Unedited Transcripts

Verne! With Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (Unedited)

Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: My apologies for my lateness.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Guten Abend, and welcome everyone.
Caladon Rae lightly waves her fan at the Baron in greeting
Solace Fairlady: Guten abend Herr Baron:)
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Our scheduled speaker had a family emergency and was not able to present today.
Darlingmonster Ember: hullo Herr Baron
Solace Fairlady: o dear, all good wishes to them!
Andrea Jones (andreajonesms): Hope it works out well for them
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: That is kind of all of you. As you can see, you have plenty of gifts to take home with you today.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I hope you enjoy them and the talk. Do let me know if there are any permissions issues with any parts.
Solace Fairlady: You are going to deliver the salon in their stead?
Killian Bailey Jameson: yay gifts!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hence my delay, trying to get this all together in time, ja.
Solace Fairlady: bravo herr Baron!
Darlingmonster Ember settles in
Jimmy Branagh: Hallo Herr Baron!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I am not going to introduce myself, I think you know well enough by now. Let me start right in.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach nods
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: As I was preparing this talk, I went to our excellent R.F. Burton Library over in Babbage Canals and found the volumes boxed here at the foot of the stage gathered under the heading ‘Steam Precursors’, although in this case, it is more the Steam mindset than the actual machinery. For all the fascinating inventions of our ancestors, it was Verne’s creations of the mind during the second half of the 1800s which inspired some of the greatest leaps of human technology.
Jimmy Branagh: Oy knew if Oy stepped away the Baron would arrive.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Verne started his adult life in the study of the law, was distracted by the theatre, made a living as a stockbroker but ended as a great novelist. Let us start with 1862, and a story quoted by the UnMuseum:
Jimmy Branagh chuckles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There is the legend that he stood on the steps of the Paris stock exchange and declared to his associates there, “My boys, I believe that I’m about to desert you. I had the kind of idea Emile Girardin says every man must have to make a fortune. I’ve just written a new kind of novel, and if it succeeds it will be an unexplored gold mine. In that case, I’ll write more such books while you’re buying your stock. And I think I’ll earn the most money!” When his friends laughed at his comments, he replied, “Laugh, friends, we’ll see who laughs longest.”
Jimmy Branagh: hehe
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Indeed.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There are many Verne works, more than most realise, and a very useful aether-site to explore both his work and writings about Verne is Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection at http://jv.gilead.org.il/. What I shall do here is touch on his most notable works in chronological order and let you do further exploration at your own pace.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We start with his first novel.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 186 ‘Cinq semaines en ballon’, or in English ‘Five Weeks in a Balloon, or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa by Three Englishmen’ was Verne’s first presentation of his dramatic trio: The Professor, the Manservant, and the Adventurer. Modelled after the explorations of Burton, Speke and Barth, the dramatic interior of sub-equatorial Africa unrolls before the reader in lush detail — mostly accurate — as the Englishmen travel from west to east encountering all sorts of perils.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: In the Paris daily ‘Le Figaro’ a review read, “Is Dr. Fergusson’s journey a reality or is it not? All we can say is that it is bewitching as a novel and as instructive as a book of science. Never have the serious discoveries of celebrated travellers been summed up as well.”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: This set the standard for what was to be expected from this new, fascinating author: Science of the day, applied to fantastical situations around the world.
Solace Fairlady: Englishmen as they were known to be crazy enough to do such things, and because the french werent:)
Darlingmonster Ember: ha
Darlingmonster Ember: lovely
Solace Fairlady waves unobtrusively to Duchess liz
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I should note between volumes here that many of Verne’s works were republished in different size formats, lavishly illustrated. I did not have enough time to procure illustrations to share with you today, but the Gutenberg Library often has copies available to borrow.
Liz Wilner smiles and waves to Solace
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 186 ‘Voyage au centre de la Terre’, translated variably as ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and ‘A Journey to the Interior of the Earth’, follows the explorations of Professor Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans attempting to wind their way through volcanic tubes from the Icelandic volcano Snæfellsjökull, eventually emerging all the way down in Italy’s famed Stromboli.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The genre of subterranean fiction already existed long before Verne. However, the present book considerably added to its popularity and influenced later such writings. For example, Edgar Rice Burroughs explicitly acknowledged Verne’s influence on his own Pellucidar series. It would not surprise me at all if many future geologists and other earth studies scientists were impressed by this story in their youth.
Solace Fairlady: Admiral I think there is a space for you in that seat with your lady:)
Jimmy Branagh waves to Miss Liz
Liz Wilner waves to Jimmy
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: In turn, the novel was inspired by Charles Lyell’s ‘Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man’ of 1863, and includes some of the fantastical thoughts of lost Edenic environments hidden in a partly-hollow planet — as when the Professor’s party encounters dinosaurs, pre-historic mammals and even a anthropodic being which they speculate could be a very early Man.
Caladon Rae: (moment. human is needed)
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Artful Hammerer!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Due to the imaginative scenery — volcanoes, vast caves, an underwater sea, groves of dinosaurs — this has been a popularly acted entertainment, appearing in many forms — not always adhering to the original material.
Darlingmonster Ember: snerks
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Added romance, Fraulein Ember. That seems to be the most persistent edit.
Darlingmonster Ember: mmmm
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Jimmy Branagh: (Wells got saddled with that too))
Solace Fairlady: a modern version would add romance between the professor and the manservant
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 186 After a polar exploration novel, one of the ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’ series, Verne wrote and published ‘De la terre à la lune’, the remarkable ‘From the Earth to the Moon’; and in the following year, ‘Autour de la Lune’, ‘Around the Moon’. These books are a favourite of those who wish to demonstrate how scientifiction can anticipate a future reality.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The novel describes the efforts of a group of American weapons enthusiasts, the Baltimore Gun Club, to create a large enough cannon to launch three men all the way to the moon. The club deals with raising sufficient funds for the project, debates over the perfect location for the launch, and considers the issues of acceleration on human payload. Verne made solid attempts at creating calculations for all of the aspects of the launch despite not being an engineer or mathematician himself.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: It is far more entertaining to compare the novels and derive what he got right compared to the Apollo space programme:
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel’s launch location was ‘Stone’s Hill, Tampa Town, Florida’. The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, is on the opposite coast of the peninsula, only 120 miles almost due east.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel suggested Americans would create this as a private project; Americans did create a moon launch, as a governmental effort.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel has the passenger capsule made of aluminium; the Apollo Command Model was made of an aluminum honeycomb-sandwich bonded between sheets of aluminum alloy. The process to make it a much more common material was not developed until 1886, and before then was rare enough that plate armour of aluminium was made only for kings.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel had a chemical carbon dioxide removal mechanism; the Apollo capusules and lunar landers used lithium hydroxide cartridges to do the same.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel has the trip to the moon take five days; the Apollo vehicle took three, due to better calculations. It is still an excellent estimate.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * The novel has the capsule approach the ‘neutral point’ balancing the gravities of the Earth and the Moon; this was later designated as L1 of the five Lagrangian points possible between any two large bodies. The Lagrange points mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of the two large masses provides precisely the centripetal force required to orbit with them. The maths were discovered by Leonhard Euler and Joseph-Louis Lagrange in the late 1700s.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I believe I saw mention of artificial satellites set into exactly this same point for technical purposes.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: * Lastly, for our purposes: The novel has the returned capsule land in the ocean and be retrieved, all hands in good condition, by a US Naval vessel on patrol; the practice of the American space programme had always been water landings — Gemini largely in the Atlantic, Apollo in the Pacific — with Naval retrieval.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Not bad for a law student.
Jimmy Branagh: Nope
Darlingmonster Ember: even better for a stockbroker
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Liz Wilner!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We jump ahead just a bit for the next title.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 1869-7 ‘Vingt mille lieues sous les mers: Tour du monde sous-marin’ or ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: A Tour of the Underwater World’ appeared first in a serial format in Pierre-Jules Hetzel’s periodical, the ‘Magasin d’Éducation et de Récréation’, later published in a lavishly illustrated format.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Herr Hetzel was Verne’s publisher and confidant through much of his career.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Submarines were a new technology in Verne’s time, and although they had actually seen combat in the American Civil War, they were rare craft indeed with similar technical problems to those of Verne’s space-capsule. To have most of an exciting adventure take place on a lavishly-equipped and luxuriously-furnished boat was a look into the future.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Once again, we have Verne’s stalwart trio, literally thrown into the sea for their encounter: Professor Pierre Aronnax, a French marine biologist and narrator of the story; Canadian whaler and master harpoonist Ned Land; and Aronnax’s faithful servant Conseil. Their rescuer, host and antagonist is the mysterious Captain Nemo — Latin for ‘no man’, as he has renounced his previous life for vengeance — who seems lost into a great maelstrom by the last sight the protagonists have of him.
Solace Fairlady: French adventurers at last
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Nemo and his world took inspiration from many real-world scientists and adventurers: Oceanographer Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury; Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, a famous explorer who was lost while circumnavigating the globe; Dumont D’Urville, the explorer who found the remains of Lapérouse’s ship; and Ferdinand Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal and the nephew of the sole survivor of Lapérouse’s expedition.
Solace Fairlady: and that is why he made them french:)
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The travelers witness the real corals of the Red Sea, the wrecks of the battle of Vigo Bay, the Antarctic ice shelves, the Transatlantic telegraph cable and the legendary submerged land of Atlantis. The travelers also use diving suits to hunt sharks and other marine life with air-guns and have an underwater funeral for a crew member who died when an accident occurred under mysterious conditions inside the Nautilus.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: And, of course, the giant squid. Or octopus. It depends on the translator and the crew who build the puppet for the stage play.
Solace Fairlady: kraken
Ranulf Falconer chuckles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: (That seems to be everyone’s favourite part.)
Jimmy Branagh: Kraken me up!
Edda grins and nods
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: More of Nemo’s story is shared in ‘L’Île mystérieuse’, but his origin was purely the work of Verne’s publisher. Nemo’s original Polish origin and resentment of the Russian Empire was not politic for a French novel. Hetzel’s urgings had Verne change Nemo to a Muslim prince of Mysore, done badly by the British East India Company and the devastation of the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
Killian Bailey Jameson stifles a giggle
Solace Fairlady: My favourite paret was young Mr Douglas
Solace Fairlady: *part
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Bitte?
Solace Fairlady: the actor in one of the more famous screen adaptations:0
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Aha.
Ranulf Falconer: “A young Kirk Douglas — father of Michael.”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The 20,000 leagues, incidentally, is the distance travelled, not the depth to which the Nautilus plunged – which would be physically impossible. It was suggestive of ‘around the world’, another of Verne’s great travels.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Twice around, actually.
Caladon Rae nods to everyone “Pardon me, my presence is required at another space.”
Solace Fairlady: safe travels m rae!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: For the sake of time, we will jump ahead to:
Jimmy Branagh waves
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 187 ‘Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours’, translated as ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, greatly popular with adapters for the performing arts. Instead of a scientist, we have a proper and chronologically-exacting British gentleman, but we still have his manservant. There is no brawny fellow who starts out on the adventure with them this time.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: They are acquired, however, in short order, by Scotland Yard detective, Detective Fix, who has mistaken Fogg for a suspect he is pursuing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: This is one of Verne’s journeys with an actual itinerary: London to Suez, Suez to Bombay, on to Calcutta. From Calcutta to Hong Kong, hence to Yokohama, then all the way to San Francisco.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: One long trip to New York City would launch the party to London again, just in time to meet Fogg’s demanding schedule.
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, OldeSoul Resident!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Naturally, it all goes pear-shaped. How could it be an adventure if it did not?
Ranulf Falconer grins
Solace Fairlady: he must have been a babbager
Solace Fairlady: what could poddibly go wrong?
Edda laughs quietly
Solace Fairlady: *ss
Jimmy Branagh nods
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, andreajonesms Resident!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The train to Calcutta does not go all the way through, but in travelling to the next railhead, the two men rescue a young Indian widow from funeral sacrifice, ‘sati’ or ‘suttee’.
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Ranulf Falconer!
Edda: oh!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: They take her along with them to deliver her safely to a relative in Hong Kong… who has moved to Holland.
Edda takes notes
Darlingmonster Ember: 😀
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Edan Borrelly!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: More problems ensue on getting to their trans-Pacific ship, then such obstructions on American soil as herds of buffalo, while Inspector Fix has decided it’s best to arrest Fogg in London instead and becomes a helper in their journey.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: With all the delays, Fogg is sure he has lost a day of travel, but the International Date Line comes to his rescue and he is exactly 23 hours and 55 minutes early – and wins his wager.
Edda claps!
Jimmy Branagh claps
Jimmy Branagh: Wotta guy!
Killian Bailey Jameson: well done
Ranulf Falconer: “An exciting finish.”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: As you can see, the combination of tension, comic relief, character conflict and ja, even a romance between Fogg and Aouda the widow actually appearing in the book, have made it one of the most adapted Verne properties ever.
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Wildstar Beaumont!
Edda: I need to go back and read it again.
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Ancasta Resident!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Now you can.
Edda smiles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach points at the box of books
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: This has inspired many non-fictional travel challenges at all stages of history since it was first printed.
Darlingmonster Ember smiles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 80 days using public transport. 80 days as a television host. 80 days on a sailboat. It goes on.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Something else that goes on is Verne’s bibliography. There are perhaps three dozen more titles, most in the Voyages extraordinaires series, published after ’80 Days’.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Three dozen.
Jimmy Branagh: That’ll keep ya busy
Darlingmonster Ember: nod
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There were at least a half dozen manuscripts finished, re-written or inspiring Verne’s son, and published after Jules Verne’s death.
Edda nods
Andrea Jones: must be off. bye all
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Lastly, a novel he wrote predicting the 20th Century was published a century after it was written — found in a safe-deposit box though emptied, it was held back by his publisher for being somewhat depressing.
Jimmy Branagh: Noight Miss
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: He had some amazing parallels in that novel as well.
Killian Bailey Jameson: this is new to me!
Solace Fairlady: safe travels Andrea!
Darlingmonster Ember: travel safe
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: And we are nearly at the end of our hour. I hope you were all entertained, and that you enjoy your Verniana here before the stage.
Solace Fairlady: You are the best stand in, Herr baron!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, Fraulein.
Solace Fairlady applauds
Killian Bailey Jameson: thank you so much. Baron. That was most fascinating.
Jimmy Branagh applauds
Edda applauds
Liz Wilner applauds
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Are there any questions I can attempt to answer?
Jimmy Branagh: Thank you, Herr Baron!
Killian Bailey Jameson claps quietly
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, Jimmy Branagh!
Wulfriðe Blitzen claps
Artful Hammerer: Excellent Stuff Baron, thank you
Ranulf Falconer applauds
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Bitte sehr.
Ranulf Falconer: “This was exceptional.”
Wildstar Beaumont: congrats Herr Baron, excellent talk!
Jimmy Branagh: The Baron alwhys gives a good talk
Solace Fairlady: that was a wonderful talk
Darlingmonster Ember: was a talent he was
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, KillianBaileyJameson Resident!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I will leave the gifts out for anyone who you might want to direct over here.
Edda smiles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The Gräfin and I made special effort for your balloon.
Jimmy Branagh: An’ thenks faw th’ giftf!
Solace Fairlady: what was the link again to the site you mentioned, Baron?
Killian Bailey Jameson: thank you for the gifts as well, Baron. Looking forward to opening them.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I must tell you, as I did not get to include a notecard – the commands are Float and Land, not start and stop or any such like that.
Darlingmonster Ember: Present are always accepted
Darlingmonster Ember: aha
Darlingmonster Ember: float/land
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: The aether-site? One moment.
Darlingmonster Ember: got it
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Zvi Har’El’s Jules Verne Collection at http://jv.gilead.org.il/
Solace Fairlady: Dankeschon:)
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: It has been in existence for about 20 years now.
Solace Fairlady: a relative of the man of steel, with that name?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: You might have to ask.
Jimmy Branagh: The crazy uncle, never flew straight
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Anyone else?
Darlingmonster Ember: made a fortune with elevated trains
Jimmy Branagh: ehhe
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: All right then.
Killian Bailey Jameson gathers her things to depart
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Vielen dank for your attendance and tips. The Salon appreciates each one of you.
Liz Wilner: thank you, Baron…that was fascinating 🙂
Wildstar Beaumont: thank you her Baron
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Next month we will have a presentation on…
Killian Bailey Jameson: always a pleasure
Jimmy Branagh: Thenks again Herr Baron. Great talk.
Salon Speaker Tipjar: Thank you for supporting the Aether Salon, OldeSoul Resident!
Solace Fairlady: and we very much appreciate the salon and you, herr baron:)
OldeSoul Eldemar: Thanks Herr Baron
Darlingmonster Ember: …?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Funerals!
Ranulf Falconer: hmmmmm
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I had to check the calendar.
Darlingmonster Ember: oh I could learn a lot then!
Wildstar Beaumont: 🙂
Ranulf Falconer grins
Killian Bailey Jameson: funerals? how fun!
Solace Fairlady: that sounds interesting!
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Victorian way of death.
Liz Wilner: sounds…uplifting and cheery! lol
Ranulf Falconer: “Fascinating.”
Edda: Hmmm it could be! I love wakes!
Jimmy Branagh: Who’s the speaker?
Wildstar Beaumont: good night everyone
Edda: Goodnight!
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Me :p
Jimmy Branagh: Noight Admiral
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Presented by Frau Gräfin Wulfriðe Blitzen herself.
Killian Bailey Jameson: Victorian death customs are so interesting
Solace Fairlady: and will it be delivered from beyond the grave?
Jimmy Branagh: AHhhhh
Darlingmonster Ember: 😀
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hopefully not!
Liz Wilner: I must dash…goodnight everyone 🙂
Solace Fairlady: indeed!
Wulfriðe Blitzen: I won’t make it depressing, I’ll add some fun facts to terrify your friends with
Solace Fairlady: safe travels Duchess liz, hugs:)
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Gute Nacht, those going.
Jimmy Branagh: Noight awl!
Killian Bailey Jameson: good evening, all! take care.
Edda: Goodnight 🙂
Ranulf Falconer grins, “Sounds… delicious?”
Jimmy Branagh bows to the Baron, waves and zaps
Artful Hammerer: Good night all, see you about
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach waves
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Night everyone!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I must see to some tier.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach bows
Darlingmonster Ember curtsies
Solace Fairlady bobs a curtsey
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach bows
Solace Fairlady: thank you all, be well:)
Solace Fairlady: hugs all round
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: And you.
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Take care, Ladies!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: You were, once again, a great assistance.
Russell A. Firecrest took a snapshot.
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Danke.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach smiles
Wulfriðe Blitzen: The bill will be in the mail
Wulfriðe Blitzen grins
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ha! Not undeserved at all.

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