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Gsell, Paul

Entry updated 21 November 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1870-1947) French critic and author, much of whose critical output concerned the life and work of Anatole France. He is of sf interest for L'Homme qui lit dans les âmes (1928; trans Brian Stableford with added material as The Man Who Could Read Minds, coll 2019), a tale featuring Telepathy achieved through mechanical means (eyeglasses capable of rendering brain waves in graphic form). Their inventor (see Inventions) Jean Pilgrim initially encounters moments revelatory of human foibles (see Satire), but his conspectus soon broadens, and he becomes aware of the ineluctably hypocritical nature of culture at large; World War One is viewed with a cold eye. Eventually, a distant Island Utopia is founded by those aroused to action after he promulgates his findings about Homo sapiens in Europe. [JC]

Paul Valentin Gsell

born Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine, Île-de-France, France: 24 January 1870

died Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, Yvelines, Île-de-France, France: 19 April 1947

works (highly selected)


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