Paris in the Twentieth Century
() is a science fiction novel
by Jules Verne
. The book presents Paris
, about 100 years in Verne's future, where society has value only for business and technology.
Written in 1863
but first published only in 1994
, about a young man who lives in a technologically advanced, but culturally backwards future. Often referred to as Verne's lost novel, the work, set in August 1960, paints a grim, dystopian
view of the future. Many of Verne's predictions are remarkably on target. His publisher, Pierre-Jules Hetzel
, did not release the book because he thought it was too unbelievable and inferior to his previous work, Five Weeks in a Balloon
Paris in the Twentieth Century's
main character is 16-year-old Michel Dufrénoy, who graduates with a major in literature and the classics, but finds they have been forgotten in a futuristic world where only business and technology are valued. Michel, whose father was a musician, is a poet born too late.
Michel had been living with his respectable uncle, Monsieur Stanislas Boutardin, and his family. The day after graduation, Boutardin tells Michel tomorrow he'll start working at a banking company. He doubts he can do anything in the business world.
The rest of that day, Michel searches for literature, e.g. Hugo
, etc. Nothing but technology is available in bookstores. Michel's last resort is the Imperial Library. The librarian turns out to be his hidden uncle, Monsieur... Read More