Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution — more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to.
— Lisa Cron, Wired for Story
Contrary to what most people believed, the revolution didn’t begin with a roar, a storming of the castle.
An ember in the heart, a tremor of the mind, breaking through walls of indifference and confinement… all from a whisper.
“Let me tell you a story…” And the Tower began to collapse.
Jules Verne : Visionary Pioneer
In the annals of literature, few names shine as brightly as that of Jules Verne, the visionary French author whose imagination catapulted us into the realms of adventure and exploration. His prolific literary career spanning the 19th century not only entertained audiences across different cultures, but also presaged the technological advancements and scientific discoveries of the future.
Born in Nantes, France, on February 8, 1828, he exhibited an early fascination with the natural world and the possibilities of human ingenuity. His insatiable curiosity and boundless imagination laid the foundation for his groundbreaking works of fiction, which would later earn him the title of Father of Science Fiction.
Verne's literary oeuvre is vast and diverse, encompassing such iconic novels as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days. These works have enthralled us with their vivid depictions of exotic locales, daring adventures, and fantastical inventions.
What sets him apart from his contemporaries is his remarkable ability to blend scientific fact with imaginative speculation. Long before submarines and space travel were realities, Verne envisioned them with astonishing accuracy. His meticulous attention to detail and rigorous research lent an air of authenticity to his stories, inspiring us to believe that the impossible could one day become possible.
Beyond his contributions to literature, Verne's legacy extends to popular culture and scientific innovation. His novels have been adapted into countless films, television shows, and stage productions, making their mark in our collective imagination. Moreover, his visionary concepts have ignited the minds of generations of scientists, engineers, and inventors to push the boundaries of human knowledge and exploration.
Despite his enduring popularity, Verne's literary genius was not fully appreciated during his lifetime. He faced criticism from critics who dismissed his works as mere escapism, who failed to recognize his profound insights into the human condition and the wonders of the universe. But his brilliance is undeniable. His ability to imagine worlds beyond the confines of reality speaks to the boundless potential of the human imagination. Through his stories of adventure and discovery, he reminds us of the power of curiosity, the thrill of exploration, and the power of mental freedom.
Jules Verne stands as a towering figure in the pantheon of literary greats. His visionary imagination, coupled with his keen understanding of science and human nature, continues to inspire and enchant readers around the world. As we chart our course into the future, we would do well to heed Verne's timeless wisdom and embrace the spirit of exploration and innovation that defines his legacy.
Alice Walker : Literary Torchbearer
Alice Walker stands as a towering figure in American literature, esteemed for her profound exploration of the interconnectedness of race, gender, and class. Through her insightful prose, Walker illuminates the struggles and triumphs of African American women, offering a voice to the silenced and marginalized.
Born on February 9, 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia, she grew up amidst the racial segregation of the American South. This cultural milieu deeply influenced her perspective and fueled her commitment to social justice. In her seminal novel, The Color Purple, Walker delves into the lives of black women in the early 20th century, exposing the brutalities of racism and sexism while celebrating the resilience and sisterhood that sustain them.
Walker's writing is characterized by its lyrical beauty and unflinching honesty. She fearlessly confronts the taboo subjects of her time, from domestic violence to female sexuality, challenging us to confront uncomfortable truths. Her eloquent prose is imbued with a deep sense of empathy, inviting us to walk in the shoes of her characters and experience the world through their eyes.
Beyond her literary achievements, Walker is a staunch activist and advocate for social change. She has been a vocal defender of civil rights, feminism, and environmental justice, using her platform to amplify the voices of the oppressed and disempowered. Through her activism, she embodies the spirit of resistance and resilience that defines her work.
Her influence ripples far beyond the literary world. Her words have inspired generations of readers to confront injustice and fight for equality. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the first female African American to be honored this way, cementing her place as one of the most important writers of our time.
In a world still plagued by division and inequality, Alice Walker's work serves as a beacon of hope and empowerment. Her legacy is one of courage, compassion, and unwavering dedication to social justice. Her words have the power to heal, to inspire, and to ignite change. As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, our society would benefit from embodying her courage and following her example of empathy and solidarity.
EndlessPens Recommends : Jules Verne and Alice Walker’s Storied Companions
While these luminaries differ in the literary genres they shine in, their advice with regards to the craft share a common thread. Storytelling is not just telling stories — it is a means of enlightenment and a catalyst for real-world change. It was never just about the tale, for beyond the surface lie the potential for transformation and empowerment.
In honor of Jules Verne’s 196th and Alice Walker’s 80th birthdays, EndlessPens would like to present a selection of fountain pens and other creative companions that hold a story and inspire you to weave your own.
Benu Talisman Mandrake Fountain Pen – Talisman Mandrake draws inspiration from certain tales of yore. We set out to convey these stories not only in the color and style of each pen, but by actually infusing Mandrake root powder into each pen’s material. This fountain pen glows beautifully in the dark and semi-dark with a green luminescence after an hour of exposure to light. The body and cap feature a teal and purple high quality resin base accented with a silver clip and violet sparkles all throughout the pen, and is fitted with a #6 Schmidt stainless steel nib.
Colorverse Project Vol. 5 Constellations II Ink Bottle – Take your writing to the stars and celebrate the star-studded zodiac by diving into this constellation of unique inks, each with its own astral characteristics — all in a 65 ml glass bottle. So put pen to paper and reach for the sky in style!
Cypress Kawari-nuri Fountain Pen – The lacquer pen we are going to introduce to you today embodies a meticulous painting technique. The ebonite pen body is repeatedly painted more than 15 times, dipped, wiped, and polished, until the inner essence of light shines through. Monochrome lacquer pens are quite difficult to make, and any small flaws are difficult to hide. It features a solid black ebonite barrel in a flat top shape, fitted with a steel Jowo nib with the Cypress logo.
Endless Stationery Explorer Cactus Leather – The Cactus Leather Explorer offers a convenient way to take notes or jot down ideas. It includes a single Storyboard Large Notebook with 80gsm Regalia Paper, featuring a dotted layout perfect for bullet journaling or other creative writing projects. In addition to the notebook, the Explorer also features a pen loop for storing your favorite writing instrument. The notebook comes in a durable box that can be used as an archival storage solution for your Storyboard Notebooks once filled.
Robert Oster Songbird Ink Bottle – An Endless Exclusive for 2023 and born from the HATCH creative collaboration program of EndlessPens, this ink is inspired by the bluebird which symbolizes hope, love, positivity, and renewal. In the harshest of times, these birds continue to sing with happiness as if knowing that better days are ahead. When it sings, its chest, which is covered in rust-orange feathers, quivers as if to remind you of your beautiful surroundings and to always have hope, according to creative collaborator Kimberly Jackson.
Nahvalur Nautilus Faroe Marine Fountain Pen – A Limited Edition for 2023, this fountain pen offers an exclusive take on traditional dark hues, with vibrant marine colors that are aesthetically bold and beautiful. The ebonite craftsmanship, used for the body and custom-made in Germany is of a luxurious standard, and further accentuated by the blue color-plated trims and nibs. The fountain pen also honors the Nahvalur heritage with its piston-filling mechanism, porthole ink windows, and stainless steel nibs in various sizes.
May these choices serve as inspiration for your imagination to come unbound.
You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built in the human plan. We come with it.
― Margaret Atwood
Happy Birthday Jules Verne and Alice Walker!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!