Around the World in 80 Days

Literary significance and criticism

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  1. "We will only remind readers en passant of Around the World in Eighty Days, that tour de force of Mr Verne's—and not the first he has produced. Here, however, he has summarised and concentrated himself, so to speak ... No praise of his collected works is strong enough .. they are truly useful, entertaining, poignant, and moral; and Europe and America have merely produced rivals that are remarkably similar to them, but in any case inferior." (Henry Trianon, Le Constitutionnel, December 20, 1873).
  2. "His first books, the shortest, Around the World or From the Earth to the Moon, are still the best in my view. However, the works should be judged as a whole rather than in detail, and on their results rather than their intrinsic quality. Over the last forty years, they have had an influence unequalled by any other books on the children of this and every country in Europe. And the influence has been good, in so far as can be judged today." (Léon Blum, L'Humanité, April 3, 1905).
  3. "Jules Verne's masterpiece .. stimulated our childhood and taught us more than all the atlases: the taste of adventure and the love of travel. 'Thirty thousand banknotes for you, Captain, if we reach Liverpool within the hour.' This cry of Phileas Fogg's remains for me the call of the sea." (Jean Cocteau, Mon premier voyage (Tour du monde en 80 jours), Gallimard, 1936).
  4. "Leo Tolstoy loved his works. 'Jules Verne's novels are matchless', he would say. 'I read them as an adult, and yet I remember they excited me. Jules Verne is an astonishing past master at the art of constructing a story that fascinates and impassions the reader. (Cyril Andreyev, "Preface to the Complete Works", trans. François Hirsch, Europe, 33: 112-113, 22-48).
  5. "Jules Verne's work is nothing but a long meditation, a reverie on the straight line—which represents the predication of nature on industry and industry on nature, and which is recounted as a tale of exploration. Title: the adventures of a straight line ... The train.. cleaves through nature, jumps obstacles .. and continues both the actual journey—whose form is a furrow—and the perfect embodiment of human industry. The machine has the additional advantage here of not being isolated in a purpose-built, artificial place, like the factory or all similar structures, but of remaining in permanent and direct contact with the variety of nature." Pierre Macherey (1966).[9]

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