Didier de Chousy, Comte

Tagged: Author

Possibly the pseudonym of the unidentified French author (?   -?   ) of Ignis (1883 anonymous; rev 1884 as by Le Cte Didier de Chousy), an exorbitant Scientific Romance whose use of Hollow Earth topoi seems to have been drawn from Jules Verne's Voyage au centre de la Terre (1864; first trans as Journey to the Centre of the Earth 1867), but whose affinity to Villiers de L'Isle-Adam's L'Ève future (first version 1880 Le Galois as "L'Eve Nouvelle"; 1886; trans Marilyn Gaddis Rose as The Eve of the Future 1981; new trans Robert M Adams as Tomorrow's Eve 1982) is far more telling; whether or not Didier de Chousy was aware of the 1880 magazine version, "L'Eve Nouvelle", is not known. Surviving correspondence from around 1887 shows that the two authors were aware of each other's work. The similarities between the two tales include the use of artificial beings, though Didier de Chousy's are steam-driven non-humanoid Robots, and constitute a remote adumbration of Steampunk sensibility. Ignis also focuses initially on the industrial exploitation of Earth's interior, envisions a Utopian City, and climaxes in a robot revolt against the human masters, who are exploiting their slaves and exhausting the planet's fossil fuels. Satirical points about the "rise" of civilization, and the depredations of venture capitalism, are made throughout. [JC]

Comte Didier de Chousy

born

died

works

  • Ignis (Paris: Berger-Levrault et Cie, 1883) anonymous [binding unknown/]
    • Ignis (Paris: Berger-Levrault et Cie, 1884) as by Le Cte Didier de Chousy [rev of the above: binding unknown/]
      • Ignis: The Central Fire (Encino, California: Black Coat Press, 2009) [trans by Brian Stableford of the above: with some excised matter from the first edition here restored: introduction by Stableford: pb/Dimitri Rastorgoueff]

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