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Old 09-18-2020, 11:15 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
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.

I'd completely forgotten the "four minutes slow" scene.

I just Googled "time zones" and discovered that they hadn't even been proposed till 1878, let alone standardized and universally adopted. The article says:

Quote:
Before the advent of railways in the 1800s, all time was local. Noon was simply when the sun was directly overhead wherever you were, in what is called solar time. Each town's citizens would set their clocks and pocket watches according to the official town clock or timekeeper. When they traveled to another town, they would simply change their watch when they arrived.
Which matches Fix's mention of setting the watch at noon.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:02 PM   #62
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Thanks for that, Catlady. It must have made keeping appointments pretty interesting.

And it adds a new dimension to the potential confusion in traversing the globe in that era.
The other option for adjusting watches while they were on the move might have been using the map and converting back and forth from GMT. If you know where you were when you set it last, you can go back to GMT, then add on what you need for where you are now. I had it in mind that this might be what Fogg was doing.

Judging from the snippet of journal we see when they reached Suez (at 11am), Fogg was using local time in his journal, so it seems he had to be adjusting his watch or asking someone (other than Passepartout).


Side Note: There is also a way to tell time with stars. There's something similar down here in the south, too, but I've never bothered to learn it.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:16 PM   #63
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So, a question for the group:

What was your favourite setback or mode of transport in this book?


My favourite setback was the train stopping in India because the tracks hadn't been actually completed yet! I have zero idea if such a thing would have been true at the time of this book, but as someone who worked on a railroad for a bit, and has always followed them, I found it completely possible and plausible! The elephant as a solution? Perhaps less so. Though the gift of the elephant at the end of the journey was consistent with what we grew to understand as Fogg's character.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:07 PM   #64
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I don't know that I had a favorite setback. But my least favorite setback was the Henrietta running out of fuel and Fogg buying her to burn up the interior. It was just too much.

Come to think of it, maybe Fix arresting Fogg after they landed was my favorite, just because Fogg deserved it after that nonsense with the Henrietta.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:40 PM   #65
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Yeah, that was my least favourite, for sure. And so totally NOT believable/plausible.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:43 PM   #66
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No, not believable at all! It was a groaner. I’d say the sledding overland was quite a stretch too.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:26 PM   #67
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I second the elephant.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:18 PM   #68
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Speaking of the elephant, I highlighted this:
Quote:
"Let's go and see the elephant," replied Mr. Fogg.
I did wonder whether it was a deliberate reference to the Americanism of seeing the elephant ... probably not, but it's what it made me think of.


But my favourite was probably the burning of the Henrietta for exactly the reasons given for hating it. It was such a wonderful image, it struck me as a perfect way to round off the journey. It put me in mind of Pirates of the Caribbean, with Captain Jack climbing up the mast as the boat sinks under him, and then finally stepping onto the dock and never getting wet.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:33 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Speaking of the elephant, I highlighted this: I did wonder whether it was a deliberate reference to the Americanism of seeing the elephant ... probably not, but it's what it made me think of.
That’s different. I have never heard of this before! Interesting history.
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM   #70
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I had, and have no problem with the burning of the ship. The entire adventure of the US episode remains my favourite part.
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