By Jules Verne
Jules Verne's vintage technology fiction tale Twenty Thousand Leagues below the ocean tells the nice story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus. In 1866 a wierd and unknown sea monster is sighted by means of ships and an ocean liner is attacked. An excursion prepares in big apple, to discover and ruin the menacing creature. The 20,000 of the name refers to an total distance traveled less than the ocean, instead of an very unlikely degree of descent.
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Extra info for 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
In other words, what is at issue here is not so much the inevitable growing distance of a ‘world of yesterday’, but rather a loosening of connection from what appears today as a ‘lost world’. And once again, this is not simply due to the fact of Auschwitz and the mass graves of summer 1941, but for another reason as well: since we wrote Revolutionary Yiddishland, a change of era has set in, surreptitiously rather than manifestly. A change that leaves completely open and uncertain the question of the conditions of the reception of this book in the world today.
It was nourished by light; it sought to repel the shadow. 18 It is only certain martyrologists who seek to dissolve the meaning of their combat. Even after the camps, the struggle of the ‘Botwinists’ still had nothing in common with the action of the leaders of the Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF). 19 The discourse of the state of Israel has sought at all costs to erase this boundary. It has largely succeeded, and the union sacrée around a general, a ‘leader’ and certain symbols, is the most valued fuel of Israeli politics.
On the contrary, we are still ‘within’, immersed in the history that these monstrosities wove, in the same way that, psychoanalytically speaking, each of us is ‘in’ their family, and anthropologically ‘in’ their society – precisely unable to grasp them as objects. This situation shows itself in a particularly spectacular fashion when we tackle our history from this ‘red and Jewish’ angle: why, in fact, are the most obvious and best-established facts about the Jewish workers’ movement in Eastern Europe, its struggles and traditions, its organizations, its relationship with other populations and the powers of this region, so easily dissolved into the passion and emotion of discourse, prejudged positions and ideological blindness?