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Castafiore Emerald: Tintin reading “Treasure Island”?

rodney
Member
#1 · Posted: 6 Oct 2012 05:34 · Edited by: Moderator
On page 43 of The Castafiore Emerald, in the bottom left panel Hergé draws Tintin reading a book of some sort.
The title is in French, by looking at it does even look like a Tintin book! Wishful thinking!
As far as I can read it says L'ile ... Tre.. whatever this means!
Could it possibly be Treasure Island? Was Hergé inspired somewhat by this work?
mct16
Member
#2 · Posted: 6 Oct 2012 17:37 · Edited by: mct16
Good guess. "L'Île au trésor" is the French title for "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

It's not impossible that "Treasure Island" may have been at the back of Herge's head when he worked on "Unicorn" and "Red Rackham's Treasure" but there are sources that suggest that his actual book reading was limited.

He may have read it or else he knew of it. Books like that and their plots are famous even if you have not actually read them.
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 8 Oct 2012 17:57 · Edited by: jock123
mct16:
He may have read it or else he knew of it.

It was serialized in Le Petit Vingtième from the 5th of November, 1931, with several illustrations by Hergé, including a rather marvelous picture of Long John Silver on the cover of the supplement for the first episode, and other scenes in the “wood-cut” style that he used quite a lot in the early years, especially for book/ story illustrations.
Doesn’t mean he actually read it, of course, as someone else may just have outlined for him what he was to draw, but at least we can say for certain he did know of it, as you suggest.
A couple of the covers are reproduced in my copy of Numa Sadoul’s Tintin et Moi: Entretiens avec Hergé (mine is the fourth edition, but don’t know if they are in every version).
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 28 Oct 2012 20:02
I was just reading a French edition I have of Les Bijoux de la Castafiore and the book Tintin is reading is titled "Schat- eiland"; which is Treasure Island in Dutch.

I realise this is probably an anomaly (maybe somebody could check?), but I really like the idea that Tintin would be able to read a Dutch edition, as a bilingual Belgian.
cigee
Member
#5 · Posted: 11 Nov 2012 15:15
Harrock n roll:
I realise this is probably an anomaly (maybe somebody could check?), but I really like the idea that Tintin would be able to read a Dutch edition, as a bilingual Belgian.

In my copy, the title is in French.
mct16
Member
#6 · Posted: 16 Nov 2012 22:14 · Edited by: mct16
Like I said above, the story of "Treasure Island" is famous even to those who have never read it - and I admit that I was one of them.

Rodney's bringing up the subject made me decide that it was time I did and imagine my shock when I reached chapter 28 in which one of the pirates says to Long John Silver:

"this crew don't vally bullying a marlin-spike"

I'd never wondered before where the translators got the name of Haddock's castle. I always assumed that it was made up.

I now know that a marlinspike is a tool used for work with ropes, such as the huge ropes that are used on ships. I wonder if the translators picked it because of its connections to sea ships and the fact that Haddock and his ancestor are sailors, or did they actually come across it in Stevenson's novel, like I did.
Balthazar
Moderator
#7 · Posted: 16 Nov 2012 23:45 · Edited by: Balthazar
mct16:
I wonder if the translators picked it because of its connections to sea ships and the fact that Haddock and his ancestor are sailors ...

I've always assumed so, yes, and because it has the same starting letter and same syllable pattern as Moulinsart, thus keeping something of the feel and rhythm of the original name whilst making it more British and more nautical-sounding.

mct16:
... or did they actually come across it in Stevenson's novel, like I did.

Well maybe, though I think it's a reasonably well-known word anyway. But that said, it would be highly likely that someone of Michael Turner's generation would have read Treasure Island as a boy (not that it's a particularly easy read for a child), so that may have been where he first encountered the term.
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#8 · Posted: 17 Nov 2012 19:35 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
mct16:
It's not impossible that "Treasure Island" may have been at the back of Herge's head when he worked on "Unicorn" and "Red Rackham's Treasure" but there are sources that suggest that his actual book reading was limited. He may have read it or else he knew of it.

I don't think there's any doubt that he knew it. Haddock says on page 25 "Red Rackham is dead! With a yo ho ho, and bottle of rum!" which is pretty much a direct quote (the yo ho ho bit) from the song "Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest", which was written by Stevenson for Treasure Island.

What's more, the whole theme of the book, the pirates, treasure maps, etc. Treasure Island is the iconic pirate story, and its influence is massive. It was definitely an influence, without a doubt.

cigee:
In my copy, the title is in French

[In reference to which language Tintin reads Treasure Island in Castafiore Emerald]

Thanks cigee! Probably just a mis-pressing in mine then. But I like it!

Edit Note to mct16: I'm dreadfully sorry, I seem to have inadvertently deleted your post that came prior to this one, which was in reply to Balthazar. A slip of the finger I'm afraid, my apologies! If you wouldn't mind making it again it would get me out of trouble.
mct16
Member
#9 · Posted: 17 Nov 2012 19:51
Note: this is an attempt to rewrite the post that Harrock n roll somehow deleted:

Balthazar:
it would be highly likely that someone of Michael Turner's generation would have read Treasure Island as a boy (not that it's a particularly easy read for a child)

It's no easy matter for an adult in his forties either. Stevenson's technical descriptions of the ship and its layout are not easy to follow, and neither is the jargon used by the rough crewmen such as the quote in my previous post.

Next time I'll buy a copy with references that will explain these terms.

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