Un grain de blé! Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." - come here to discuss all fiction that isn't fantasy or sci-fi.
User avatar
TomCotton
Vampire Slayer
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:52 pm
Location: USA

Un grain de blé! Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Postby TomCotton » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:00 pm

Many years ago I was watching a WWII documentary about B-17 bombers. The narrator had what appeared to be an English accent. At one point he was talking about the armament on the bombers and said the B-17 had as many as 12 50mm guns. I thought I had misheard him but a few minutes later he again said the bombers had as many as 12 50mm guns.

The B-17 had .50 caliber guns which are 12.7mm, not 50mm. It annoyed me to no end that a documentary film could have such a glaring mistake in it.

A few days later I was watching another documentary about the history of agriculture in Europe. The English sounding narrator mentioned that the Iron Age farmers migrated to Great Britain and took their corn with them. I was annoyed again because corn is a New World crop and did not exist in Europe during the Iron Age. Not wanting to believe that someone could make such a glaring mistake I did some checking and realised that the corn in question was barley or barleycorn and "corn" is what is used in Europe to designate that grain.

Reading The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne I came across the section where one grain of corn was discovered and the conversation turned to how in a few years, by planting that one grain of corn, they could have acres of corn to make food with.

Since the original was written by a Frenchman I wondered if the corn mentioned was corn as in what we call it in the USA or if it was barley. Knowing that my corn is called maize in other places I wondered what word the original French text used and if it was indeed corn (maize) or barley. Looking through an edition in French I found the following:
"Un grain de blé!"

That lead me to believe that he was using my corn (maize) in the story since the stranded occupants of the island escaped by balloon from a Confederate POW camp in Virginia. However "blé" seems to be "wheat" so it seems the translator made a substitution.

That makes me wonder what Verne was thinking of when he wrote the story.

What has any of this got to do with the price of tea in China? Nuttin', jus me sittin' and wonderin'. :mrgreen:
§Doug§ AC000000 Eamus Catuli!!!!
Audere est Facere
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away." Philip K. Dick

User avatar
Shuggy
Wyvern
Posts: 361
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:49 am
Location: Navigating Defecation Creek Without Any Oars Whatsoever.

Re: Un grain de blé! Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

Postby Shuggy » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:42 pm

TomCotton wrote:Many years ago I was watching a WWII documentary about B-17 bombers. The narrator had what appeared to be an English accent. At one point he was talking about the armament on the bombers and said the B-17 had as many as 12 50mm guns. I thought I had misheard him but a few minutes later he again said the bombers had as many as 12 50mm guns.

The B-17 had .50 caliber guns which are 12.7mm, not 50mm. It annoyed me to no end that a documentary film could have such a glaring mistake in it.

A few days later I was watching another documentary about the history of agriculture in Europe. The English sounding narrator mentioned that the Iron Age farmers migrated to Great Britain and took their corn with them. I was annoyed again because corn is a New World crop and did not exist in Europe during the Iron Age. Not wanting to believe that someone could make such a glaring mistake I did some checking and realised that the corn in question was barley or barleycorn and "corn" is what is used in Europe to designate that grain.

Reading The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne I came across the section where one grain of corn was discovered and the conversation turned to how in a few years, by planting that one grain of corn, they could have acres of corn to make food with.

Since the original was written by a Frenchman I wondered if the corn mentioned was corn as in what we call it in the USA or if it was barley. Knowing that my corn is called maize in other places I wondered what word the original French text used and if it was indeed corn (maize) or barley. Looking through an edition in French I found the following:
"Un grain de blé!"

That lead me to believe that he was using my corn (maize) in the story since the stranded occupants of the island escaped by balloon from a Confederate POW camp in Virginia. However "blé" seems to be "wheat" so it seems the translator made a substitution.

That makes me wonder what Verne was thinking of when he wrote the story.

What has any of this got to do with the price of tea in China? Nuttin', jus me sittin' and wonderin'. :mrgreen:


As a result of your research you now know a frightening amount about the intricacies of corn. In fact - you know an unhealthy amount about corn.

I'm officially disturbed by this post!
"Your Mother Cooks Socks in Hell!"

Image


Return to “General Fiction”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest