An Antarctic Mystery [with Biographical Introduction]

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While in France and many other countries Verne is considered an author of quality books for young people with a good command of his subjects—especially technological, but also political—his reputation in English-speaking countries has for a long time suffered from poor translation. Characteristic for much of late nineteenth century writing, Verne's books often take a quite chauvinistic point of view.

The British Empire in particular was frequently portrayed in a bad light, and so the first English translator, Reverend Lewis Page Mercier writing under a pseudonym , cut out many such passages, for example those describing the political actions of Captain Nemo in his incarnation as an Indian nobleman. Such negative depictions were not, however, invariable in Verne's works; for example, "Facing the Flag" features Lieutenant Devon—a heroic, self-sacrificing Royal Navy officer fully the equal of naval heroes written about by British authors.

Mercier and subsequent British translators also had trouble with the metric system that Verne used, sometimes simply dropping significant figures, at other times keeping the nominal value and only changing the unit to an Imperial measure. Thus Verne's calculations, which in general were remarkably exact, were converted into mathematical gibberish. Also, artistic passages and whole chapters were cut because of the need to fit the work in a constrained space for publication, despite the effect on the plot. For those reasons, Verne's work initially acquired a negative reputation in English speaking countries as not fit for adult readers.

As a result Verne was not taken seriously enough to merit new translations, leading to those of Mercier and others being reprinted decade after decade. Only from on were some of his novels re-translated more accurately, but even today Verne's work has still not been fully rehabilitated in the English-speaking world. Verne's works also reflect the bitterness felt in France in the wake of defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of to , and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine.

An Antarctic Mystery (Extraordinary Voyages, #44) by Jules Verne

The Begum's Millions Les Cinq cents millions de la Begum of gives a highly stereotypical depiction of Germans as monstrous cruel militarists—in marked contrast to pre works such as Journey to the Centre of the Earth, in which almost all the protagonists, including the sympathetic first-person narrator, are German. Hetzel's influence on Verne's writings was substantial, and Verne, happy to at last find somebody willing to publish his works, agreed on almost all changes that Hetzel suggested.


  • Science & Natural History?
  • The Sound of Pirates.
  • Vier Jahreszeiten (German Edition).
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Not only did Hetzel reject at least one novel Paris in the Twentieth Century completely, he asked Verne to change significant parts of his other drafts. One of the most important changes Hetzel enforced on Verne was to change the pessimism of his novels into optimism. Contrary to common perception, Verne was not a great enthusiast of technological and human progress as can be seen from his early and late works, created before he met Hetzel and after his death.

It was Hetzel's decision that the optimistic text would sell better—a correct one, as it turned out. For example, the original ending of Mysterious Island was supposed to show that the survivors who return to mainland are forever nostalgic about the island, however Hetzel decided that the ending should show the heroes living happily—so in the revised draft, they use their fortunes to build a replica of the island.

Many translations are like this. Also, in order not to offend France's then-ally, Russia , the origin and past of the famous Captain Nemo were changed from those of a Polish refugee avenging the partitions of Poland and the death of his family in the January Uprising repressions to those of an Indian prince fighting the British Empire after the Sikh War.

Verne wrote numerous works, most famous of which are the 54 novels part of the Voyages Extraordinaires.

Antarctica

He also wrote short stories, essays, plays, and poems. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats. The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:. Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.

It is a fitting sequel and well worth a read.

Aug 26, Roger Burk rated it liked it. Our hero comes to believe that Edgar Allen Poe's Arthur Gordan Pym is not a literary creation but a real person, and joins an expedition to search for survivors of his expedition in the open and ice-free sea that unaccountably exists behind the wall of icebergs that usually blocks voyages to the South Pole. Less horror that Poe, maybe just as many improbable coincidences. Feb 10, Rebecca rated it really liked it. In so many ways, a fantasy story unlike any real Antarctic adventure, but then, that's the draw.

In short, a ship and crew guided primarily by divine providence for lack of any other explanation set out to the South Pole on a mission to rescue the previously supposed fictional characters of Edgar Allen Poe's only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Not a lot happens until the end and the book relies heavily on the original story's mysteries to keep interest. How did Dirk In so many ways, a fantasy story unlike any real Antarctic adventure, but then, that's the draw.

How did Dirk Peters survive to bring the narrative to Poe and what did he do after? What happened to Tiger, the dog that was abruptly left out of the story? Did everyone else die in the landslide? What of families back home when they did not return? Verne came up with answers that make enough sense and are slowly doled out over the course of the book.

Hardback Editions

At the same time, I feel like he didn't want this to be the end either, as additional mystery was left unsolved, artifacts and possibilities for future adventure were planted. I feel like the last line of the book was an invitation to future authors to pick up the torch, possibly even a hopeful title. Unfortunately, having actually discovered the South Pole, and finding all this to be utterly fictitious, I don't think anyone ever will. Which is a shame really.

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A story started by Poe and passed to Verne would have been an amazing thing for another great author to put their hand to. Sep 05, Jesse rated it really liked it Shelves: classics. However, knowing the back story so well, it did also hinder the story a bit. There is an excellent summary of the story in chapter 4 of Verne's book This book picks up 7 years after Poe's book. There are great new characters though they take on the roles of old characterss, almost too seamlessly and reintroductions of old characters, and for the Having read "the Narative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantuckett", I really liked this book.

There are great new characters though they take on the roles of old characterss, almost too seamlessly and reintroductions of old characters, and for the most part I really enjoyed the character development. In a somewhat a-typical style for Verne, there is very little science in this book except at the very end , and mostly focuses on human drama between the men on the ship.

Suprisingly, he does a great job at this. The only thing that was a little bit of a bummer is that Verne ties up the loose ends that Poe left. While this sounds like it would be a good idea, it actually takes away from the mystery of the original text; what was science fiction simply becomes science. All and all, totally worth the time, and if you've read Poe's "Pym" concider how much you want to know Sep 03, Nostalgia Reader rated it liked it Shelves: ratiocination , ebook-gutenberg-archive , on-the-blog. A very strong 3. That was very anticlimactic and not all that adventurey.

But also, you know, it's Verne, so I can't say it was a bad book, despite the same character tropes and voyage plotline. But ya know what, I love me those tropes, so I'm not going to complain. I won't get into plot, because it would spoil much of it even though I'm sure there are A very strong 3. I won't get into plot, because it would spoil much of it even though I'm sure there are reviews that give away all of the main reveals , but I was very, very, very happy to see Tiger have some page time. The revelation of what the giant white being at the end of Narrative was was intriguing, but unimpressive since it was squeezed into the relatively short second to last chapter.

I was honestly sad about how some characters' stories ended, and happy for others Verne is great at painting strong relationships between characters even if it leads to a very tropey motivation for adventure. It is most definitely a full on sequel to Narrative and while there is a detailed summary chapter towards the beginning of this book, I'd still recommended that you read it after reading Poe's novel, if nothing else to be able to appreciate certain characters and parallels more.

Cross posted on my blog.

Feb 07, Ram rated it really liked it. Being a fan of Verne's writings, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and adventure. Interesting characters with curious idiosyncracies, a staple of Verne's stories.

An Antarctic Mystery, or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields, Jules Verne, Audiobook in English, Librivox

The geography and setting based on available knowledge about Antarctic circle and islands at the end of s is intriguing and makes you check the maps Being the selfish jerk that I am, I ask you not to read this book. Don't even read about it. This is dangerous magic, don't get into it. Plus, I'm too tired to write a review, and Verne is too majestic to receive one from someone as nonexistent as me. Definitely a book with flaws, but also definitely a nice play on popular 19th century adventure story and polar exploration tropes and also totally Arthur Gordon Pym fan fiction. Shelves: french-lit.

From what I can see from the other reviews on GoodReads, the Poe fans who were not also Verne fans were incensed by what Verne did in his sequel. I am a fan of Jules Verne and essentially agree with what he did. Bizarre and grotesque scenes arrive one after another dazzling the reader. Poe in fact almost succeeds in converting a series of short stories into a novel. Pym is a complex character and his relations with several of the other characters acquire great depth and complexity.