Verniana — Jules Verne Studies / Etudes Jules Verne — Volume 8 (2015–2016) — 27–56

Nouveaux Jonas: The Sources of Sans Dessus Dessous's ‘Stop’ Caricature

Terry Harpold


George Roux’s caricature of Impey Barbicane and J.-T. Maston traveling to the North Pole beneath the waves in the belly of a whale, is one of the most memorable illustrations of Jules Verne’s Sans dessus dessous (1889). This image of the “Nouveaux Jonas” is also unique in the Voyages extraordinaires, in the way it is presented to the reader — as if it were part of a newspaper page embedded in the novel — and in how it was assembled. In this essay I show that the illustration was, in fact, composited from an original drawing by Roux and an actual newspaper page. I discuss in detail the literary, historical, and cultural sources of the illustration’s several parts and propose that the interplay of elements of the composited image, and the instability of its status as part-real, part-imagined newspaper page, exemplify feedback systems of images and texts in Verne’s illustrated fiction.

Full text: