Extrapolation

Jules Verne's Dream Machines

Technology and Transcendence

Extrapolation (2013), 54, (2), 129–146.

Abstract

This article discusses how Verne mythologizes and poeticizes his fictional machines. More than just a means for solving problems and/or for providing access to exotic geographical locales, Verne's technology is portrayed as being intrinsically poetic. Bridging the worlds of the industrial and the artistic, Verne's machines constitute a new kind of objet d'art. Anthropomorphized to make them seem less coldly mechanical, these devices take on a life of their own and exist in a richly symbiotic relationship with their creators. Such machines transport the readers of Verne's Voyages extraordinaires beyond the mimetic, serving both as a means to build verisimilitude and as a steppingstone to transcend the real.

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Evans, Arthur