Thursday, September 20, 2012

Paschal Grousset, "The Dream of an Irreconcilable" (1869)

I've posted a working translation of Paschal Grousset's 1869 The Dream of an Irreconcilable, an odd little political "utopia" of sorts, which begins with the narrator falling asleep over his newspaper, as he reads the new revisions to the French constitution, explores in a novel fashion some of the details of a rather Paris Commune-like post-revolutionary future, and then ends with one last jab at the current regime. Translation is, in this case, simply the first step in making the work intelligible, since it is full to overflowing with topical references and in jokes, which I've now started to explore and will eventually document in an annotated edition. Grousset, who is probably best known for his work as a writer of adventure fiction and a collaborator of Jules Verne, was a radical journalist, a communard deported to New Caledonia, and an escapee from the penal colony there. The Dream originally appeared as an issue of Le Diable à Quatre (The Devil to Pay).


Roderick T. Long said...

I wonder whether he influenced Magellania?

Peter Harold said...

The inspiration for the novel, and for the character of the Kaw-djer, was not an anarchist at all, but the Archduke Johann of Austria—Johann Salvator von Österreich-Toskana—who had renounced his title, taken the name Johann Orth, married a dancer, and been lost at sea in July 1890 while trying to pilot his own ship round Cape Horn, according to Olivier Dumas.