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Germaine Kieckens: Any biographical information?

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Balthazar
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 12 Jun 2008 14:12
Jeeves
Also apparently one of the reasons that the marriage didn't work out was that Herge thought Germaine was a bit of a nag.

I've not seen that in any of the biographies I've read. I've read that she was a bit over-mothering perhaps, somehow holding him back from moving on from his over-respectable bourgeois early life, that sort of thing. Or that they'd just drifted apart somewhat. But I've not heard anyone suggesting before that she was a nag, or displayed the sort of hen-pecking behaviour we see from Peggy Alcazar.

As Jock said, they remained friends after their break up and eventual divorce, with Hergé making weekly visits to see her. (Not week-long visits, though, as stated in Mikael Uhlin's old post above; I think that's a slight mistranslation from his source.)

You could argue that maintaining this weekly contact when they didn't have children is a bit unusual. Maybe Hergé didn't want to fully let go, or let her fully move on; or maybe he was just trying to be kind and do the right thing. But whatever his reasons it hardly seems like the sort of thing you'd expect from a man who'd escaped from a marriage with someone like Peggy Alcazar! Hergé seems to have been a man who ran away from stress and trouble in his life, or at least tried to avoid it. Would he have masochistically put himself through weekly visits with anyone who was the least like Peggy?

Isn't the simple "official" explanation convincing enough - that he thought it would be funny for the macho General Alcazar to be henpecked by a completely unsuitable wife, and that the obnoxious Klu Klux Klan woman he saw on a TV documentary fitted the role perfectly?

I don't think you're nuts either, though. In general, I think it's interesting to examine the way Hergé's personal life manifests itself in the books, and to speculate on the way his conscious or subconscious thinking came out his character creations, especially his few female characters. But like most people on this post, I think you've probably made a false (and unfair!) connection between Germaine and Peggy.
Jeeves
Member
#12 · Posted: 12 Jun 2008 23:10
I'm not saying that Germaine behaved like Peggy I'm saying that Herge might have thought she did or seen similaritys ok maybe they don't look similar to anyone else but neither do Germaine and Castafiore and I think Emerald is obviously makeing fun of her Herge is trying to say "look how annoying Castafiore is well Germaines that way too" even if he thought she was annoying it's obvious he felt guilty even if he also thought he was justifyed. The guilt is probably the reason he saw Germaine. I also happen to think that Herge is a bit vindictive about the character and it was the year before he finally manage to push the divorce through that had been in the works for several years. I'm just saying that he might have been useing the character to say something about his ex wife.
jock123
Moderator
#13 · Posted: 13 Jun 2008 00:25
Jeeves wrote:
I'm just saying that he might have been useing the character to say something about his ex wife

And I think that that is quite well understood, don’t worry!
But you did throw it into the mix with a call for people to tell you what they thought of your idea, so surely it isn’t necessary to be quite so defensive about it? Now it seems that you didn’t actually want anybody to put forward an alternative viewpoint.
It so happens that neither Balthazar or I have agreed with your premise - but that’s just our opinion, it doesn’t mean you are not entitled to your own position.
However, you have jumped from making an association that Peggy looked like Germaine, so that she would therefore be a lampoon of his ex-wife, to one where although Peggy might not look like Germaine, she still is a lampoon of his ex-wife, and that this pre-supposes a herefore unknown animosity and hatred of her.
If you take the supposed resemblance out of the equation, what reason is there to assume that Peggy has anything to do with Hergé’s wife?
I would agree that he may have written a bit of Germaine into Castafiore (I’m sure the comparison has been made before), but he also put in his opera singing auntie too, but it’s just ribbing really, not malicious. Castafiore is a pain in many ways (she’s so self-centred), but she’s brave, loyal and helpful when pressed into action, and has a big heart.
He turned his brother Paul into Sponz, which is known to have irritated him no end, as did his earlier transformation into Tintin - but they didn’t hate each other, or even dislike one another - Paul was a source of military and equestrian info for his big brother.
Hergé turned his father and uncle into the Thom(p)sons - idiot clown detectives, but he did it because he was fond of them, to tease them, not to demean them.
It’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure you can make it stand up, that’s all I’m saying.
Jeeves
Member
#14 · Posted: 13 Jun 2008 17:50
I'm sorry that I seem so defensive, I don't mean to come across that way
jock123
Moderator
#15 · Posted: 13 Jun 2008 20:18
Jeeves wrote:
I'm sorry that I seem so defensive, I don't mean to come across that way

Ah well then - no harm done!
comixfanboy
Member
#16 · Posted: 5 May 2009 03:48
Folks,
Does anyone know if Germaine is still alive. Was just curious...
Thanks!
jock123
Moderator
#17 · Posted: 5 May 2009 08:06
comixfanboy:
Does anyone know if Germaine is still alive.

She died some years ago.
quiestce
Member
#18 · Posted: 11 May 2009 12:15
Yes, she died in October 1995.

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