Paris in the Twentieth Century

Paris In The Twentieth Century

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Paris in the Twentieth Century

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Paris in the Twentieth Century () is a science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The book presents Paris in 1960, about 100 years in Verne's future, where society has value only for business and technology.

Plot introduction

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.

Plot summary

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, Balzac, 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...
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