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Quicklet on Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Zaki  Hasan

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Book Description


Given the very long shadow it has cast on culture and pop culture since its initial publication in 1870, it’s difficult to overstate just how indelible and long-lasting the impact of author Jules Verne’s seminal seafaring epic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been, both upon the literary world and the world at large.

With its meditations on evergreen themes such as man, nature, and the inherent conflicts therein, and its depiction of new technologies decades before their eventual invention, Twenty Thousand Leagues remains an unquestionable classic of modern literature and has also transcended the page to leave a mark on a variety of other media.

My first encounter with Verne’s story happened at the ripe old age of seven, when I had opportunity to watch Richard Fleischer’s 1954 film adaptation for producer Walt Disney, starring legendary screen star Kirk Douglas as the stolidly heroic Ned Land and featuring a haunting, unforgettable turn by James Mason as charismatic anti-hero Captain Nemo.

The film’s grand scale and memorable set pieces, including the elegant depiction of Nemo’s mighty Nautilus submarine designed by Harper Goff, was all it took for me to hungrily seek out and dive headfirst into the original text. This in turn allowed me to discover firsthand the magnificent undersea world Jules Verne imagined for us during a time when the very notion of travelling under the sea was as much of a fantasy as the idea of travelling in space.


Born and raised in Chicago before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, award-winning writer Zaki Hasan is a professor of communication and media studies, and has been a media scholar and critic for more than fifteen years. He is co-author of Quirk Books' Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture, and his work has been featured in Q-News, Illume, and The Huffington Post. He is also contributing editor at Since 2004, his blog has been a one-stop forum for musings on news, media, politics, and pop culture, nominated for "Best Blog" by the Brass Crescent Awards in 2010 and 2011, and included in the Top 35 Political Blogs of 2010 by


Though Verne was a lifelong devotee of all things nautical and oceanic, the true genesis of what eventually became Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea was first planted in the author’s mind via an offhand comment in an 1865 communiqué from French author George Sand. Waxing rhapsodic about the author’s then-latest opus, 1864’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Madame Sand playfully prodded Verne to, in his next work, “take us to the depths of the sea…in diving vessels that your science and imagination will manage to improve.”

Diving into this challenge with gusto, Verne began development on what eventually became Twenty Thousand Leagues that same year. From the beginning, he was uncertain of precisely how large a distance his submarine would travel, with working titles ranging from Twenty-Five Thousand Leagues Under the Waters to A Thousand Leagues Under the Oceans to the more-familiar Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Waters before arriving at the book’s final designation (at one point he even considered titling it simply Voyage Under the Waters).

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  • ISBN: 9781484006535 |
  • Hardcover: 20 pages |
  • Publisher: Hyperink |
  • Publication date: |
  • Language: English |
  • Format: Ebook