Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


Jules Verne- Dream and Reality

Wanderlino Arruda

The dreams of Jules Verne, so beautifully lived at the turn of the Nineteenth Century, and then evolving into the reality of our present days, are widely read, the French writer being appreciated today by young and old alike. Once he had realized a new idea, his creative impulse and curiosity satisfied, he would go on to a new fantasy dream, a new tentative illusion or calling to his willful creativity. Intelligence and art are extremely demanding, dynamic “par excellence”, never pausing, and that is what human progress is made of, as evolution, it can’t stop, because if it did, everything would become immobilized by inertia, an unsupportable routine, unimaginable to our evolving tendency, always ascending, always better. To live life is to make dreams come true.

Jules Verne was the great dreamer of things to come, creator of the concept that “whatever one man can dream, another man can then realize”. He envisioned the television before the radio was invented, naming it a “phonotelephoto”, that is, an instrument that can carry voices and images, connecting two distant points. He visualized the helicopter half a century before man learned to fly. He presented plans for the construction of submarines, airplanes, neon lights, escalators, air conditioning, skyscrapers, guided missiles, tanks of war, space food, oxygen production, and human movement in the absence of gravity in spacecraft. He prophesized a whole universe of fantastic inventions. Without a doubt, he was the father of science fiction, a forerunner of reality, an intuitive medium. In other words… he was a prophet.

One day I had the sensation that I was feeling very near Jules Verne, drinking from the spring of his life of inspiration, and of his scientific and literary sensibility. It was one of these confused interpretations that every mortal occasionally makes, mainly those like me, distracted daydreamers, off exploring the moon in a curious kind of insight, unfocused, in a special second of curious opportunism. Once, meandering in the vicinity of the Louver museum in Paris, I saw the banner, “Jules Verne, Today and Tomorrow”, and I immediately misunderstood that, if I didn’t take advantage of that golden opportunity of these precious two days, I would lose an exhibition that was fatally ending on the next day. I didn’t think twice. In I went! It was an exhibition presented by the Italian car company, Fiat. Everything was displayed in an extraordinary manner, with projects, drawings, instruments, calculating machines and everything else that the French writer used to develop his ideal reality. But there was no indication determining the ending date of the exhibition. Everything was fresh, completely looking as though it had opened on that very day, “Today and Tomorrow” on the banner, actually meant the “Today and Tomorrow” of Jules Verne, in his best dreaming form…

Only a few times in my life have I had so powerful a conception of the enormity of such a magnificent visionary, of a creative mind capable of trespassing all barriers of human mentality. Only a few times before and after this landmark exposition have I ever intimately observed an admiration so great for natural optimism, confiding in the ascending logic of evolutional destiny and the belief of constant progress into a better world, worthy of the continuing efforts of science and poetry. To me, at that moment, Jules Verne became the synthesis of the faith that God deposits in mankind. It is the guarantee of our future and its ascending evolutionary trajectory as part of a divine plan and intelligence. Jules Verne was present, right there at that exhibition, through his incredible life experience, of a whole universe of research, simple dreaming of the probable, the possibilities of historic invention in human evolution, an unmistakable moment of respect for free thought of the valorization of the right to think and feel.

Wouldn’t it be good if we could get back to reading again, reading the writers of science fiction once again, searching for comprehension of the creators of our very own present and future? In truth, the present reality is not enough to satisfy man’s nearly divine imagination.

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