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Underground Travels by humon Underground Travels by humon

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"Niels Klim's Underground Travels" is a 1741 book by the Norwegian-Danish author Ludvig Holberg.

Holberg thought religion should be questioned, Europeans were big headed, nobility was ridicules, and women should have equal rights, and he put all those opinions in this satirical fantasy/science fiction story.

It's about Niels Klim who after studying in Denmark for many years, returns to Norway but falls though a deep hole in a cave. It turns out there's a whole solar system inside the Earth with it's own sun and planets. He lands on one of them where he meets many different species.

First he meets a tree-like people who live in an utopian society.
Being a European (white), Christian, well-educated man, Niels thinks he's hot shit and should get an important job with the king, but he quickly learns that non of those things mean anything to them. They have no idea what a European is so they just see him as a form of monkey, they believe in a higher power but also that this power can never be known so no religion is better than the other, his education is useless in their eyes because he spent a lot of time studying many things but never became the master of even one of them, and men and women have equal rights because they strongly believe that the most qualified should get a job and not be held back by their birth (He first learns this when he meets a very respected female judge). On top of that, they tell him he wouldn't be a good leader, maybe even a bad one.
Instead they "normalize" him by teaching him their language and dressing him up like them. Because he has long legs and can walk faster than them he's sent out into the country to write about the various less utopian provinces. His book becomes very popular, but when he still doesn't get a promotion he notice one of the highest positions in the country is taken by a woman so he suggest to the king that women should be stripped of all power. The king is not impressed with this suggestion. In fact Niels is exiled from the country and sent to a nearby land ruled by monkeys.

This monkey land is ruled by foolish, vain, jealous, and spiteful creatures. They too dress him like them (even giving him a fake tail) and he manages to reach nobility and a great deal of power by introducing them to wigs like those in Europe. Unfortunately the queen falls in love with him, and when he denies her because he doesn't want to sleep with a monkey she tells her husband he tried to rape her. As punishment he is made a slave on a ship.

During his sea travels he visits various strange countries, eventually ending up in a land run by animals. A pig woman lusts after him and his master tells him to sleep with her, but when he refuse she attacks the ship and everybody has to flee. In the panic they end up in a storm and the ship sinks.

He is saved by a people that looks like dark-skinned humans and he helps them achieve greatness through war. They make him their emperor but like the tree people predicted he doesn't make a good leader. He is blinded by power and becomes a tyrant killing people for looking at him wrong, and is eventually chased out of the country. While hiding he falls through another hole, through the planet and is flung back up through the original hole, back to Norway. Here he is told he has been gone for 12 years.

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JoBeeOne Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2016  Professional Artist
Cool - great story - I wonder what Ludvig Holberg would think of today's world?
miasaki666 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2015
HOLY MOLY i just realized that this is what that one episode of Dave the Barbarian is based off of
irina1492 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2015
For whatever reason, this reminds me a little bit of Gulliver's Travels as well as Candide by Voltaire (Well, Gulliver's Travels is obvious, but.)
TotallyAwesomeGamer Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2017
As a fan of Satirical Nonsense Fantasy like Gulliver's Travels and Alice In Wonderland, I agree, I can definitely see the parallels.
artechn Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Student General Artist
Some ones always got something against Christians -.-
Akihiko-Miraimeji Featured By Owner Edited Jul 28, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
And they have right to.
Christians aren't exactly known for being the most peaceful thing ever, you know.
Kinggigasmon Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Humans never learn... :no:
carcadann Featured By Owner May 17, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing! :> I found an English language version on Project Gutenberg.
LunaPeachieWasHere Featured By Owner May 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I must find this book. It sounds like a good read!
kirara87 Featured By Owner May 16, 2015
Cool book. Mightt read it some if t here's a translation.
halgreen Featured By Owner May 10, 2015
Was Ludvig Holberg a humanist? because his values remind me of Voltaire
Ze-Saol Featured By Owner May 5, 2015  Student Writer
soooooooo, Lewis Carrol?
KaminoNeko Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015
More Jonathan Swift.
Cyberheinrich Featured By Owner May 5, 2015
Really good art! (Well, that goes without saying, for you.) Now we know who should make the comic-book version of this novel.

I haven't read "Niels Klim's Underground Travels" myself (I mainly just know about it because it was mentioned in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher"). Perhaps I should...
CynderAngelDWOship14 Featured By Owner May 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Those randomness XD.
TK-Productionz Featured By Owner May 3, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the thought of questing religion, I've always been more of a spiritual person myself. I'll have to check out that book. :)
arcadian123 Featured By Owner May 1, 2015
this seems like a very interesting story! btw cute drawings there!
alexyorim Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, even through summary this is an interesting story, before Gulliver, Alice and Verne's JttCotE!
LeeOnami Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
wow sounds like a good book!  Do they have an english translation by chance?
Chuchkit Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2015
yeah, i found it on Gutenberg -
sezmilthe2nd Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
I just looked on amazon and you can get it for free on Kindle.
Betsybugaboo Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015
Actually, after I saw this, I went and got a copy from Project Gutenberg, and now I really love this.
mormonbookworm Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Sounds a bit like Dante's Inferno Trilogy to me.
humon have you ever read those?
Oiyuki Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
I need to read this
Mikotsuki Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I really want to read this.
maximusx3 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I need to read this. It sounds so much less make-me-punch-things than Gulliver's Travels. 
Dilutra Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
oh like this style in your small illustrations
TheReptilianGeneral Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
*looks at the pig* :iconnotsureifplz: Not sure if anthropomorphic pig or just a stereotype of a US american. :3 
Peachkid4 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015
This story sounds amazing! is it available in English, by any chance?  It is definitely something I'd love to read!  And your illustrations are just awesome!
TheHappy3 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I believe it's available in most languages, but I'm not sure. It's a very well-known story in Scandinavia at least.
Glassrainbows93 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015
Country-Girl22 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so adorable!!! :iconadorableplz: You're drawings are really unforgettable, they're so cute!!!
CrystalCritic Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am so going to buy this book. There will be no questions asked, I'm finding this book no matter what it takes.
MoonyMina Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
really cool drawings!!!

and I've downloaded the Gutenberg version for my Tolino... it looks awesome!
Talionas Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015 This is free to read from The Gutenberg Project. Personally, I think I shall be buying the book as this sounds awesome enough to own.
MoonyMina Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the link!
Blue-Starr Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Student General Artist
I want to read this crazy story now :XD:
qilorar Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
That sounds like a very intresting story, like  Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver's Travels mix. :happybounce: Heart 
44NTW44 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Student Writer
So basically he doesn't learn squat. At least that's what is sounds like (hoping to be proven wrong). I want to read this now. 
Mystic-Cheetah Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015
That sounds like one trippy book.
girl-n-herhorse Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool. Wonder if there's an English translation of these somewhere . . .
Ranasp Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Holy crap, I read those books when I was little and could never find them again!  THANKS SO MUCH!
TheCluelessEinstein Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Snigepippi Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi all.

Niels Klim is free in an English version here at Gutenberg Project: Niels Klim
MinnaSD Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! I was wondering if I could get it for free somewhere already!
Snigepippi Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome.
roxmarie Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
that sounds like a great book, gonna check it out for sure.
Twinkel13 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2015  Student General Artist
a thing I want to know, is it ever said in the book if he learned anything from this experience?
Twinkel13 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2015  Student General Artist
I need to read this book
are there swedish or english editions of this?
Snigepippi Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is so old that it is public space.

You can find it in English at the Gutenberg Project:

It is probably in Swedish too but I wouldn't know where to look.
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Submitted on
April 21, 2015
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