Friday, September 17, 2010

Jules Verne at Amiens

On my recent visit to Amiens, I also looked up the monuments to the writer Jules Verne, who lived there for the last three decades of his life and served on the city council. His wife came from this city, and he also found its location convenient, being half way between Paris and the port of Le Crotoy where his boat was based.

Since my last visit, his residence has been turned into a museum:




It opened in March 2006, which looks suspiciously as though someone aimed at the centenary of his death (March 2005) but missed the deadline. It's easy to find as the street is now named after him:



His statue is also nearby:



Note the avid young readers surrounding him. I also read a large number of his novels as a youngster. Later in life, I re-read 20,000 lieues sous les mers when finishing my PhD thesis, as it fitted the subject (life under high hydrostatic pressure) and in fact yielded a nice motto for the introduction. I also read the re-discovered work Paris au XXeme ciecle, first published in 1993 when it came out, and Le rayon vert after watching the eponymous movie by Eric Rohmer. So while I wouldn't call myself a fan, I feel sufficiently connected to his work to look in on the old man when I come to a town linked to his biography.

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