Coming after the outstanding L'Écriture vernienne (1978), Machines et imaginaire (1980), Texte, image, spectacle (1983), and Émergences du
fantastique (1987), this sixth volume was taken to press by Christian Chelebourg. Raymond's legacies will be his meticulous but kindly editing and
his own pioneering, penetrating studies on both Jules Verne and genre fiction. This collection is a pleasure to read, with much use of apposite
quotation; but it sometimes neglects the literary context, the manuscripts and correspondence, and the work done in other languages.The central
conclusion is the demolition of any lingering conception that Verne was a science-fiction author or even scientifically inclined. The reductionist, the
positivist, the monolithic, the horological are invariably replaced by the multidimensional, the polyphonic, the fantastic, the subject-at-the-centre, the
geo-graphic, the ex-centric, the dé-boussolé --in sum the compteur by the conteur and the flatly textual by the inexhaustibly poetic. Froidefond shows
that 'sorcery', linked to desire and death, confronts the problem of experiential time better than science; Pourvoyeur illuminating derives Verne's puns
and devil-may-carehumour from his theatrical career; Mauberret analyses the sterility, the word-blindness, the savoir without the connaissance, the
implicit impotence of a Lidenbrock; Picot, the evolution of Verne's views on science in three lesser-known works; Zukowski, the directional fixation
in Hatteras; Chelebourg, the ocular within the visionary; and Dehs,Verne's views on religion, although he fails to solve the central conundrum.
Compère neatly describes 'l'entrevoix', the more or less stylised pastiche; Delabroy -- key word 'dérisoire' -- elegantly studies a Vernian limiting text;
and Raymond, the monomaniacs and caricatures, culminating in the 'ignoran[ce] sublime' of Ardan, hedonistically and scientifically creative in spite
of himself. Given the continuing Vernianoutpour in French, the critical 'Informations bibliographiques' (1987-1990) are a vital, if ageing, catalogue of
substantive publications, including hard-to-find theses. Raymond's modest, alert, and luminouserudition has greatly contributed to our understanding
of the Voyages extraordinaires, and will continue to send out scintillations for decades to come.