· Posted: 26 Feb 2007 10:28 · Edited by: jock123
Here the press and the booksellers unanimously mentioned the official assertion (p.27) that relativizes the alleged pressure put on Herge by Methuen to have The Black Island redrawn. In other words, Herge had plans to draw his new 'Ile Noire' well before taking advice from the British, who consequently did not really "initiated the transformation of the rather quaint and naive 'L'Ile Noir'* (sic) of 1937"!
Reading the catalogue from the Pompidou’s Hergé exhibition at the weekend, I saw there is a quotation directly from Hergé in the seventies which says he did revise Black Island at the suggestion of Methuen - the plot thickens…
I think the problem here is that it will be very difficult to pin down when someone had an idea. I agree that the work may have started earlier in the history that previously thought, and even several years before detailed ammendments were listed by Methuen; however, that doesn’t pin-point the origin of the notion.
Could it be that as early as the initial meetings to discuss the books coming to English through Methuen, the British publisher said to Hergé that Black Island would not be a candidate for immediate publication (which given its content might have been thought a possibility) because of its inaccuracy?
Update: Here is the passge I talked of -
Il s'est passé ceci pour l'Île Noir, que cet album n'avait jamais été traduit en anglais, et mon éditeur anglais, avant de le publier, l'a lu - ce sont des choses qui arrivent - et il m'a dit: "Écoutez, il n'est pas possible de le laisser comme ça. D'abord, cela été dessiné a une autre époque, et puis, il y a des tas d'erreurs au point de vue de la réalité de la chose anglaise."
Bon, la-dessus j'ai envoyé un des mes collaborateurs en Angleterre: il a fait des croquis, pris des photos, recu des documents. Mon éditeur avait dressé une liste complète et exact de toutes les erreurs que contenait cet album. Si donc nous l'avons redessiné, c'est pour l'édition anglaise.
Hergé a Patrice Hamel et Benoît Peeters aux Studios Hergé, le 29 avril 1977
It occurred like this for The Black Island, that this album had never been translated into English, and my British editor, before publishing it, read it - these things happen - and said to me: "Listen, it isn't possible to leave it like that. To begin with, it's drawn in another era, and then there are heaps of errors from the point of view of the reality of things British."
Well, to get over this, I sent one of my colaborators to Britain: sketches were made, photographs taken, documents received. My editor had drawn up a complete and exact list of all the errors which this album contained. Thus if we redrew it, it was for the English edition.
Hergé to Patrice Hamel and Benoît Peeters at the Studios Hergé, April 29, 1977)
In Hergé, Editions Moulinsart/ Centre Pompidou, 2007, p.385