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Old 09-17-2020, 04:34 AM   #46
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I said about racism "If you look hard enough you will find it whether it exists or not." and that goes for many other things as well.

Re Haggard a quote from Wikipedia

"His novels portray many of the stereotypes associated with colonialism, yet they are unusual for the degree of sympathy with which the native populations are portrayed. Africans often play heroic roles in the novels, although the protagonists are typically European (though not invariably). Notable examples are the heroic Zulu warrior Umslopogaas and Ignosi, the rightful king of Kukuanaland, in King Solomon's Mines."

If you read about his life I think you will find he was quite enlightened for his time, which is supported by how he writes about non Europeans (see wikipedia quote above).

I think he has been unfairly criticised because he is famous, closely associated with the British Empire, and dead. This makes him an easy target as he cannot argue his case with said critics.

Have you tried reading any of his non African books like "Eric Brighteyes" (vikings)?
Many people, including academics, still regard Heart of Darkness as thoroughly racist.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:25 AM   #47
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Many people, including academics, still regard Heart of Darkness as thoroughly racist.
Perhaps it is but that book was by Joseph Conrad so what does that have to do with what I was saying about Haggard?

And as I said previoulsy and will repeat " I did not say many books do not contain racist elements"
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:34 AM   #48
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Many people, including academics, still regard Heart of Darkness as thoroughly racist.
I would not appeal to academics having an opinion on specific books as unbiased and authoritative. They can be wrong, often have an agenda which they want you to buy into whether that is to "build a reputation", "do a colleague/enemy down, personal or political.

The only real judge can be oneself. So have YOU read it? I have not. It is not my kind of book.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:35 AM   #49
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I would not appeal to academics having an opinion on specific books as unbiased and authoritative. They can be wrong, often have an agenda which they want you to buy into whether that is to "build a reputation", "do a colleague/enemy down, personal or political.

The only real judge can be oneself. So have YOU read it? I have not. It is not my kind of book.
I read it last year. But it was too cruel for me to enjoy properly. It packs quite a punch.
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:37 AM   #50
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[...] As I have said elsewhere only if you get such information from a source you know you and can trust. Even then it can skew your perception due to confirmation bias.
It seems to me that you are forgetting where you are, that perhaps you are trying to continue an argument from another thread. Here we are discussing Around the World in Eighty Days and it is presumed the participants have already read it. So "confirmation bias" and or "skewed" perceptions are not really applicable. We've read the book, and now we're exploring our reactions. So this...

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[...] I said about racism "If you look hard enough you will find it whether it exists or not." and that goes for many other things as well. [...]
seems ungenerous. I might counter with, "If you fail to look at all then you will imagine prejudice does not exist whether it exists or not." But neither is a particularly useful generalisation.

Perhaps some people do take the search for offensive material too far, but at the other extreme are those who refuse to hear anything bad about a beloved work. However, most of us live somewhere in the vast middle ground, and it's not helpful to accuse us of offences we have not committed.

It would be more generous to suppose that someone might notice some prejudice, if it exists, just from casual reading, and that, should they look more closely, what they find might indeed be real and not imagined. And, if a person chooses, they might listen to others and learn new perspectives that on their own they would not have found. Certainly that is one of the reasons I am here. So I am not a fan of statements like the one quoted above, that seem intent on deriding input before it has even been offered.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:48 AM   #51
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Re the date: it's not about newspapers or Fogg being generally oblivious to anything but his own pursuit; it's about the schedules. The train times--are trains leaving at the same time every day, weekdays and weekends, as they travel the U.S.? Worse, the ships that crossed the Atlantic--how in the world do they arrive a day early, yet find their ship has sailed? It's absurd.
I agree that the steamer from New York is the weakest link. Everything else (train schedules and so forth) I'm pretty happy to accept for the reasons already given, but the book is explicit about Fogg believing he can catch a steamer leaving New York on the 11th, which at the original estimate of 9 days puts Fogg in Liverpool on the 20th. And, indeed, we get confirmation that the boat did arrive on the 20th. (Andrew Stuart, on the 21st, says "the China the only steamer he could have taken from New York to get here in time arrived yesterday".) In that we seem to have confirmation that Fogg should have accepted he was in New York on the 11th, and left on the 12th, and for those dates to be accurate.

But, conversely, while a few ships at this time could make it from New York to Queenstown in just under 8 days, it seems very unlikely for the Henrietta to make it in that time given her reported top speed and the circumstances. So Fogg making Queenstown by the 19th, which is necessary for the last of the story to play out, becomes unlikely unless he really had left New York on the 11th. (The China may have seen the same weather problems as the Henrietta, and taken 10 days rather than 9, thus fitting a departure on the 10th.) And in this we seem to have confirmation that everything adds up as explained in the book, and it all seems quite deliberate.

The problem with the previous paragraph is finding justification in the text: why would Fogg think a steamer left New York on the 11th?

The closest I can come up with is from chapter 24, the first time we get a date for New York: "Phileas Fogg was therefore justified in hoping that he would reach San Francisco by the 2nd of December, New York by the 11th, and London on the 20th..." This reads to me as if he chose the 11th not because he was certain of a boat on that date, but because it was 9 days before the 20th (the time he knew he needed to traverse the Atlantic). I think that he was just assuming he could get a boat, even if he had to bribe or buy his way through; it was a tactic that had got him this far.

That would have been okay, and consistent with his behaviour to date, but at some point we get a departure time of 9pm as well, which suggests something more explicit than wishful thinking. I can come up with imagined explanations for this (maybe it's just the time the transatlantic steamers generally leave New York, or we'd had an example of a boat leaving ahead of schedule, or the schedule might have changed in the time Fogg had been travelling), but I cannot remember nor find any hint in the text. Maybe I missed it, maybe the translation missed it, maybe the editor removed it, or maybe the author forgot to provide a suitable explanation.

Whatever. It was certainly much easier just to take the events as presented than to backtrack through and try and verify the details, so the flaw (if flaw it is) doesn't seem too devastating to me. (But it was a puzzle, and I'm a sucker for puzzles which is how I came to spend far more time on this than I should have.)
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:18 AM   #52
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Have you tried reading any of his non African books like "Eric Brighteyes" (vikings)?
I have not and I never will. All it takes it one overly racist book for me to drop the author and Haggard is an out and out racist.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:31 AM   #53
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I also just didn't enjoy the story. Man of seemingly unlimited resources races around the world for a bet - more at 11. Perhaps I've just lost my patience with these kinds of narratives.
Would you prefer the real-life race around the world for a publicity stunt in 1889? Both Nellie Bly's Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Elizabeth Bisland's In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World can be found at A Celebration of Woman Writers.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:40 AM   #54
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Would you prefer the real-life race around the world for a publicity stunt in 1889? Both Nellie Bly's Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Elizabeth Bisland's In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World can be found at A Celebration of Woman Writers.
I've actually read Nellie Bly's account. And while I am still not super excited to read it again, I did enjoy it more than this.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:27 AM   #55
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I agree that the steamer from New York is the weakest link. Everything else (train schedules and so forth) I'm pretty happy to accept for the reasons already given, but the book is explicit about Fogg believing he can catch a steamer leaving New York on the 11th, which at the original estimate of 9 days puts Fogg in Liverpool on the 20th. And, indeed, we get confirmation that the boat did arrive on the 20th. (Andrew Stuart, on the 21st, says "the China the only steamer he could have taken from New York to get here in time arrived yesterday".) In that we seem to have confirmation that Fogg should have accepted he was in New York on the 11th, and left on the 12th, and for those dates to be accurate.

But, conversely, while a few ships at this time could make it from New York to Queenstown in just under 8 days, it seems very unlikely for the Henrietta to make it in that time given her reported top speed and the circumstances. So Fogg making Queenstown by the 19th, which is necessary for the last of the story to play out, becomes unlikely unless he really had left New York on the 11th. (The China may have seen the same weather problems as the Henrietta, and taken 10 days rather than 9, thus fitting a departure on the 10th.) And in this we seem to have confirmation that everything adds up as explained in the book, and it all seems quite deliberate.

The problem with the previous paragraph is finding justification in the text: why would Fogg think a steamer left New York on the 11th?

The closest I can come up with is from chapter 24, the first time we get a date for New York: "Phileas Fogg was therefore justified in hoping that he would reach San Francisco by the 2nd of December, New York by the 11th, and London on the 20th..." This reads to me as if he chose the 11th not because he was certain of a boat on that date, but because it was 9 days before the 20th (the time he knew he needed to traverse the Atlantic). I think that he was just assuming he could get a boat, even if he had to bribe or buy his way through; it was a tactic that had got him this far.

That would have been okay, and consistent with his behaviour to date, but at some point we get a departure time of 9pm as well, which suggests something more explicit than wishful thinking. I can come up with imagined explanations for this (maybe it's just the time the transatlantic steamers generally leave New York, or we'd had an example of a boat leaving ahead of schedule, or the schedule might have changed in the time Fogg had been travelling), but I cannot remember nor find any hint in the text. Maybe I missed it, maybe the translation missed it, maybe the editor removed it, or maybe the author forgot to provide a suitable explanation.

Whatever. It was certainly much easier just to take the events as presented than to backtrack through and try and verify the details, so the flaw (if flaw it is) doesn't seem too devastating to me. (But it was a puzzle, and I'm a sucker for puzzles which is how I came to spend far more time on this than I should have.)
You are making my head hurt. My theory is simply that Verne decided to sacrifice reality for the sake of plot, trusting that readers would either ignore or fail to be bothered by the problem of the schedules. I think he wanted to manipulate the readers; he wanted everyone to groan, Oh no! at the apparent failure after the epic struggle, just so he could then turn around and make everyone happy again with Fogg's success. Which is fine; I was sufficiently entertained and did not wish I could throw the book across the room for pulling a rabbit out of a hat at the end.

Related to time: We keep hearing about Passepartout's watch, but is there ever any mention of Fogg having a timepiece and setting it to local time? I can't remember.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:34 AM   #56
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Also George Francis Train traveled around the world in 80 days in 1870.

From Wikipedia:
Quote:
In 1870 Train made the first of three widely publicized trips around the globe. He believed that a report of his first journey in a French periodical inspired Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days and the protagonist Phileas Fogg may partially be modeled on him.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:41 AM   #57
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Would you prefer the real-life race around the world for a publicity stunt in 1889? Both Nellie Bly's Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Elizabeth Bisland's In Seven Stages: A Flying Trip Around the World can be found at A Celebration of Woman Writers.
There is also Micheal Palin's Around the World in 80 Days.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod...rld-in-80-days

Still available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:42 AM   #58
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I also read that Verne’s inspiration may have been an article in Le Tour du Monde about the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which gave the following itinerary to circumnavigate the globe.

Paris to Port Said, railway and steamer............6 days
Port Said to Bombay, steamer ......................14 days
Bombay to Calcutta, railway .......................3 days
Calcutta to Hong Kong, steamer ....................12 days
Hong Kong to Edo, steamer .........................6 days
Edo to Sandwich Islands, steamer ..................14 days
Sandwich Islands to San Francisco, steamer.........7 days
San Francisco to New York, railway.................7 days
New York to Paris, steamer.........................11 days
Total ............................................ 80 days
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #59
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You are making my head hurt. My theory is simply that Verne decided to sacrifice reality for the sake of plot, trusting that readers would either ignore or fail to be bothered by the problem of the schedules. I think he wanted to manipulate the readers; he wanted everyone to groan, Oh no! at the apparent failure after the epic struggle, just so he could then turn around and make everyone happy again with Fogg's success. Which is fine; I was sufficiently entertained and did not wish I could throw the book across the room for pulling a rabbit out of a hat at the end.

Related to time: We keep hearing about Passepartout's watch, but is there ever any mention of Fogg having a timepiece and setting it to local time? I can't remember.
Certainly he wanted to manipulate his readers, which we see in the wrong dates being given to us as the end approaches. But it was quite deliberate, which is why I thought there should be hinted explanations along the way. And mostly such hints are there, perhaps the biggest being that Passepartout does most of the leg work. Only with that transatlantic steamer is it so clear what Fogg did for himself, and so only in that do I find difficulty in justifying (using the text) Fogg's ignorance of the date.

In the early part of the book we are given to think Fogg has some strong sense of the time (telling Passepartout his watch is four minutes slow etc.), but I don't recall being told that Fogg checked his watch. Early on, Fix talking to Passepartout says, "You have kept London time, which is two hours behind that of Suez. You ought to regulate your watch at noon in each country.", and I wonder if the reader is supposed to assume that this is what Fogg is doing.

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I also read that Verne’s inspiration may have been an article in Le Tour du Monde about the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which gave the following itinerary to circumnavigate the globe.
[...]
That's interesting, and it would certainly fit it in well with the opening of the story.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:23 AM   #60
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It seems to me that you are forgetting where you are, that perhaps you are trying to continue an argument from another thread. Here we are discussing Around the World in Eighty Days and it is presumed the participants have already read it. So "confirmation bias" and or "skewed" perceptions are not really applicable. We've read the book, and now we're exploring our reactions. So this...



seems ungenerous. I might counter with, "If you fail to look at all then you will imagine prejudice does not exist whether it exists or not." But neither is a particularly useful generalisation.

Perhaps some people do take the search for offensive material too far, but at the other extreme are those who refuse to hear anything bad about a beloved work. However, most of us live somewhere in the vast middle ground, and it's not helpful to accuse us of offences we have not committed.

It would be more generous to suppose that someone might notice some prejudice, if it exists, just from casual reading, and that, should they look more closely, what they find might indeed be real and not imagined. And, if a person chooses, they might listen to others and learn new perspectives that on their own they would not have found. Certainly that is one of the reasons I am here. So I am not a fan of statements like the one quoted above, that seem intent on deriding input before it has even been offered.
Again a fair point but I was not accusing everyone int he thread of "If you fail to look at all then you will imagine prejudice does not exist whether it exists or not." and confirmation bias. If I really was accusing everyone of that I would be worse than ungenerous. If it came out that way I apologise.

I was thinking of certain critics, academics and others.

And yes you are right "If you fail to look at all then you will imagine prejudice does not exist whether it exists or not." but it must be accepted that books written in the past will contain thoughts and ideas that we almost certainly will find wrong and offensive today, be it racism, sexism, classism, etc.

Saying "this book was written in 1870 and may contain ideas and offensive attitudes only needs saying once when it is presented to the book club. It does not need postings that "This book is "XXXist". Get on and talk about the text, plot and characters.

I only came on this thread by accident and started reading it because I like and enjoyed Jules Verne as a boy.

Last edited by Thasaidon; 09-18-2020 at 01:27 AM.
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