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Tintin in the Congo: A review thread

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#31 · Posted: 18 Jul 2015 16:41
A front page disclaimer should be sufficent, like the one in The Blue Lotus.

There is a front page disclaimer in The Blue Lotus? I have never seen it! What does it say? Is it only in the black & white edition?
#32 · Posted: 11 Jan 2016 12:37 · Edited by: Moderator
I think it was a bit of an insult to Africans but it is way before my time.
Long ago my grandpa could get at least ten workers to help on his farm, which was at the same time as shown in Tintin in the Congo.
#33 · Posted: 24 Feb 2016 13:20 · Edited by: Moderator
There is a front page disclaimer in The Blue Lotus? I have never seen it! What does it say? Is it only in the black & white edition?

It's in the modern colour versions and is more of an historical note, trying to give some sort of context to the time in which the story was set.

Passage removed.

Moderator Note: While we appreciate the intention was good, it's best not to include entire passages from published works, just to keep everything squeaky clean with copyright; in this case indicating where the notice can be found is enough for our purposes.
The Tintinologist Team
#34 · Posted: 12 Mar 2016 09:02
Ok, I'll chip in my 2 cents again on this...

I think Tintin in the Congo is quite a mixed bag, but not in the overly-terrible sense it's so often made out to be. It's obvious it was written in a time when the social consideration of colonialism was quite different, there's no arguing that, and it contains a lot of content that's just not 'normal' Tintin fare, like wholesale animal slaughter. But again, it's a bit of a product of the time.

As I said in the other review thread on Tintin in the Congo(http://www.tintinologist.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&fo rum=7&topic=5463&page=3), I think the merit - and I do believe there's real merit in the book - lies in what poignancy it lends to Hergé's pre-Blue Lotus body of work. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets showed a pretty callous lack of any real facts or research underlying the story; Congo shows a vapid buying-in to the regular social conceits about Africa, colonialism, casual racism, etc...; Tintin in America shows marked disorganization of plot and story structure, as well as a bevy of innaccurate beliefs about America.

Then Hergé meets Chang Chong Chen, and The Blue Lotus happens... Sure, there's still some stereotypical elements, but on the whole it's a radical change from his earlier work. The Chinese people are presented in a more visceral way, with a real culture, real hopes, and real problems, not as the baby-eating yellow devils from the East that was the popular conception of the day... Hergé bucked the trend.

Each of the pre-Lotus works illustrates something that changed in Hergé, be it in his character and how he viewed the world (the difference in racial representation from Congo to Lotus for example), or his work process (the difference between the plot structure of America and Lotus).

I just feel that Tintin in the Congo makes those changes more poignant and visual. All the more sweeter. There's only so much I can personally understand about Hergé, living in the times that I do, without the chance of ever meeting him. But being able to clearly see such a personal change illustrated (pun intended) from his early work through The Blue Lotus and into his later work is pretty cool, and I don't think it would be as cogent an insight without Tintin in the Congo.


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