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The octopus was brandishing the victim like a feather.

May 9, 2010

Four woodcut etchings with original captions from illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville, published in the 1871 première edition of Jules Verne’s Vingt mille lieues sous les mers.

He attacked it with blows from harpoons. (Il l’attaqua à coups de harpon.)

It was a squid of colossal dimensions. (C’était un calmar de dimensions colossales.)

One of his long arms glided through the opening. (Un de ses longs bras se glissa par l’ouverture.)

The octopus was brandishing the victim like a feather. (Le poulpe brandissait la victime comme une plume.)

Gawd, that last is stunning. My French is not sophisticated enough to know if poulpe exclusively means octopus or can apply to squid, as well. Not that it makes a bit of difference to teh awesome.

Also this: non-poulpe but so terrifically captioned that I’ve made it the new subtitle of this blog.

I approached this phenomenal mollusk. (Je m’approchai de ce mollusque phénoménal.)

Go visit The Illustrated Jules Verne where you too can become ensnared by the entire collection of extraordinary etchings which accompanied every single one of Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires. All four-thousand plus of ’em. Let me know if I need to come free you with a hatchet.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. obo permalink
    May 9, 2010 11:25 pm

    I remember squid from French classes as calmar. Poulpe is derived from polypous so it could go both ways. Pieuvre is more specific for octopus.

  2. ECat permalink
    May 14, 2010 2:15 am

    I’ve seen those beautiful etchings before. It was right after he said “Care to come up and see my etchings?” so fetchingly.

    So, I’ve been reading your stuff and I think I could get educated here without a subscription or trip to the library!

    • May 14, 2010 8:15 am

      But if I sell one more subscription I can earn the Partridge Family skateboard! & if you never go to the library you miss out on the hot librarians. There’s more than one way to educate an ECat.

      I’m glad you’ve come up to see my etchings.

  3. May 14, 2010 6:24 pm

    such Big words, Sir…
    so glad to be back in class.

    • May 14, 2010 11:17 pm

      You know what they say about big words…big thesauruses. Whatever those are.

      I may have to keep you after to, uh, pound my erasers.

  4. Stella permalink
    May 14, 2010 8:14 pm

    J’aime bien le poulpe. Whatever it means. Love teh new spot, too.

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