“Renewed in health”: Meeting Giordano Bruno on planet Mars

  • Alessandra Calanchi Università degli Studi di Urbino
Keywords: Utopia, Science-fiction, Planet Mars, American literature


Journeys to the Planet Mars (1903) and Decimon Huydas: A Romance of Mars (1906) by American writer Sara Weiss (1834?-1904) can be placed between the great utopias of the late 19th century and the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Written in the same years when astronomer Percival Lowell published his volumes dedicated to planet Mars, these romances reflect an era which was torn between spiritism and rationality, a patriarchal world and female emancipation. The journey to the Red Planet is carried out through psychic energy, and the place of arrival reveals surprising affinities with the Earth. Next to religion, sciences play a fundamental role. All the spirits encountered on Mars used to be either scientists or philosophers, and among them Giordano Bruno stands out as a great thinker and the defender of liberty of thought and speech. By implicitly expressing her concerns about the betrayal of the American Dream in the end-of-Frontier age, Weiss seems to remind today’s readers of their own responsibilities as regards civil rights and migratory policies in the age of Mars frontier.


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How to Cite
Calanchi, A. (2024). “Renewed in health”: Meeting Giordano Bruno on planet Mars. Between, 14(27), 93-109. https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/5444