Fiction Friday: Around the World in Eighty Days
PBS has been showing an eight-part “adaptation” of Jules Verne’s acclaimed novel Around the World in Eighty Days. I put the word adaptation in quotations because two significant changes were made to the original. The characters of Fix and Passepartout are completely different and seemed to be a nod to political correctness rather than adhering to Verne’s intentions, with Fix being a female journalist and Passepartout being black.
For those of you unfamiliar with this 1872 French novel, Phileas Fogg, a rich Englishman who lives a solitary life in London. He periodically frequents a gentleman’s club called the Reform Club where he seems to be ridiculed for his habitual modest lifestyle and fastidious manner, so fastidious he fires his valet for bringing him shaving water at a lower temperature than desired. He hires Frenchman Jean Passepartout as replacement.
One day, Fogg and several of his friends see an article in The Daily Telegraph that states a new railroad
After the book’s publication as a novel, several people attempted to follow Fogg’s circumnavigation. Here are a few of them:
- 1889: Nellie Bly did the journey in 72 days and met Verne in Amiens at its completion;
- 1903: James Willis Sayre’s journey lasted 54 days
- 1908: Harry Bensley attempted the journey on foot, but it took so long, he had to abandon the trip in 1914 at the commencement of WWI.
- 1928: A Danish Boy Scout traveled by train and ship, but did not go via India, and his journey lasted 44 days.
Since 1979, Verne is the second-most translated author, ranking between William Shakespeare and Agatha Christie. Have you read this classic?
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