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Picaros: Sponz and the Calculus Contradiction?

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BlackIsland
Member
#11 · Posted: 22 May 2007 21:29
Maybe he hopes that Calculus regrets it at the moment he dies. It's sort of that you'll-pay-for-this kind of thinking, when someone regrets upon dying...

I think it was meant like that. Something also could have been lost in the translation from French to English also.
sliat_1981
Member
#12 · Posted: 28 May 2007 07:17
Calculus had a suspision about them and didn't trust them. Maybe he gussed they were watching him. In all fairness, he does take his hat off eventually.
Vicky
Member
#13 · Posted: 29 Jul 2008 01:10
snafu:
Maybe he hopes that Calculus regrets it at the moment he dies. It's sort of that you'll-pay-for-this kind of thinking, when someone regrets upon dying...

stuart:
"A pity he didn't agree to work for us, but who knows, he may change his mind some day." This could be read as 'One day soon Calculus will regret turning us down.'

Excellent point! I was confused as well when re-reading the story knowing that Calculus did not actually have too much time to regret not working for Sponsz when he was in Borduria but indeed the best explanation is probably the assumption that Sponsz is merely giving the readers a sardonic hint that Calculus’s days were numbered (or at least that’s what he thinks!) and that the dying Calculus’s last thoughts might have been something like “Great sunspots, if I had given my plans to those nice gentlemen in Borduria, maybe I wouldn’t be bleeding to death right now because in return they got me blown to pieces inside this jeep with my friends”.

Or perhaps some lines are not to be taken too literally. After all, later in “Tintin and the Picaros”, Tintin and Haddock say to Sponsz “We meet again, Colonel Sponsz”, when the line should have been “We meet AT LAST, Colonel Sponsz” as Tintin and Haddock never actually met Sponsz in Borduria. They did watch him passing by at a distance but they never had the pleasure of being introduced.
Bordurian Thug
Member
#14 · Posted: 29 Jul 2008 23:12
Sponsz believes in reincarnation.
Furienna
Member
#15 · Posted: 19 Mar 2020 13:40 · Edited by: Furienna
Vicky:
Or perhaps some lines are not to be taken too literally. After all, later in "Tintin and the Picaros", Tintin and Haddock say to Sponsz "We meet again, Colonel Sponsz", when the line should have been "We meet AT LAST, Colonel Sponsz" as Tintin and Haddock never actually met Sponsz in Borduria. They did watch him passing by at a distance but they never had the pleasure of being introduced.

Nice observation! Yes, it seems like the good Hergé didn't double-check the details.
mct16
Member
#16 · Posted: 19 Mar 2020 16:41 · Edited by: mct16
Tintin was probably referring to the fact that in "Calculus Affair" he and Haddock effectively battle Sponsz from a distance but all three men are well aware that they are in conflict. And Haddock and Tintin did get to see a lot of Sponsz at the theatre: in the crowd and in Castafiore's dressing room even if it was not a direct confrontation.

Back to the original issue. From Sponsz's conversation with Castafiore, I do not get the impression that he ever intended to kill Calculus. He may have offered him bribes or suggested an important position in Bordaria's scientific elite (Olrik makes similar offers to Mortimer when he is captured in "Secret of the Swordfish"). He may later have resorted to more brutal methods. But he tells Castafiore that either Calculus should give up his plans or "he will never be heard of again", which could imply being kept in prison for life.

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