time of ancient Rome.
As I’m growing old – and now I am almost exactly half a century old – time seems to compress itself. The events of Leagues took place barely one hundred and fifty years ago.
And I feel dizzy at the idea of how much happened in that 150 years.
It’s weird.
Growing old is weird, I guess…

  1. there is something perverse in reading Verne in English… 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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