Jules Verne quotes

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Jules Verne

Birthdate: 8. February 1828
Date of death: 24. March 1905
Other names: Julio Verne, Жюль Верн

Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet, and playwright.

Verne's collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages extraordinaires, a widely popular series of scrupulously researched adventure novels including Journey to the Center of the Earth , Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , and Around the World in Eighty Days .

Verne is generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe, where he has had a wide influence on the literary avant-garde and on surrealism. His reputation was markedly different in Anglophone regions where he had often been labeled a writer of genre fiction or children's books, largely because of the highly abridged and altered translations in which his novels have often been printed .Verne has been the second most-translated author in the world since 1979, ranking between Agatha Christie and William Shakespeare. He has sometimes been called the "Father of Science Fiction", a title that has also been given to H. G. Wells and Hugo Gernsback. Wikipedia

Photo: Nadar, Self-scanned / Public domain

Works

„To describe my despair would be impossible. No words could tell it. I was buried alive, with the prospect before me of dying of hunger and thirst.“

—  Jules Verne, book A Journey to the Center of the Earth

Je ne puis peindre mon désespoir; nul mot de la langue humaine ne rendrait mes sentiments. J’étais enterré vif, avec la perspective de mourir dans les tortures de la faim et de la soif.
Source: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Ch. XXVII: Lost in the bowels of the earth

„Better to put things at the worst at first, and reserve the best for a surprise.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Mysterious Island

Mieux vaut mettre les choses au pis tout de suite, répondit l’ingénieur, et ne se réserver que la surprise du mieux.
Part I, ch. IX
The Mysterious Island (1874)
Context: Better to put things at the worst at first," replied the engineer, "and reserve the best for a surprise.

„As for seeing the town, he did not even think of it, being of that breed of Britons who have their servants do their sightseeing for them.“

—  Jules Verne, book Around the World in Eighty Days

Quant à voir la ville, il n'y pensait même pas, étant de cette race d'Anglais qui font visiter par leur domestique les pays qu'ils traversent.
Source: Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Ch. VII: Which once more shows the futility of passports for police purposes. Tr. William Butcher (1995)

„Whoever calls himself Canadian calls himself French.“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Part I, ch. IV: Ned Land
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
Original: (af) Qui dit Canadien, dit Français.

„Before all masters, necessity is the one most listened to, and who teaches the best.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Mysterious Island

La nécessité est, d’ailleurs, de tous les maîtres, celui qu’on écoute le plus et qui enseigne le mieux.
Part I, ch. XVII
The Mysterious Island (1874)

„It was all very well for an Englishman like Mr. Fogg to make the tour of the world with a carpet-bag; a lady could not be expected to travel comfortably under such conditions.“

—  Jules Verne, book Around the World in Eighty Days

Qu'un Anglais comme lui fît le tour du monde un sac à la main, passe encore; mais une femme ne pouvait entreprendre une pareille traversée dans ces conditions.
Source: Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Ch. XX: In Which Fix Comes Face to Face with Phileas Fogg

„We cannot prevent equilibrium from producing its effects. We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

On ne saurait empêcher l'équilibre de produire ses effets. On peut braver les lois humaines, mais non résister aux lois naturelles.
Part II, ch. XV: Accident or Incident?
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

„The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides. The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion.“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

La mer est tout! Elle couvre les sept dixièmes du globe terrestre. Son souffle est pur et sain. C'est l'immense désert où l'homme n'est jamais seul, car il sent frémir la vie à ses côtés. La mer n'est que le véhicule d'une surnaturelle et prodigieuse existence; elle n'est que mouvement et amour.
Part I, ch. X: The Man of the Seas
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

„He who is mistaken in an action which he sincerely believes to be right may be an enemy, but retains our esteem.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Mysterious Island

Celui qui se trompe dans une intention qu’il croit bonne, on peut le combattre, on ne cesse pas de l’estimer.
Part III, ch. XVI
The Mysterious Island (1874)

„Freedom is worth paying for.“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

La liberté vaut qu’on la paye.
Part II, ch. VIII: Vigo Bay
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

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„It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Mysterious Island

Malheur à qui est seul, mes amis, et il faut croire que l’isolement a vite fait de détruire la raison.
Part II, ch. XV
The Mysterious Island (1874)

„Hobson perceived with some alarm that bears were very numerous in the neighbourhood and that scarcely a day passed without one or more of them being sighted. Sometimes these unwelcome visitors belonged to the family of brown bears, so common throughout the whole "Cursed Land"; but now and then a solitary specimen of the formidable Polar bear warned the hunters what dangers they might have to encounter as soon as the first frost should drive great numbers of these fearful animals to the neighborhood of Cape Bathurst. Every book of Arctic explorations is full of accounts of the frequent perils in which travelers and whalers are exposed from the ferocity of these animals.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Fur Country

Hobson constata, non sans une certaine appréhension, que les ours étaient nombreux sur cette partie du territoire. Il était rare, en effet, qu'un jour se passât sans qu'un couple de ces formidables carnassiers ne fût signalé. Bien des coups de fusil furent adressés à ces terribles visiteurs. Tantôt, c'était une bande de ces ours bruns qui sont fort communs sur toute la région de la Terre-Maudite, tantôt, une de ces familles d'ours polaires d'une taille gigantesque, que les premiers froids amèneraient sans doute en plus grand nombre aux environs du cap Bathurst. Et, en effet, dans les récits d'hivernage, on peut observer que les explorateurs ou les baleiniers sont plusieurs fois par jour exposés à la rencontre de ces carnassiers.
Source: The Fur Country, or Seventy Degrees North Latitude (1872), Ch. 14: Some Excursions

„Hunger, prolonged, is temporary madness! The brain is at work without its required food, and the most fantastic notions fill the mind. Hitherto I had never known what hunger really meant. I was likely to understand it now.“

—  Jules Verne, book A Journey to the Center of the Earth

These sentences, from an early translation of the book (Griffith and Farran, 1871), have no source in the original French text.
Source: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Ch. XLI: The great explosion and the rush down below

„Thus ends the voyage under the seas. What passed during that night — how the boat escaped from the eddies of the maelstrom — how Ned Land, Conseil, and myself ever came out of the gulf, I cannot tell.“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Voici la conclusion de ce voyage sous les mers. Ce qui se passa pendant cette nuit, comment le canot échappa au formidable remous du Maelstrom, comment Ned Land, Conseil et moi, nous sortîmes du gouffre, je ne saurai le dire.
Part II, ch. XXIII: Conclusion
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

„Now when an American has an idea, he directly seeks a second American to share it. If there be three, they elect a president and two secretaries. Given four, they name a keeper of records, and the office is ready for work; five, they convene a general meeting, and the club is fully constituted.“

—  Jules Verne, book From the Earth to the Moon

Or, quand un Américain a une idée, il cherche un second Américain qui la partage. Sont-ils trois, ils élisent un président et deux secrétaires. Quatre, ils nomment un archiviste, et le bureau fonctionne. Cinq, ils se convoquent en assemblée générale, et le club est constitué.
Source: From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Ch. I: The Gun Club

„I would have bartered a diamond mine for a glass of pure spring water!“

—  Jules Verne

Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Griffith and Farran, 1871), Ch. XVII: Vertical descent
This sentence, like many others in the Griffin and Farran translation of the book, has no source in the original French text.
Misattributed

„While his heart still beats, while his flesh still moves, I cannot accept that a being endowed with will-power can give in to despair.“

—  Jules Verne, book A Journey to the Center of the Earth

Et tant que son coeur bat, tant que sa chair palpite, je n'admets pas qu'un être doué de volonté laisse en lui place au désespoir.
Source: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Ch. XLII in the French text, Tr. William Butcher (1992)

„What good would it be to discuss such a proposition, when force could destroy the best arguments?“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

A quoi bon discuter une proposition semblable, quand la force peut détruire les meilleurs arguments.
Part I, ch. X: The Man of the Seas
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

„The human mind delights in grand conceptions of supernatural beings. And the sea is precisely their best vehicle, the only medium through which these giants (against which terrestrial animals, such as elephants or rhinoceroses, are as nothing) can be produced or developed“

—  Jules Verne, book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

L'esprit humain se plaît à ces conceptions grandioses d'êtres surnaturels. Or la mer est précisément leur meilleur véhicule, le seul milieu où ces géants près desquels les animaux terrestres, éléphants ou rhinocéros, ne sont que des nains — puissent se produire et se développer.
Part I, ch. II: Pro and Con
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)

„Civilization never recedes; the law of necessity ever forces it onwards.“

—  Jules Verne, book The Mysterious Island

La civilisation ne recule jamais, et il semble qu’elle emprunte tous les droits à la nécessité.
Part III, ch. XVI
The Mysterious Island (1874)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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