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Cigars of the Pharaoh: When did Tintin Meet Rastapopoulos?

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little martine
Member
#1 · Posted: 11 Sep 2010 11:22
At page 4, frame 5, after Doctor Sarcophagus bumped into Mr Rastapopoulos, Tintin says it wasn't the first time he met him.
I wonder when he met him?
He probably met him during an interview, since he is a reporter.
ThompsonandThomson
Member
#2 · Posted: 11 Sep 2010 11:42
It's in Tintin in America, when Tintin met Rastapopoulos at the banquet.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 12 Sep 2010 14:03
robbo
Member
#4 · Posted: 12 Sep 2010 19:22 · Edited by: robbo
This thread reminded me that recently I noticed a brief account of Tintin's adversarial encounters with Rastapopoulos in a newspaper cutting on page 60 of Coke en Stock (Red Sea Sharks) that is not in the English translation.

It says roughly:

We recall the past episode of The Cigars of the Pharaoh Affair which pitted the famous reporter against his true evil adversary called (known as?) Rastapopoulos. The two adversaries met again. And, once again Tintin triumphed.
However we will also not have forgotten another affair: that of The Blue Lotus, where once again this enemy confronted Tintin, after it was widely believed he had been banished from the land of the living.


Mat
mct16
Member
#5 · Posted: 15 Sep 2010 22:51
It might be noted that in the original French, Tintin remarks that Rastapopoulos "n'est pas le premier venu", which in English would be something like "not any old passer-by".

There are times when I wish translators would maintain the spirit of the original text rather than come up with their own original wordings. They even have Snowy muttering that he's sooner be in Marlinspike (which they are not due to live in for several books yet) thus further ruining the chronology.
jock123
Moderator
#6 · Posted: 15 Sep 2010 23:31 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
There are times when I wish translators would maintain the spirit of the original text rather than come up with their own original wordings.

Let's keep to the subject in hand, and not start another sequence of translation-bashing, please. That's been had out at length in other threads already.

mct16:
They even have Snowy muttering that he's sooner be in Marlinspike (which they are not due to live in for several books yet) thus further ruining the chronology.

This too is a different subject, much discussed elsewhere, and not relevant to when Rastapopoulos and Tintin first met. Let's move along here, nothing to see!
mct16
Member
#7 · Posted: 16 Sep 2010 23:45
I'm just pointing out that the translators have some answering to do. After all, some analysts (such as Harry Thompson in "Tintin: Hergé and his Creation") claim that Tintin's remark is due to the fact that he had met Rastapopoulos in "The Red Sea Sharks" and "Flight 714" which were both published in Britain BEFORE "Cigars of the Pharaoh" - thus upsetting the chronology.

The irony of course is that there is an excuse (Rastapopoulos in "America") to justify such a comment, even if it was lost on the analysts - and the translators too I'm thinking.
jock123
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 17 Sep 2010 08:40 · Edited by: jock123
If you like to see the chronology as ruined by "the translators" (by which I take it you mean Methuen), so be it, but it started with Hergé and Casterman, who were quite happy to introduce anachronisms into the books if it promoted sales. They were also equally happy to publish the early translations (not by Methuen or MT&LL-C) out of sequence in 1952, and had that worked they too would have been no doubt "ruining" the chronology.
As it happens, you might as well say that the changes made by MT&LL-C preserve the chronology, albeit that it is a different chronology to the original.

You're also rather having your cake and eating it, because if you do stick to the original chronology, it would seem that the figure in America isn't Rastapopoulos, as neither of them mentions ever having met before... If it does refer to America, that would be the translators changing things, wouldn't it, because Hergé never said it was Rastapopoulos, did he?
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#9 · Posted: 17 Sep 2010 10:32
mct16:
The irony of course is that there is an excuse (Rastapopoulos in "America") to justify such a comment, even if it was lost on the analysts - and the translators too I'm thinking.

I'm not sure I agree with you that the comment was 'lost' on the translators. After all, all they had to do was translate the comment literally, and it made some sense given that all of the books Rastapopoulos appears in (apart from Cigars and Lotus) had already been published in the UK. Oliveira da Figueira makes his first appearance in this book too, but the translators didn't add any indication that they'd met before.

Another thing that might justify the comment is that Hergé himself had already messed with the chronology; the French colour edition of Cigars had been redrawn and released in 1955, after the moon adventures. Hence, Patrash Pasha shows Tintin a copy of Destination Moon. Allan too, who had made his first appearance in Crab in 1940, was 'brought back' to this earlier adventure.

I must say mct16, it does seem that you are, as jock puts it, 'translation-bashing'. You mention about maintaining "the spirit of the original text". You've hit the nail on the head there because, for me at least, the spirit is often more important than making something literal, and the English translators did that extremely well.
Balthazar
Moderator
#10 · Posted: 17 Sep 2010 23:49 · Edited by: Balthazar
To weigh in late on this discussion, I'd say that whilst I agree with you, Jock and Harrock, that the English translations are generally excellent, I do think mct is right to raise the issue of the translation as a central, relevant factor in answering little martine's original question.

Little martine asked: "Tintin says It wasn't the first time he met him. I wonder when he met him?"
and surely a valid answer to that question is that to Hergé, and to French-speaking readers, Tintin doesn't say that at all, and this meeting on board the Isis is meant to be their first proper meeting (even though a proto-type Rastapopoulos is sitting near to Tintin in the earlier book Tintin in America prior to Hergé really inventing him as a character).

The English translators, as is agreed by all, definitely meant their added line to give the impression that Tintin was referring to meeting Rastapopoulos in The Red Sea Sharks and Flight 174, thus placing these books chronologically earlier. (They couldn't have meant it to be read as a reference to Tintin in America even if they'd wanted to, since that book wasn't translated by them until some time after Cigars.)

As Harrock points out, the general lack of respect for chronology perhaps shouldn't worry us too much since it clearly didn't worry Hergé himself when placing Destination Moon in the coloured redraw of this 1930s adventure. But this particular fudge by the translators regarding the order of the Rastapopoulos books does play havoc with the logic of the actual main story of Cigars. What I mean is that when my siblings and I were trying to work out which order the books went in, and concluded (as we were supposed to) from the line "And it's not the first time we've met" that Cigars probably came after Red Sea Sharks (with Snowy's Marlinspike line adding, as intended, to our confusion), we then couldn't make out why Tintin trusts Rastapopoulos during Cigars when he knows he's a baddie from Red Sea Sharks.

I honestly don't think it was worth the translators confusing readers like us just for the sake of maintaining the pretence that they were bringing out the English translations in chronological order. Maintaining the impression of chronological order may well have been a good plan whilst establishing the first few books in the UK market, but by the time Cigars came out, many British children would surely have been simply choosing their next Tintin book from the many to choose from on the bookshop shelves based on which one they liked the look of, rather than which one came next in UK publication order. (That's how we were buying them, anyway.)

All this is a very small criticism of the brilliant English translations, but I do think (as I've said elsewhere) that it'd be a good idea, now that the entire series of books is available, for the current UK publishers to work with Leslie Londsdale -Cooper (the surviving translator) to remove these earlier chronological fudges put in by the Engish translators and make the current editions make more sense when read in proper order.

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