· Posted: 15 Jan 2005 01:05 · Edited by: jock123
Does Hergé actually mention the issue in the Sadoul book? What did he have to say?
I take on board what you have to say, but I am not sure that it is actually, in the scheme of things, important: to us as a group of fans maybe, but we are relatively few in number, our desire to read a book is insignificant in the world, and nothing compared to the hurt that something which may appear to propagate a negative stereotype mjght cause to a far greater number of people.
I grew up collecting Robertson’s golliwogs - my gran collected the little tokens from jam pots, I bundled them up, sent them off, and back came a china figurine, usually with a musical instrument; I almost managed to collect a jazz band of them. I still have a couple of them at home today, which survived the rough-and-tumble of my brothers and sisters. I also have a much loved cloth golliwog, which is dressed as a minstrel, and which shared many adventures with me, my scabby plush mouse (called “Mouse” - long since vanished), and my knitted clown; years later I had at one point to go and buy him back from a Church sale of work, when my mum gave him away in a box of toys - slightly unusual for a man in his late twenties, i’ll grant you. I even have a second golly, which someone gave me in the mistaken belief that my first (rescued) golly was lost to the jumble sale, and was perhaps a strange present for a man by then in his middle thirties...
However, much as I personally loved my golly, I am not either surprised or sad that the golly has gone from the jam lable, the toy shop, the Noddy books, the conciousness; it had its day, and then it slipped away, and now you can go to toy shops and buy reasonable dolls of all ethnicities; those who want to can still see them in toy museums, and read about them, but that‘s enough, really. I’m not certain that “Congo” hasn’t had its day, and should just be let fade away... I can’t easily admire that artwork, or see it as a great achievement, when there is so much else that is wrong with it, which could have been put right.