· Posted: 21 Mar 2015 01:26 · Edited by: jock123
I can't say that I can see much that's compelling in the article to be honest - many of the similarities are very loose indeed, and even when they overlap, they are more in the nature of resorting to clichés on the parts of both authors.
Add to this the human capacity for drawing patterns and order from random chance, and I'm not going to lose any sleep over the charges of the article.
For example: the suggestion that The Castafiore Emerald is specifically based on L'Étoile du sud (The Vanished Diamond) seems to be largely based on the fact that both deal with vanished jewels; a stock in trade if ever there was one.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins pre-dates the Verne, and is also about a lost stone of considerable value and size - are we to accuse Verne of plagiarism? Probably not, because, it has been said, Verne didn't actually come up with much of the plot of L'Étoile du sud himself anyway: it was quite probably a re-written version of a manuscript by Paschal Grousset, which his publisher gave to Verne to rewrite as his next book.
So do we accuse Grousset of taking Wilkie Collins's idea, or Verne of taking Grousset, or Hergé of plundering Wilkie Collins by way of Verne and Grousset?
It's always going to be possible to find links and paths and ways of seeing similarities in works of fiction (which is partly why it is said that there are only seven basic plots); the author of the article says that finding the lost diamond in the stomach of an ostrich is like Tintin finding the lost jewel in the magpies nest - except that the influence, which is entirely obvious, on that aspect of the plot is in fact the thieving magpie of Rossini. The Verne is much more like the resolution of The Blue Carbuncle by Conan Doyle in which Sherlock Holmes finds a lost jewel in a Christmas turkey, but it is far more likely that both men had heard tales of other valuables being found in the stomachs of animals or fish or whatever, as these stories come up in both fiction and reality.
Similarly, try Googling for stories of large birds carrying off dogs, or children or other animals (an elephant, if one reads the story of the Roc) - these are found in reality, not just fiction and are reported as modern news, not just old wives' tales - not original to Hergé, but by the same token, not original to Verne.
You could also look at something like the Moon books and say that the Apollo space programme was "plagiarised" from Verne - three men in a capsule, which is more or less the same proportions as the command module of the Saturn V, launch from Florida, go to the Moon and return to splash down in the Pacific, experiencing weightless, liquids turning into floating spheres, and the effects of differences in gravitational forces along the way. Just because these parallels exist doesn't actually mean anything - they just hold up the quality of scientific thinking at the time when Verne did his research, or that sometimes coincidences happen.
The comparison also ignores all the things he got wrong (the use of the gun to launch the capsule, the fact that gravity from the Earth and the Moon doesn't act on the astronauts all the way, with weightlessness only happening half way, etc.) which Hergé doesn't incorporate, showing that Hergé too was acting on accumulated scientific research, rather than Verne, for his voyage.
Ice on the moon wasn't a theory unique to Verne, it was a serious scientific line of enquiry, and Hergé was acting on the advice of astronomers (including Patrick Moore) when he incorporated such things into the story, because real astronauts would look for water when they eventually reached the Moon (and they found it, although they actually didn't believe their own results for decades...).
So, no, I'm not convinced... ;-)