The chance which now seems lost may present itself at the last moment. Jules Verne’s around the world in 80 days (1873) is the story of Phileas Fogg, an affluent English gentleman who leads a solitary life. Though Fogg doesn’t boast of a vibrant social life, he is a member of the reform club. After reading an article in the daily Telegraph about the opening of a new Railway section in India, which promises to make travel around the world possible in 80 days, he accepts a wager for 20, 000 from fellow club members, which will be given to him only if he makes it around the world in 80 days. With his newly employed French manservant Passe-partout, he leaves London by train on 2 October 1872. From rescuing a Raja’s young wife from Sati in the exotic land of India, boarding a train from San Francisco to new York which is attacked by a livid Sioux tribe, to finding a Steamboat destined for Bordeaux, France, the heroic traveller’ adventures continue to mesmerise readers even today.
About Jules Verne
Born on 8 February 1828, Jules Gabriel Verne was a French novelist, poet and playwright who has also been the second most-translated writer in the world since 1979. Popular for writing about air, underwater and space travel much before submarines or air travel became a reality, Verne was a visionary. Early in life, he began writing for magazines and his collaboration with Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the creation of the Voyages Extraordinaires series that included Journey To The Center Of The Earth (1864), 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1870) and Around The World In 80 Days (1873). A writer of plays, poems, operetta libretti, short stories, essays and miscellaneous non-fiction, Verne, in his works imagined a more harmonious and humanitarian society. English translations of Verne’s novels began in 1869 with William Lackland’s translation of Five Weeks In A Balloon (originally published in 1863), and continued throughout his writing career, with publishers and translators working together to have his most popular books printed into English language. On Verne and his influence on literature, Ray Bradbury had remarked, We are all, in one way or another, the children of Jules Verne.
First published in 1886, beyond good and evil by renowned German philosopher and thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche, expands on the philosophical ideas of his thus spake zarathustra. The book presents a sharp critique of morality and the tendency to view morality in binaries of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, thus rejecting the concept of universal morality for all humankind. In this book, divided into nine parts, Nietzsche begins by exposing the deficiencies of the old philosophers, emphasising the need for “free spirits and strongly opposes the ideas of universal morality as propagated by religion, Anti-Semitism and feelings of nationalism. The ideas introduced in this book continue to influence and inspire philosophers all around the world.
About Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) was a notable German philosopher who remains one of the most influential modern thinkers. He is renowned for writing on the concept of the super-man, the end of religion in a modern society as well as his exploration of the concepts of good and evil. Some of his major philosophical works are Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883), The Antichrist (1885) and Twilight of the Idols (1889). Many major thinkers of the 20th century such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Sigmund Freud and Albert Camus, among others, were influenced by Nietzsche’s ideas. After his death, the misappropriation of his works by the Nazi Party in the 30s and 40s of the last century to further their fascist activities resulted in a negative reputation for generations whereas Nietzsche himself was steadfastly against anti-Semitism. Nietzsche died on 25 August 1900, aged 55.