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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World

Jules Verne




Finished Verne's 20k Leagues Under the Sea[s]. Remember seeing it in the ship's library, but never finished it. Originally thought the title meant 20,000 leagues in depth, but apparently a league "originally meant the distance a person could walk in an hour," so a league is a few miles. Obviously then, 20,000 leagues is horizontal distance.

I think Verne is mostly attempting accuracy related to the ocean as Captain Nemo takes his guests on a Magic School bus ride, but as the saying goes 'we know more about deep space than the ocean depths', and since they didn't know much about deep space in the 1800's, you have to forgive Jules Verne for filling in some fanciful details.

Captain Nemo's capsule of isolation from the outside, oppressive, world is interesting. I suppose I try to do that some, although with significantly less funds and no fondness for the ocean, my Nautilus is mental and online. And I have no cause for vengeance (at least not currently); merely a need to moderate my contact with humanity at times since we have difficulty understanding each other.

Nemo is described by Wikipedia as an anti-hero, which I guess means good-ish. His back-story remains mostly a mystery in 20k leagues. Apparently for more you have to read The Mysterious Island where the Captain confesses his life story on his deathbed.