Verniana — Jules Verne Studies / Etudes Jules Verne — Volume 1 (2008–2009) — 23–30

Expedition into a Novel


Brian Taves


Emerging out of the distinct tradition of Spanish-language film adaptations of Verne novels, the 2005 Venezuelan movie 1888–EL EXTRAORDINARIO VIAJE DE JULES VERNE retells the source novel as an actual experience of the author, becoming a meditation on the novel Le Superbe Orénoque, Verne’s life, and much more. Verne himself and another historical individual, Count Ermanno Stradelli, replace the book’s male protagonists, leaving the androgynous heroine as the other point in the triangle. The modernist dimension of gender roles becomes the basis for a metaphorical exploration of the source of sexual identity that parallels the journey to the source of the Orinoco. 1888–EL EXTRAORDINARIO VIAJE DE JULES VERNE is also one of the few non-documentary films in which Verne is brought to the screen, becoming here part of the creation of his own text, tapping the sources of inspiration, of love, and of identity.

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