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The Broken Ear: Under- or over-rated?

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Muller
Member
#1 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 20:39
I have read many posts here, and what I've noticed is that some adventures are either loved or hated, The Broken Ear is one of those adventures. In my opinion The Broken Ear is one of the weakest stories of the whole, not that I hate it, just not a favourite. People argue alot if it's underrated or overrated. I have to say The Broken Ear is doesn't do it for me and seems to go from one place to another, with alot of lose ends and unexplained events. Tell me what you think?
yamilah
Member
#2 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 20:57
Muller
The Broken Ear is doesn't do it for me and seems to go from one place to another, with alot of lose ends and unexplained events.

Could you precise what lose ends and unexplained events you are refering to, please?

Thanks in advance.
Muller
Member
#3 · Posted: 13 Jul 2005 01:46 · Edited by: Moderator
The lose ends are many. For instance, how did the diamond get into the fetish in the first place? Why did Balthazar create a second fake fetish? Why does Tortilla make the mistake of taking the fake Fetish and leave behind the original in Balthazar's apartment when he knows the original had a broken ear?
He had the note that said "Broken Ear" And it bothers me that Alcazar doesn't find out that Tintin wasn't a spy. And the time tintin spends with Alcazar, the adventure takes a new turn, and we kind of forget all about the Fetish-business. And what happened to the bird? :)

I know there has been a topic before, about these unanswered questions from the book, but this thread is more a general discussion about the book: I want to know your opinion. :)

And btw, I think drunk Tintin was hilarious :) if not a little out of character, but very amuzing.

Moderator Note: Combined 3 consecutive posts.
yamilah
Member
#4 · Posted: 17 Jul 2005 03:06 · Edited by: Moderator
Muller
how did the diamond get into the fetish in the first place? Why did Balthazar create a second fake fetish? Why does Tortilla make the mistake of taking the fake Fetish and leave behind the original in Balthazar's apartment when he knows the original had a broken ear? He had the note that said "Broken Ear"

I think these questions have already been answered last year on the The Broken Ear: explanation of plot thread...

it bothers me that Alcazar doesn't find out that Tintin wasn't a spy.
What bothers me about Alcazar are his most threatening last words towards Tintin (p.38, A2), and the fact there isn't the slightest discussion about that when they meet again in The Seven Crystall Balls... About the parrot, you'd better ask Bianca...

The loose ends are many.
I agree with you but, imho, the Tintinologist should once and for all take seriously what has been sometimes said about the corpus, namely 'Tintin is a totally unique world'*...


What are the facts in The Broken Ear-colour edition?

The fetish's robbery at the museum is noticed by the attendant at 7.14 A.M (p.2, A4)...
Then, soon after 7.30 A.M (p.1, C1), the same attendant notices the fetish's robbery (p.1, C5)...
If there are two different times for the robbery, then 'obviously' ...there are two fetishes.

The fetish's duplication matches with its two different engravings in Walker's book:
- no colour, with a signature (p.2, C4)...
- yellow colour, with another signature (p.3, C4)...

Thus Tortilla is not as dumb as it seems, for he is able:
- to duplicate the fetish by removing it at two different times (p.1, C5 & p.2, A4)...
- to make the fake fetish's intact ear look like broken to everybody but Tintin (p.3, A2 + B1)...
- to make the broken ear look like intact to everybody but criminals, namely himself and the two villains, who all know the fetish that conceals the diamond does have a broken ear, as all of them know Lopez' note about it (p.55, A4 + B3)...

Thus Tortilla is an expert in fake duplications*, just like Walter* is a specialist in impossible speeds*, and these men's activities both pertain to spatiotemporal faults*...

The fetish sold to Goldwood by Balthazar's brother after a prolonged unseen passage in a trunk is finally broken and brought back to the museum by Tintin (p.62) after the loss of the diamond it concealed...
This last fetish is still different from the ones seen in Walker's book, for its leften arm isn't drooping anymore, but has become horizontal, as if it were using kind of an unseen transmission system...

The Indian fetish's duplication and changes fit with the spatiotemporal faults* usually noticed when Indians* appear in the corpus, and all this might be linked to stars*.


Scenes that were removed from The Broken Ear-B&W edition

Tintin makes a dream where, across a room that widens (plate 4, compare B5 + C2), an Indian blows an arrow at him with his blow-gun just before vanishing together with an alarm-clock, as soon as Tintin puts the light on (plate 5, A1)...
This image matches with the 'bat & star symbol' at the Music Hall (Seven Crystall Balls*), as well as with Prof. Paul Cantonneau's interests (stars & Indians*, scattered in the corpus as they are on the Earth's surface)...

Such avatars could respectively stand for the space & the time required to write and read an unseen transmission system*, hence stand for such a transmission system itself...

Other obscure passages removed:
Walkerss (sic) takes the fetish to Europe and relates his expedition in a book issued in 1853 (sic, plate 3, last frame), but the fetish appears in the museum 8 days only before it's robbed by Tortilla (plate 3, B2 + C1)...
Thus the fetich remains unseen for over 80 years (1853-1935), and appears again during Tortilla's unseen passage only, as if this Indian* fetish had been using an unseen transmission system* to communicate overseas with Tortilla, because the latter leaves South America long before** the fetish's arrival at the museum...

Then the B&W Broken Ear goes on just like its colour version: Tortilla lost Lopez' note, which is found by Ramon Bada & Alonzo Perez, their tracking him back to S.America and killing him for a fake fetish, etc.

But how could the Arumbaya Indians* transmit an unseen message* about stars*?



* please search for related threads...
** the sea trip from South America to Europe lasts 15 days, see last plate of the album...
Muller
Member
#5 · Posted: 17 Jul 2005 15:10
What bothers me about Alcazar are his most threatening last words towards Tintin (p.38, A2), and the fact there isn't the slightest discussion about that when they meet again in The Seven Crystall Balls
I agree. We are left to think Alcazar hates Tintin's guts, but In Seven Crystla Balls they are good friends, like nothing ever happened.

Also, when Ramon and Alonzo kill Tortilla on the ship, there is no proof it was them, still they are arrested just because Tintin "knows" it was them.

I know comic books don't always have to be 100% realistic, but after Cigars and Blue Lotus, The Broken Ear seems less of a masterpiece.
snafu
Member
#6 · Posted: 18 Jul 2005 14:29
We all love all the Tintin books, but "The Broken Ear" is not my favorite for the abovementioned reasons. The ending, however, is also a not-great-but-better-than-the-alternatives (there is a thread, I hope to bring in the link to that soon), too (No one getting the jewel, and the fetish in shambles), as opposed to a happy and full resolution...A reader reluctantly accepts the ending... There isn't that sense of closure one gets in the other books.

But hey, it's Tintin, so it's gotta be good :)
Muller
Member
#7 · Posted: 20 Jul 2005 14:36
I agree. In the end, the jewel is lost, the fetish is broken, the bad guys are dead.
I remember when I was young and read the book for the first time, I thought the ending was horrible, and the whole adventure was really for nothing.
Tintinrulz
Member
#8 · Posted: 21 Jul 2005 00:31
I really enjoy The Broken Ear quite a bit. Its got great adventure and some mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie's work.
When I first read it at 8 years old I loved the ending, how it left the story open and how the jewel was lost and no one really won. But Tintin did sort of, since the gangsters died.
I think its a great Tintin comic! Not a masterpiece but some good fun to be had.
(I also enjoy the illustrations in The Blue Lotus and The Broken Ear era ones compared to those earlier or later down the track).
Gerry Alanguilan
Member
#9 · Posted: 23 Jul 2005 06:33
I remember not liking Broken Ear the first time I read it when I was young. That's probably because the art didn't look as accomplished as Cigars or Black Island (albums from roughly the same time period but which had art that has been updated), or most of the rest of the albums.

I like it better today, but I like the rest a little bit more.
Muller
Member
#10 · Posted: 3 Aug 2005 01:28
(I also enjoy the illustrations in The Blue Lotus and The Broken Ear era ones compared to those earlier or later down the track).

I wonder why those two were never rewritten like the rest, not that any of the albums had to be rewritten.

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