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The Mask of the ProphetThe Extraordinary Fictions of Jules Verne$
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Andrew Martin

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198157984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198157984.001.0001

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Law and Disorder

Law and Disorder

(p.127) 6 Law and Disorder
The Mask of the Prophet

Andrew Martin

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Verne's The Survivors of the ‘Jonathan’ and its protagonist Kaw-djer. The opening of the novel is a micro-narrative, providing an overture to the drama to follow, encapsulating and condensing its main motifs. The Survivors repeats a theme prominent in Five Weeks in a Balloon: the world is running out of unoccupied, uncolonised space. The fundamental motivation of conflict is hunger, or, in a more critical formulation, greed. The Survivors describes a condition of rampant instability, but is bound at both ends by contrasting moods of tranquillity. It depicts a reluctant authoritarian who nevertheless remains a practising anarchist. The dialectic of expansion and contraction, power and subversion which informs this novel constitutes the incessant pulse of the Vernian text, the narrative of empire and revolt.

Keywords:   The Survivors, Kaw-djer, Five Weeks

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