Today is a Phanniversary of sorts … perhaps the ultimate Phanniversary.
On 22 September, 1909, the Parisian daily newspaper, Le Gaulois, ran the advertisement pictured above, announcing the serialization of Gaston Leroux’s novel, Le Fantôme de l’Opéra.
Leroux’s novel premiered on 23 September, 1909, and ran for 15 weeks. It was segmented into 68 sections, each section covering roughly half a chapter’s worth of content.
To celebrate 105 years of The Phantom of the Opera in print, over the next 15 weeks I will be posting all 68 sections of the Gaulois publication of Phantom to my blog. These posts will correspond with the original dates of publication.
Here is a link to Le Gaulois for 22 September, 1909. The advert for Phantom is in the middle of the page.
And in case you are wondering what the text of the advertisement above says, here is the translation (and yes, the Gaulois has correctly predicted the emergence of phangirls ;P):
Weary of purely psychological novels, the public awoke one day with a great desire to hear stories. Straightaway, these stories were served up — tales of bandits and policemen — assuredly quite amusing, but which soon grew tedious in their turn, yet without appeasing the public’s thirst for mystery and magic.
This is why the Gaulois has requested from one of the public’s most rightly beloved authors, M. Gaston Leroux, a novel which, while departing from the genre dear to the Conan Doyles of the Old and New World, is still replete with the delectable inquietude that will give a thrill to the beguiled reader. More than once, this irresistible anguish will conjure in the minds of some of our female readers the dreadful, terrifying, ghostly, and sorrowfully human image, despite all of the illusion that surrounds it, of The Phantom of the Opera.
We need not introduce our readers to M. Gaston Leroux, whom it is generally agreed is in possession of the most astonishing suppleness of imagination of which one can conceive, but we would indeed like to say that The Phantom of the Opera is worthy of achieving even greater success in the Gaulois than that which was attained in the Illustration by The Mystery of the Yellow Room and The Perfume of the Lady in Black, by the same author.
Tomorrow, this Thursday, in the “Gaulois,” read:
The Phantom of the Opera by M. Gaston Leroux