ENGLISH [Norw. version, next page/down]
Some long-established media houses have been given nicknames indicating ‘family’ relations. In Norway, you may hear people talking about ‘the aunt in Akersgata’ [the ‘Fleet Street’ of Oslo] in reference to the newspaper Aftenposten. In England, the BBC has been referred to as Aunt Beebs or Auntie B.
Jules Verne uses a similar nickname – as a semi-covert reference to the French newspaper «Le Temps» – in his novel Michel Strogoff, the Courier of the Czar (Paris, 1876). In this story, Jules Verne provide ‘comic relief’ from the main plot, in which an English and a French journalist report to their respective countries about the situation in Siberia. The Englishman worked for Daily Telegraph. The Frenchman, for his part, stated the recipient of the reports was his cousin in Paris.
My interpretation is, that probably the author wanted observant readers of the time, familiar with the French press, to be able to detect the link to the newspaper «Le Temps» – when his fictional character (reporter Alcide Jolivet) indicate he was communicating with «sa cousine Madeleine», and specified ‘her’ address at the telegraph station: 10, Faubourg-Montmartre (Paris).
As can be seen above the newspaper’s Masthead on the front page, this was the location of the newspaper’s editorial office in the French capital (until 1884).
«Le Temps», was the very newspaper where Around the World in 80 Days (150th anniversary this year) was first printed. At the same time, this was the first occation the author published through this important newspaper. The printed text of the novel, was located at the bottom of pages 1 and 2 – ready to be cut out by the readers. The serial ran from 6 November to 22 December, 1872. Jules Verne ensured that this final date of publication, coincided with the date in the fictional text when Phileas Fogg returned to London. In the story, he had then been travelling for 79 days, since 2 October, 1872.
79 days – through Siberia and around the world
But, in what way are all these details important to the novel, Michel Strogoff, Courier of the Czar?
What has Fogg’s travel dates to do with Strogoff’s Siberian journey?