(1830-1917) French librarian, historian and author whose Les Ruines de Paris en 4875: Documents officiels et inédits (1875; trans Brian Stableford as "The Ruins of Paris in 4875" in Investigations of the Future [anth 2012 pod]) describes an expedition in 4875 from New Caledonia to the ruins of Paris (see Ruins and Futurity), which has been destroyed by a great undescribed Disaster, and whose inhabitants seem to have suffered at least cultural Devolution. The anthropologists (see Anthropology) featured in the tale supervise the rebuilding of Paris so that it will resemble the original city, but find most of the existing ruins incomprehensible, giving room for Franklin to make some Satirical points.
Later tales to employ this rhetorical device include J A Mitchell's The Last American (1889 chap; exp 1902), Robert Nathan's The Weans (1960 chap) and David MacAulay's Motel of the Mysteries (graph 1979). [JC]
Alfred Louis Auguste Franklin
born Versailles, France: 16 December 1830
died Viroflay, Île-de-France, France: 10 July 1917
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