And speaking of 19th century French literature…

Internet Archive — Around the World in 80 Days

Internet Archive — Around the World in 80 Days

Here in the sticks I’m clearly not surrounded by a population of readers. The Stokes County library at Danbury is tiny. There are bookstores in Winston-Salem, but they’re pretty terrible bookstores, not like the bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area. But living in a travel trailer I don’t have room for books anyway. So I’ve been making my own books with free on-line texts and my Sony Reader.

I wanted to continue my tour of 19th century French literature, but after the bleakness of Notre-Dame de Paris, I needed a change of pace. I had never read Jules Verne, even in translation, so it seemed like a good time to check out one of the pioneers of science fiction.

Verne has not a lick of interest in philosophical ramblings. He is interested in characters, and places, and situations. So he just tells a tight, well-ordered story. He is, to tell the truth, just a tad shallow. In fact some people assume that his books are for young people.

Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts JoursAround the World in 80 Days — is a romp. It reads like, well, a David Niven comedy.

I’m not sure what to read next. Probably George Sand, to see what kind of connection, if any, can be made between George Sand and my favorite 19th century English novelist, George Eliot.

These lines from are intriguing. I’m not sure who wrote it:

As a thinker George Eliot is vastly superior; her knowledge is more profound and her psychological analysis subtler and more scientific. But as an artist, in unity of design, in harmony of treatment, in purity and simplicity of language, so felicitous and yet so unstudied, in those qualities which make the best of George Sand’s novels masterpieces of art, she is as much her inferior.

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