Saturday, 10 May 2008

The Jules Verne Museum

Frankly its a bit dull

But I do need to write about Jules Verne himself and how in a series of his books, most noteworthy the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Verne establish the place of being for people who enter technology.

Okay that sounds stupid, but I think a Jules Verne museum and a reading of some of his work is essential in understanding a genre that governs more and more of our social space: Science Fiction. Frankly we are living in an age that is more and more Sciecne Fiction, where the myths expressed in Science Fiction as a genre are carried further in the Culture.

I can't think of Star Trek without Jules Verne. His 2 Moon Voyage books are sometimes a bit hard to take seriously, but they show a kind of style of living that would be carried via modernism to a technological age more and more dominated by a network Culture.

Barthes wrote, if I recall, that Nemo is actually not exploring but returning, inserting his home in nature via technology, and this seems to be the standard Culture Studies understanding of him from the very little I have read.

I would tend to agree. His adventures full of discoursive tricks that allows him never to speculate on anything but to be scientific and somehow futuristic. Actually he wrote one novel about the future which is my favourite of his but was never published during his life, Paris in the 2oth Century. What Vernes shows is that the future is produced here and now by us in a kind of play. The living in science is timeless.

That is why on Star Trek they keep coming to cultures going through the same stages of evolution, as with Iain M. Banks Culture novels. This may have even been the magic of early Communism and Futurism and I sense it in Zamyatin.

The future is now.

But if you want to really see what a Jules Verne like Universe might look like my best pick is still New Babbage.

Here is the SLURL to start out

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