I loved Mondo in it’s early years. I think I still have that book on my shelf somewhere too. Thanks for the nostalgia boost!]]>
On the flipside of your find is the long lost (or never known) manuscript by Jules Verne. The story, Paris in the Twentieth Century, was written in 1863 but was rejected by publishers for being too far-fetched. The story is set in a futuristic Paris where technology is idolised above all Arts. Verne describes extraordinary machines such as elevators and faxes, and sketches the journey of an luddite artist in such an environment. The protagnoist, Michel Dufrenoy, is a poet who shuffles betweens menial jobs, unable to express his creative side. His employers are acutely aware, however, of his uniqueness:
“The boy is monumentally inept,” the banker observed.
“The claims of truth oblige me to agree,” replied the Cashier.
“He is what used to be called an artist,” Athanase broke in, “and what we would call a ninny.”
“In his hands, the machine is becoming a dangerous instrument,” returned the banker. (p.55)
In the end Dufrenoy chooses his creativity, his urge to write and think above work, above conformity. The tale has a bleak ending — typical of Steampunk soothesayers.
The manuscript was found in a safe in 1988, unpublished because of the technophilic visions, while Mondo 2000 is published but then found in a street market…it seems humanity balances itself out in the end.
Verne, J. and R. Howard (1996) Paris in the Twentieth Century, Random House, New York.]]>