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Tintin and co - an unseen rebus-like writing

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#11 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 00:12 · Edited by: jock123
Thanks for opening this new thread; it will give the discussion room to breathe.

I had actually looked over the postings on the BD site before you refered to them above, and again I would bring up the point that you offer no concrete example of Hergé having hidden any meaningful message in anything he wrote or drew. For your argument to have any academic rigour, you will need to furnish evidence to support your thesis; as a medical doctor, you presumably have to think of things which follow scientific method, and must know the value of proof.

You appear to say that the messages are proverbs, unless they mean something else - surely that is just too wide ranging? I say again, anything can be made to mean anything if you manipulate it enough, and you appear to allow yourself total freedom in making up your interpretation; hardly a convincing point of departure. It puts it in the same bracket as the so-called “Bible Code”, which has been so ehaustively de-bunked, or backwards messages in records... And are you seriously talking about telepathy??

You use the term “steganography” as something to do with images; surely it is merely the process of hiding one message inside another, not limited to pictures?

You make off-hand statements about places where they might be, e.g. P1 of Soviets, but offer nothing other than vague assertions that there is rebus, that you know what it is, but you can’t say what.

Why do you only refer to “clues”? Why not perform a truly useful, educational function, and reveal the hidden text, or at least an example?

You don’t offer any suggestion as to why Hergé would do such a thing, you manifest no material evidence of the technique he used to incorporate the alleged messages into the art, nor what good it does to know the “secret”.

Make converts of us all - offer illumination rather than obfuscation, illustration rather than evasion, and explanation rather than complication - please!
#12 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 00:19
Thanks Richard and thmthm.
Indeed there IS a watermark, but a literary one, that repeats the message by running through the 24 books, provided they are set in the proper rebus order, which differs slightly from the chronological one...
The rebus' order is given by the message itself, that has to be guessed, like any proverb, from its image writing...
#13 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 00:48 · Edited by: yamilah
Thank you for your interest, jock123.
You are personally welcome home to see what Herge's grimoire looks like, because as a MD I have a certain sense of ethics not to divulgate a hidden message publically, for as you can read just above, the whole story starts with a guess, a conjecture (as it is the case with a proverb), then you find how to position the 24 books as a reading grid, then you find in it the watermark that repeats the rebus' message, thus confirming it indeed.
Please remember Herge's words when he compared his message's writing to 'a cannon of 75 used to kill a fly', and that he viewed this writing as a 'childish' way to tell 'what he had to tell', and that he had managed to say 'what he had to say'.

Please can now someone write down hereafter the English version of the very first frame of the Soviets, the one that just contains plain text? I might then have to let you know the French one to make things clearer.
Thanks in advance.
Harrock n roll
#14 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 01:23
yamilah: Please can now someone write down hereafter the English version of the very first frame of the Soviets, the one that just contains plain text? I might then have to let you know the French one to make things clearer

I'll do the honours...

At “Le Petit XXe” we are always eager to satisfy our readers and keep them up to date on foreign affairs. We have therefore sent TINTIN, one of our top reporters, to soviet Russia. Each week we shall be bringing you news of his many adventures.
N.B. The editor of “Le Petit XXe” guarantees that all photographs are absolutely authentic, taken by Tintin himself, aided by his faithful dog Snowy!

Take it away yamilah...!
#15 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 02:43 · Edited by: Admin
yamilah, what you say about Tintin and hidden meanings is no different than Amanda's: it's nonsense. I find this thread boring and think it should die... now.
[Post edited by Admin: woh! do calm down, Tintinrulz - and please be polite. Just skip this thread if you do not find it interesting. I personally have trouble following what is being discussed in this thread as well, but I will leave it to my learned colleagues (the moderators) to decide if this thread should stay open or locked.]
#16 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 08:25
as a MD I have a certain sense of ethics not to divulgate a hidden message publically,

That is indeed laudable; however, by the very nature of your proposition, you have yourself already divulged a confidence. A doctor is not in a position to reveal that a patient is sick, let alone as to what the disease is; by analogy, to have revealed that Hergé has, in your opinion, hidden a message, is to give away too much information about the “patient”.

As to intimating that Hergé had a “grimoire”, a book of magic, well, that is to ascribe a level of occult practice to a man which some might regard as a presumption too far to be truly discrete.

Having let the cat out of the bag, you would be better serving Hergé (your patient) if you gave evidence, rather than subjecting him to undue speculation and innuendo.

You might also want to define what you mean by “proverb”, as I think you may be giving it more meaning than it has in English. A proverb to me is a short statement designed to promote an often self-evident or obvious fact, held true by many people - that is, common, not esoteric, knowledge: not something to be hidden, then...
#17 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 09:34
To be honest I remember almost crying at school when they made us read Macbeth. We'd stop after every single line and discuss the deeper meaning of what metaphors were used to bring about the themes. It ruined any future enjoyment of Shakespeare for me.

You can read deep meaning into anything you like, but chances are it was never meant to be there at all.


I was just reading tybaltstones "The Rainbow Orchid" last night and I notice that Sir Alfred has a beard, he must be meant to represent Santa Claus this is further proved when Julius (his elf) flies the plane (the sleigh) at the end of the first part. I conclude that Garen obviously has some issues with the Christmas period, possibly getting beaten up by a flat cap wearing henchmen called Box on Christmas Eve. *

You can pretty much read anything into everthing if you look hard enough and have an imagination.


* Please don't go off topic if you wish to discuss further Garen's obsession with Santa Claus, please start a new topic.

PS. Sorry Garen, i was joking
#18 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 10:55 · Edited by: jock123
beaten up by a flat cap wearing henchmen called Box on Christmas Eve.

Not Christmas Eve - the 26th, surely? Why do you think it’s called “Box”-ing Day...? (Sorry I couldn’t resist it...!)

Actually I take on board what you say about over-analysing things; sometimes, as they say, “a cigar is just a cigar”. I lost patience with analysis, on reading a piece from “Cahiers du Cinema”, which said that the top hat worn by Raymond Massey as Abe Lincoln in Young Mr Lincoln was a phallic symbol. Rather missed the point that it just made him look like Abe in a way that a balaclava helmet wouldn’t have...

I also agree whole-heartedly with Garen, that the crux of the matter is does the analysis actually add to the enjoyment or understanding of the piece, or does it just waste time? Largely, looking for hidden messages without a shred of evidence that they are there, falls into the second camp for me too.
#19 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 11:05 · Edited by: Tintinrulz
Sorry, I get fed up with all these deeper meanings when there aren't any to be found.

Jockosjungle, I think the same thing ruined Shakespeare for me.
#20 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 13:26
Rik - you have uncovered a truth about my comic strip that I wasn't aware of. All my fears about Christmas are there, and now i understand that I can move on in life!

As a tangent to this, I am interested when you read about Hergé dreaming about snow, dead leaves and dancing skeletons and then you read Tintin in Tibet. That's interesting.

But the simplicity of comics, and to a wonderful degree with Tintin, is the unspoken graphic realisation of a story. How many words would it take to describe the sequence where Haddock partakes in a rifle shoot-out with the Berbers in Crab with the Golden Claws, to explain the flow, humour, tension, movement... You don't need to! The pictures (augmented by some well-placed dialogue) speak directly to the depths of your brain and you instantly know what is going on in far greater detail than any words, even clever ones, could describe. That is the magic of comics - story, movement and time in pictures. It's just... great!

My breakthrough on Shakespeare was seeing the animated Shakespeare's version of The Tempest, and realising what a great story it was. I do enjoy flirting with some of the double-meanings inherent in the language, now - but only to a degree. the story is the thing fr me, and Shakespeare works today still because in the end they are great stories.

I should also add that if other's want to look for meanings and patterns in a creator's work that really aren't there until created under deep analysis, that's fine... but it must never, in my eyes, become an official explanation of a work.

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