Magellania¨Dwhich refers to the region around the Strait of Magellan¨Dis the home of Kaw-djer, a mysterious man of Western origin. But when a thousand immigrants become stranded on his island in a storm and ask him to be the leader of their colony, will Kaw-djer go against everything he believes in to help them live and prosper in this foreign land at the end of the world?
Jules Verne penned Magellania in 1897, following the death of his brother and at a time when his health was beginning to fail. Originally titled Land of Fire and At the End of the World, Magellania was a work intended to reflect Verne¡¯s deeply held religious and political beliefs; it was also the representation of a man faced with his own mortality. After Verne¡¯s death in 1905, Magellania was completely rewritten by his son, Michel, at the request of his father¡¯s publisher, Hetzel. It was published in 1909 under the title Les naufrag¨¦s du Jonathan, only to disappear into obscurity.
In 1977 the great Vernian scholar Piero Gondolo della Riva discovered the original manuscript in the Hetzel family archives. In 1985, the Jules Verne Society in France published a limited edition of the work. This first English translation ever shows Magellania to be a unique, forceful novel that widens the scope of Verne¡¯s literary legacy and distinguishes itself in Verne¡¯s somber, philosophical questioning of society, religion, nature and man as he neared the end of his life.
This report prepared by Chuck Kim