Τρίτη 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2011
Ιούλιος Βερν - Ένας "φανταστικός" συγγραφέας!
Ο Ιούλιος Βερν (γαλλικά: Jules Verne) ήταν Γάλλος συγγραφέας. Γεννήθηκε σαν σήμερα, στις 8 Φεβρουαρίου 1828 στη Νάντη και πέθανε στις 24 Μαρτίου 1905 στην Αμιένη.
Σημαντικός συγγραφέας, ήταν ένας από τους πρωτοπόρους των μυθιστορημάτων επιστημονικής φαντασίας.
Μας συντρόφευσε στα παιδικά μας χρόνια και εξακολουθεί να μας μαγεύει πάντα -ανεξάρτητα της ηλικίας του αναγνώστη- με τα εξαιρετικά του βιβλία!
Στο διήγημά του Hector Servadac (Ελληνικός τίτλος: Εκτόρ Σερβαντάκ - Αγγλικός τίλος: Off on a Comet) ο Ιούλιος Βερν αναφέρει μία σκηνή στην οποία ο ήρωας του βιβλίου Hector, ανακαλύπτει σε ένα κομμάτι του βράχου του Γιβραλτάρ να έχει καταληφθεί από δύο Εγγλέζους που παίζουν σκάκι.
Ακολουθεί το συγκεκριμένο απόσπασμα στην αγγλική γλώσσα:
OFF ON A COMET
A Royal Salute
"Then I take your bishop, major," said Colonel Murphy, as he made a move that he had taken since the previous evening to consider.
"I was afraid you would," replied Major Oliphant, looking intently at the chess-board.
Such was the way in which a long silence was broken on the morning of the 17th of February by the old calendar.
Another day elapsed before another move was made. It was a protracted game; it had, in fact, already lasted some months--the players being so deliberate, and so fearful of taking a step without the most mature consideration, that even now they were only making the twentieth move.
Both of them, moreover, were rigid disciples of the renowned Philidor, who pronounces that to play the pawns well is "the soul of chess"; and, accordingly, not one pawn had been sacrificed without a most vigorous defense.
The men who were thus beguiling their leisure were two officers in the British army--Colonel Heneage Finch Murphy and Major Sir John Temple Oliphant. Remarkably similar in personal appearance, they were hardly less so in personal character. Both of them were about forty years of age; both of them were tall and fair, with bushy whiskers and mustaches; both of them were phlegmatic in temperament, and both much addicted to the wearing of their uniforms. They were proud of their nationality, and exhibited a manifest dislike, verging upon contempt, of everything foreign. Probably they would have felt no surprise if they had been told that Anglo-Saxons were fashioned out of some specific clay, the properties of which surpassed the investigation of chemical analysis. Without any intentional disparagement they might, in a certain way, be compared to two scarecrows which, though perfectly harmless in themselves, inspire some measure of respect, and are excellently adapted to protect the territory intrusted to their guardianship.
English-like, the two officers had made themselves thoroughly at home in the station abroad in which it had been their lot to be quartered. The faculty of colonization seems to be indigenous to the native character; once let an Englishman plant his national standard on the surface of the moon, and it would not be long before a colony was established round it.
The officers had a servant, named Kirke, and a company of ten soldiers of the line. This party of thirteen men were apparently the sole survivors of an overwhelming catastrophe, which on the 1st of January had transformed an enormous rock, garrisoned with well-nigh two thousand troops, into an insignificant island far out to sea. But although the transformation had been so marvelous, it cannot be said that either Colonel Murphy or Major Oliphant had made much demonstration of astonishment.
"This is all very peculiar, Sir John," observed the colonel.
"Yes, colonel; very peculiar," replied the major.
"England will be sure to send for us," said one officer.
"No doubt she will," answered the other.
Accordingly, they came to the mutual resolution that they would "stick to their post."
To say the truth, it would have been a difficult matter for the gallant officers to do otherwise; they had but one small boat; therefore, it was well that they made a virtue of necessity, and resigned themselves to patient expectation of the British ship which, in due time, would bring relief.
They had no fear of starvation. Their island was mined with subterranean stores, more than ample for thirteen men--nay, for thirteen Englishmen-- for the next five years at least. Preserved meat, ale, brandy--all were in abundance; consequently, as the men expressed it, they were in this respect "all right."
Of course, the physical changes that had taken place had attracted the notice both of officers and men. But the reversed position of east and west, the diminution of the force of gravity, the altered rotation of the earth, and her projection upon a new orbit, were all things that gave them little concern and no uneasiness; and when the colonel and the major had replaced the pieces on the board which had been disturbed by the convulsion, any surprise they might have felt at the chess-men losing some portion of their weight was quite forgotten in the satisfaction of seeing them retain their equilibrium.
One phenomenon, however, did not fail to make its due impression upon the men; this was the diminution in the length of day and night. Three days after the catastrophe, Corporal Pim, on behalf of himself and his comrades, solicited a formal interview with the officers. The request having been granted, Pim, with the nine soldiers, all punctiliously wearing the regimental tunic of scarlet and trousers of invisible green, presented themselves at the door of the colonel`s room, where he and his brother-officer were continuing their game. Raising his hand respectfully to his cap, which he wore poised jauntily over his right ear, and scarcely held on by the strap below his under lip, the corporal waited permission to speak.
After a lingering survey of the chess-board, the colonel slowly lifted his eyes, and said with official dignity, "Well, men, what is it?"
Το απόσπασμα με το σκάκι του βιβλίου Hector Servadac του Ιούλιου Βερν, σε σχέδιο του Paul Dominique Philippoteaux.
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