Journey to the Center of the Earth

Scientists have recently discovered a sixth great ocean, underground, between the upper and lower layers of the Earth’s crust. Jules Verne wrote about this in “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, published in England in 1871. Verne was an extraordinary visionary, imagining things that were a hundred years before their times.

I just finished reading this novel to my son. He’s approaching 10, so long gone are the days of Dr. Seuss (though they were amazing) and “Goodnight moon” – we’ve powered our way through The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and the ENTIRE C.S. Lewis series (not just ‘Lion, Witch’ but all six books). Madeline L’Engle and Pinocchio. We’re starting “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” next. Persistence and constancy, those are the things I’ve learned make the difference between stability and the mayhem.

Back to Verne, this was a hard read for my son – Verne represents writers who were smarter than those of today. “Lots of big words,” as my son said. The human condition does not improve, and the entropy of our species is well advanced. Which makes it fun to reach back 150 years in time to days when the world was wide and grand and people were excited about discovery and learning about the world independent of their petty prejudices and their singular efforts to make themselves miserable which have become oh-so-much-more sophisticated with the advance of our tech. But I digress.

Read to your little boy; read him old books about adventure – fill his mind with words that are too big. They will fill him with wonder, and with him you as well.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s