Jules Verne’s Google doodle may induce sea sickness. Photograph: Google
Or, for that matter, that his life would one day be honoured by Google’s latest doodle, which went live on Tuesday to mark the French author’s 183rd birthday.
In honour of Verne’s most famous novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the new doodle takes the form of the portholes of a submarine.
A lever on one side can be manipulated to plunge the submarine deeper into the sea, which appears to be populated by various forms of sea life.
Born in Brittany in 1828, Verne is credited with forecasting a range of scientific developments, from deep sea exploration to space travel and the moon landings.
As well as 20,000 Leagues, which tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, Verne wrote A Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in Eighty Days.
However, perhaps the work most salient in the context of Google’s appropriation of Verne’s memory is Paris in the Twentieth Century, which was originally rejected by Verne’s publisher and only made it into mass print form in 1994.
A dystopian tale, the book centred on 16-year-old Michel Dufrénoy, who graduates in literature and the classics but finds they have been forgotten in a futuristic society that has been taken over by business and technology.
Whether the ironies of the story were appreciated by those at the controls of the increasingly powerful internet giant is unclear.
At the very least, the latest doodle is the continuation of something of a literary theme. Recent doodles have been inspired by Robert Burns, Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde.