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Cigars of the Pharaoh: Mysterious powers of the Fakir?

aliamerjee
Member
#1 · Posted: 28 Nov 2005 12:46
After having thoughly examined the subject, I noticed that the Fakir in Cigars of the Pharaoh who is a part of Rastapopoulos's notorious Khi-Ohsk gang of drug runners, has performed improbable deeds like the straightening of the rope for example (not to mention his on-the-spot hypnotism).
Could all this have been true?
Tintin isn't completely fiction, so what could have compelled Hergé to contemplate such an extraordinary charecter?
I know that the fakir is from India, a land where these things are beleived to have taken place, but being a resident of the country, it's quite preposterous that these miracles of magic could really have been performed.
I wonder if any of my fellow Tintinologists agree...
Ali
mondrian
Member
#2 · Posted: 29 Nov 2005 00:10
Firstly, Hergé only began his rigorous background studies for The Blue Lotus - before that he wasn't that thorough.

Secondly, back in the thirties the knowledge of far-away cultures was much more limited than it is today.
Lots of travel books available were full of exaggeration and even lies, just to make a good read.
I suppose that lots of "good" literature of India was available in English, but I guess that wasn´t the case in French.

I'm pretty sure that the readers in the thirties were less critical of such inaccuracies, but in my opinion the character is now outdated.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 1 Dec 2005 14:34 · Edited by: jock123
I'm not sure that a rational view of the "Tintiniverse" really pays off - I mean over the course of the books we have - amongst other things - talking dogs with moral dilemmas and drink problems, someone learning to talk elephant, a levitating monk, mind control, dowsing with a pendulum, a man rolling down a hill as a giant snowball and sustaining no injuries of note, and Incas (improbably ignorant of the cycles of the Sun and Moon) using Voodoo dolls to exert a curse.

So a fakir who can do the rope-trick isn't really that out of the ordinary, is he?
colombani
Member
#4 · Posted: 1 Dec 2005 22:57
The Tintin adventures are full of unrealistic and fantastical occurrences, although blended in nicely with a good deal of realism.
I guess that extraordinary events such as monks levitating were reflections of existing popular folklore, so they were not entirely made up out of the blue by Hergé.
At least he drew the line at sheer "silly" improbability such as being being beheaded and surviving.
Although Rastapopoulos falling off the cliff and surviving with no explanation comes close to that line...
jock123
Moderator
#5 · Posted: 2 Dec 2005 09:38
colombani
At least he drew the line at sheer "silly" improbability such as being being beheaded and surviving.

I don’t think that it is possible to speculate on such things - if Hergé had had reason to do so, I’m sure he’d have had heads off and on at will - it doesn’t seem any more or less far fetched to me than levitation and curses.

It puts me in mind of the conversation between Haddock and Tintin in Red Sea Sharks about coincidences - how “unlikely” the story had been in the film they’d been to, because it relied on coincidence, and then they talk about Alcazar and literaly bump into him moments later. Hergé is acknowledging that a) coincidence seems silly, even though it does happen, and b) silly things happen in fiction too!

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