Verniana — Jules Verne Studies / Etudes Jules Verne — Volume 6 (2013–2014) — 81–92

Un archétype populaire : Jules Verne

Jean-Michel Margot


Jules Verne is one of the few writers who did not suffer a kind of oblivion after his death. He was published, sold and read continuously throughout the twentieth century, never forgotten, in both Francophone and in Anglophone countries worldwide. Even during his lifetime, the French novelist and playwright became an icon, an archetype separate from the man and his writings. Today, there are two Jules Vernes. One is the famous writer whose works appear in prestigious literary collections such as La Pléiade and who ranks as one of the most translated authors of all time, according to the UNESCO’s Index Translationum. The other Jules Verne is an icon, an archetype associated with exciting stories about adventure, discovery, exploration, risk, and dangers. Why and how did this split occur? The following article attempts to answer this question by showing how these two words of five letters each, «Jules Verne» became a popular phrase synonymous with both modernity and adventure, action and risk.

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