Author Topic: Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne  (Read 884 times)

Dr.Nautilus

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Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne
« on: September 26, 2011, 04:20:34 pm »
I have just received confirmation of my proposed panel on Jules Verne as Literary Grandfather of Steampunk.  Now all I need are a few more people to present besides me.  You do not have to have a paper to read, just ten minutes of your knowledge on Jules Verne.  Especially appropriate would be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Robur the Conquerer," "Clipper of the Clouds,"  "Demon of Cawnporn" etc.

I am looking for thoughts on Jules Verne's role in the history of Steampunk, a literary movement that is usually traced to the invention of the term "steampunk" in the 1980s by K. W. Jeter.  The implicit assertion of this panel is that Verne's technological adventures and the emphasis he placed on the potential for fabulous new machines, was the beginning of what we now call the steampunk aesthetic in literature. Though Verne wrote in the Victorian age, he was nonetheless fictionalizing it by creating some marvelous technological adventures. 

If you wish to take the counterpoint side, that's fine too -- i.e., that real Victorian writers cannot be included within the definition of "steampunk" as a genre.  But, we won't be spending a lot of time trying to define steampunk -- an endeavor that usually just results in duels or fisticuffs.

Please reply to this post or contact me <alferian@gmail.com> if you would like to participate on this panel or if you would like more information.
Dr. Nautilus Pompilius Cholmondeley
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markf

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Re: Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 05:57:34 pm »
Assuming this is not an on-line event, where is it to take place?  I did not see a location mentioned.  markf
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Dr.Nautilus

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Re: Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 10:25:43 pm »
Teslacon in Madison. 

Narsil

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Re: Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 10:37:06 pm »

I think this is a very good point. I've long held he belief that much of SP was rediscovered rather than invented nad it as always seemed bizarre to assert that it suddenly sprang into existence in the 1980s






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Dr.Nautilus

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Re: Call for Presenters! Teslacon panel on Jules Verne
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 04:42:50 pm »
Cheers, Narsil.

It's a funny thing, Steampunk.  Certainly the term was invented in the 80s but the aesthetic has been running through film and comics for a long time.  Jules Verne is such an influence on today's steampunks that I feel justified in calling him the "literary grandfather" of steampunk, in the same way that the graphic images of the Victorian period were themselves glamorizing and romanticizing the technology of the time and we are just returning to that, with the advantage of having lived through the future that those authors imagined (and seen that it didn't work out too well.) 

It is interesting to notice the things in Verne that aren't to our tastes today -- the many scenes of game hunting for example and the attitude towards animals.  Sometimes I find that there is a current of critique even there.  For example in 20,000 leagues, when Ned land harpoons a dugong (manatee of the Indian Ocean) and then later Capt. Nemo uses the Nautilus as a mechanized monster harpoon to slaughter a whole school of sperm whales because he thinks they are evil.  It's so weird, you have to wonder if it isn't a critique on the madness of hunting for sport.  Verne is really so complex, it is too bad he's been labeled as a children's author in the United States.

Anyway, please let me know if you (or any of you reading this) are attending Teslacon and would like to participate in the panel!

Nautilus