Friday, January 12, 2018

Voyages extraordinaires

Doing The Mysterious Island last fall led me to want to do something a little different for 2018. There are fifty-four novels in Jules Verne's Voyages extraordinaires series; I think I've only read about a fifth of them. So I thought as a reading project for the whole year, I would make a heavier dent in the pile, reading and re-reading a large number the 'extraordinary voyages'. I won't be getting through them all, since there are fifty-four books and only fifty-two weeks in the year, and I have other things to read, and since not all of them are equally easy to get in English, or even in French; and I won't be going in strict order. I'll do some of them for the fortnightly book (the roughly half-dozen already on my shelf), and some will just get a post with brief comments. For the fortnightly book, I have already done Around the World in Eighty Days and The Mysterious Island, and I've had posts commenting on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Master of the World; I might make more comments about them, but they won't be a high priority. Since it's become something I often do, I'll also listen to classic radio versions of Verne's work -- it's a fairly small pool, novels being a less common source for classic radio than short stories and most of the handful of episodes being on only a handful of the most popular books.

The fifty-four works of Voyages extraordinaires, as given by Wikipedia:

1. Cinq semaines en ballon (Five Weeks in a Balloon, 1863)
2. Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras (The Adventures of Captain Hatteras, 1866)
3. Voyage au centre de la Terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864, revised 1867)
4. De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865)
5. Les Enfants du capitaine Grant (In Search of the Castaways, 1867–8)
6. Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas, 1869–70)
7. Autour de la lune (Around The Moon, 1870)
8. Une ville flottante (A Floating City, 1871)
9. Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais (The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa, 1872)
10. Le Pays des fourrures (The Fur Country, 1873)
11. Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days, 1873)
12. L'Île mystérieuse (The Mysterious Island, 1874–5)
13. Le Chancellor (The Survivors of the Chancellor, 1875)
14. Michel Strogoff (Michael Strogoff, 1876)
15. Hector Servadac (Off on a Comet, 1877)
16. Les Indes noires (The Child of the Cavern, 1877)
17. Un capitaine de quinze ans (Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen, 1878)
18. Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum (The Begum's Millions, 1879)
19. Les Tribulations d'un chinois en Chine (Tribulations of a Chinaman in China, 1879)
20. La Maison à vapeur (The Steam House, 1880)
21. La Jangada (Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon, 1881)
22. L'École des Robinsons (Godfrey Morgan, 1882)
23. Le Rayon vert (The Green Ray, 1882)
24. Kéraban-le-têtu (Kéraban the Inflexible, 1883)
25. L'Étoile du sud (The Vanished Diamond, 1884)
26. L'Archipel en feu (The Archipelago on Fire, 1884)
27. Mathias Sandorf (Mathias Sandorf, 1885)
28. Un billet de loterie (The Lottery Ticket, 1886)
29. Robur-le-Conquérant (Robur the Conqueror, 1886)
30. Nord contre Sud (North Against South, 1887)
31. Le Chemin de France (The Flight to France, 1887)
32. Deux Ans de vacances (Two Years' Vacation, 1888)
33. Famille-sans-nom (Family Without a Name, 1889)
34. Sans dessus dessous (The Purchase of the North Pole, 1889)
35. César Cascabel (César Cascabel, 1890)
36. Mistress Branican (Mistress Branican, 1891)
37. Le Château des Carpathes (Carpathian Castle, 1892)
38. Claudius Bombarnac (Claudius Bombarnac, 1892)
39. P’tit-Bonhomme (Foundling Mick, 1893)
40. Mirifiques Aventures de Maître Antifer (Captain Antifer, 1894)
41. L'Île à hélice (Propeller Island, 1895)
42. Face au drapeau (Facing the Flag, 1896)
43. Clovis Dardentor (Clovis Dardentor, 1896)
44. Le Sphinx des glaces (An Antarctic Mystery, 1897)
45. Le Superbe Orénoque (The Mighty Orinoco, 1898)
46. Le Testament d'un excentrique (The Will of an Eccentric, 1899)
47. Seconde Patrie (The Castaways of the Flag, 1900)
48. Le Village aérien (The Village in the Treetops, 1901)
49. Les Histoires de Jean-Marie Cabidoulin (The Sea Serpent, 1901)
50. Les Frères Kip (The Kip Brothers, 1902)
51. Bourses de voyage (Traveling Scholarships, 1903)
52. Un drame en Livonie (A Drama in Livonia, 1904)
53. Maître du monde (Master of the World, 1904)
54. L'Invasion de la mer (Invasion of the Sea, 1905)

In addition, there are posthumous "based on" novels that are sometimes added:

Le Phare du bout du monde (Lighthouse at the End of the World, 1905)
Le Volcan d’or (The Golden Volcano, 1906)
L’Agence Thompson and Co (The Thompson Travel Agency, 1907)
La Chasse au météore (The Chase of the Golden Meteor, 1908)
Le Pilote du Danube (The Danube Pilot, 1908)
Les Naufragés du "Jonathan" (The Survivors of the "Jonathan", 1909)
Le Secret de Wilhelm Storitz (The Secret of Wilhelm Storitz, 1910)
L’Étonnante Aventure de la mission Barsac (The Barsac Mission, 1919)

I will almost certainly do Lighthouse at the End of the World, which is the one that has the most genuine Jules Verne in it, being essentially one of Verne's last manuscripts with some (occasionally extensive) revision by his son Michel. The others are much more loosely tied to Jules Verne himself (in some cases he had written a chapter or two, or planned it out but not written it, or they were even more massively reworked by Michel than Lighthouse, and L’Agence Thompson and Co. is simply Michel's own novel).

We'll see how far I get.

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