Sand, George

Tagged: Author

Pseudonym of French author Amantine Lucille Aurore Dupin (1804-1876), a figure of cultural importance in France from the 1830s until her death; she published widely, an oeuvre which included about forty novels alone. Of sf interest is Laura: Voyage dans le cristal (1864; trans Pauline Pearson-Stamps as Journey Within the Crystal 1992; new trans Sue Dyson as Laura: Journey into the Crystal 2004). This is both an anticipation of Virtual Reality, in which narrator Alexis finds his cousin Laura imbued with magical romance and glamour (very different from her mundane self) in a kind of Pocket Universe literally within a crystal geode; and also a Hollow Earth tale in which Alexis and Laura's father travel to the North Pole and discover that the interior of the world is crystalline, like an enormous geode but penetrable at the poles. The possibility remains that the luridly melodramatic polar expedition is also a dreamed experience "within the crystal". This tale was directly influenced by Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864); one of the balloons used by the Compagnie des Aérostiers – an amateur brigade founded by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820-1910) (more famous under his pseudonym Nadar) to break the siege of Paris in 1870 – was named the George-Sand. [JC/DRL]

Amantine Lucille Aurore Dupin

born Paris: 1 July 1804

died Nohant, Indre, France: 8 June 1876

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