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Tintin and co - an unseen rebus-like writing

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#21 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 14:14
tybaltstone, that's the most sensible post I've seen in this thread.

You've got it spot on! I couldn't have said it better myself.
#22 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 15:01
I would just say that I think there is a difference between looking for sub-text in a work (e.g. that something subconciously reflects on the real-life of an artist or author), which is largely what I think tybaltstone is talking about, and what to me seems to be yamilah’s notion that there is an actual message, or a set of messages, encoded into the works of Hergé, by design, according to some mystical system, which may or may not rely on telepathy to access it.

The first is often wholly subjective, and interpretative; the second, if there is any truth to it, should be demonstrable and repeatable and evident to all, as it must be based on some system to have allowed him to incorporate it in the first place - a code which cannot be decoded systematically isn’t a lot of use. I await developments.
#23 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 16:02 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks jock123 for your comments.
Sorry but Herge himself told he hid a message in Tintin, a message that has nothing to see with a sickness, but just goes in the way Amanda's paper's, and that's why I felt like intervening...

The grimoire is no 'magic book', but this term seems fit to define an unknown and unseen writing system...
Its message is no real proverb, but behaves the same way exactly: Herge gave clues (sort of 'thought transmission') about its trend or subject.

Herge's secret has been publicized a few years ago, and just like any other secret there is nothing exciting about it, except its unseen writing hidden in Tintin. I mean its sole interest is examining most carefully step by step its strange image writing, and not to display vocabulary about its contents with sceptical born or unknown readers who do not particularly appeal confidences...
I can do nothing but repeat 'welcome home' to the open-minded or to those already experienced in secrete writings.

Thanks Harrock n roll for the 'Soviets' quotation that shows what I feared: pseud translations of two important words readily legible in the original edition in French:
1. Herge never wrote 'aventures' i.e. 'adventures' as he did in his 4th of Jan 1929 announce, but 'multiples avatars' instead, which have a much wider range of meaning...
2. Herge never wrote 'fidèle' i.e. 'faithful', but 'sympathique' i.e. 'sympathetic' dog. Just below, everybody can see a five-legged Snowy: its 'cinq pattes' mimiking 'sympath-ique' point up a 'sympathetic' invisible image writing, as childish as Herge said it was when he spoke of his technique. This confirms the direct link between picture and writing suggested by Amanda... Her 'humanesque' illustrates rather well the 'avatars' announced, a special kind of humans and objects able to change their aspects (hence 'multiple avatars'): in the 'Soviets', a 5-year old Tintin rapidly becomes a 15 youngster, able to drive vehicles: he too is an 'avatar', as are his companions...
Please don't argue Herge was not yet able to draw properly in 1929, and that his 'avatars' were just French 'vocabulary display'!

Tintinologists' denial of what Herge hinted and their refusal to take any concrete interest in his grimoire and reading grid (no 'vocabulary display' in these words) is what would puzzle the cryptologist most!
Harrock n roll
#24 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 17:41
1) Have some sympathy for our “pseud” translators. “Multiple avatars” doesn't exactly roll off the tongue in the way “many adventures” does. Avatars does indeed have many meanings although the English-French dictionary translates “avatar” into “misadventure”. I'm afraid my limited French means I'm unable to say whether this was “just French 'vocabulary display'” as you call it or an antiquated, franco-belgian figure of speech from 1929...

Actually, I thought the most interesting thing about the opening text is that it suggests the adventures were supposed have been made from photographs taken by Tintin himself.

2) I grant you that it does indeed look like Snowy/Milou has got five legs and that “sympathique” sounds a bit like “Cinq pattes” but the connection is very, very tenuous IMO. Moreover, does it actually mean anything if he does? Why isn't it more likely, in your opinion yamilah, that this is just a coincidence and a mistake?
Moderator Emeritus
#25 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 18:46
I'm sorry, but I don't really understand where this thread is going - if you don't mind me saying, yamilah, I think you're over-analysising the adventures.
#26 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 19:14
Harrock n roll:
I grant you that it does indeed look like Snowy/Milou has got five legs
Well yes it does a bit, I suppose, but I’d also say that it looks like Tintin is wearing a white tee-shirt or jumper under his overcoat, rather than the close-fitting Eton collar and tie he wears in the next frame, and that his left hand isn’t actually shown as attached to his body, as there is no arm or sleeve drawn for the hand to belong to; like Harrock n roll, yamilah, it looks like Hergé just wasn’t being a stickler for detail. Or is there some significance I haven’t devined in these other anomolies?

The white blob to the right of Tintin’s left leg isn’t expressly part of Snowy anyway - it might be something else entirely: a suitcase on the train behind Tintin, for example. Actually, it just looks like Hergé has become confused inking in Tintin’s black socks, Milou and the black shadows behind...

The under-structure of the carriage is also drawn differently between frame two and three, and the table shown in frames four and six disappears in frame five, but fortunately Hergé blows up the train on page 5, thus destroying the evidence...
#27 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 20:02 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks for your comments jock123.
The small anomalies are just clues to make you think of avatars -till maybe some day some cryptologist finds their meaning empirically, in connection with the internal logic of the message.
The large and most absurd ones like Snowy's 5th leg or Tintin's sudden growth are to show you patent avatars... and to remind you of Hergé's words when he said 'Tintin, Haddock and all the others, it's me', i.e. an intimate message...
I must admit I noticed and caught sight of that 5th leg in the end only, so just forget about it if you prefer, indeed there's no need of it to read the so-called but long called 'legible' clear line...
Welcome HOME to the open-minded...
#28 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 20:50
Well, I gave it a try, but I cannot see that you have made a case which convinces me in any way. There is nothing in what you have said which builds a proper argument for there being a hidden meaning to the books, and frankly what you have put forward is reliant upon such arbitrary interpretation and selction, that it seems to me you could apply it to absolutely anything.

I put it to you that the phrases from Hergé which you quote have a far more accurate, obvious interpretation:

• “Tintin, Haddock and all the others, it's me”: The characters are Hergé because a) he draws them, b), he writes what they say and do, and c) he expresses through them his interests and reactions etc. - Tintin is his enquiring mind, his bravery, and his love of adventure, Haddock is his anger and frustration etc. This is exactly the same as for someone like Schulz: Charlie Brown is his well-meaning side, Snoopy his imagination, Sally his mouthy side, Lucy his grumpiness. There’s nothing mystical about that, it’s just good sense - “Write about what you know” is what authors get told.

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’: Here it seems to me that Hergé is actually pleading for people to regard his work with less intensity, not more - to enjoy it at its simplest, its most childish, and not to read more into it than is there. If he feels that putting his gags and adventures into the form of a strip-cartoon is already too much for them, which is what I take the reference to the cannon to kill a fly to mean, then your extra layer of textual analysis is waaaay too heavy.

I also put it to you that you don’t exactly seem to have made a convincing case to the posters on this or the French language BD site, and to thus write everyone off as lacking an open mind is perhaps to miss the point that perhaps there is nothing for us to see...
#29 · Posted: 10 Feb 2005 20:56
What I'm gaining from all of this is basically this, and it's obvious: If you mix anything up, whether it be comic book frames, the lyrics to a song, or the scenes to a movie, you can produce something with a so-called deeper meaning. However, "being able" to do this to Tintin is really nothing special, it is more the interpreter's mind at work, messing with reality, than the intent of an author. I'll repeat that you can say this whole "rebus"-or-whatever junk for just about *any*thing.
#30 · Posted: 11 Feb 2005 00:13 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks for your deeply human comments.
I must admit my patience was limited and I got tired in 2002 after preaching 2 months in a desert, till I read your 'preposterous' thread a few days ago, but I'll be much shorter this time...
The nonsense here is to speak about a complex rebus without seeing its images, and with little interested readers and distrusting people who can't even consider a personal interview...
This thread is no place for a cryptography class, there are treatises that do it better than me; but of course nobody can be forced into a complex science against his own will...

Human sciences are more or less intelligible to everybody because they combine words belonging to a single language, constituted in a commonly recognized vocabulary or 'nomenclature', like English, French, aso...
Substitution cryptography uses a word nomenclatOR, a special book allowing conversion of words into numbers or ciphers, a book containing a list of artificially decided avatar-like equivalents that imply a metamorphosis for every single word...

Hergean cryptography peculiarity is to require not one but several nomenclators, not artificial ones but natural ones, and not word ones but syllable ones, i.e. a natural 'supernomenclator' made of different monosyllabic words belonging to different languages...
These short words are chosen for their ability to be so much 'drawable' that they manage to 'write' a chimeric rebus copy of the message through their translations into a sequence of avatars, 'humanesques', or objects. A sequence legible enough to be able to restitute the message via its 'clear line' of drawings...
Really sorry if you want to ignore that line, for certainly it does belong to you more than to me...

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