The Child of the Cavern, or Strange Doings Underground is one of more than fifty novels in Jules Verne’s Extraordinary Voyages series from the late nineteenth century. In the story, a miner discovers a young woman in a pit and takes her to the earth’s surface for the first time. Despite her wonder at the world above, she returns happily to her subterranean home, astutely declaring that darkness is as beautiful as light. Artist Jenny Perlin named Verne’s book as the point of departure for her exhibition “The Long Sleepers,” but it was clearly more than that: Like a spirit guide, the narrative directed Perlin to imagine what that emergence from the shadows might look like and how it would be mediated. Verne’s novel was published little more than a decade before the advent of cinema, and the reverberations of his story in those early days of “the Kingdom of Shadows,” as Maksim Gorky
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