Posted: 15 Jan 2005 01:05
Does HergÃ© actually mention the issue in the Sadoul book? What did he have to say?
I take on board what you have to say, but I am not sure that it is actually, in the scheme of things, important: to us as a group of fans maybe, but we are relatively few in number, our desire to read a book is insignificant in the world, and nothing compared to the hurt that something which may appear to propagate a negative stereotype mjght cause to a far greater number of people.
I grew up collecting Robertsonâ€™s golliwogs - my gran collected the little tokens from jam pots, I bundled them up, sent them off, and back came a china figurine, usually with a musical instrument; I almost managed to collect a jazz band of them. I still have a couple of them at home today, which survived the rough-and-tumble of my brothers and sisters. I also have a much loved cloth golliwog, which is dressed as a minstrel, and which shared many adventures with me, my scabby plush mouse (called â€œMouseâ€ - long since vanished), and my knitted clown; years later I had at one point to go and buy him back from a Church sale of work, when my mum gave him away in a box of toys - slightly unusual for a man in his late twenties, iâ€™ll grant you. I even have a second golly, which someone gave me in the mistaken belief that my first (rescued) golly was lost to the jumble sale, and was perhaps a strange present for a man by then in his middle thirties...
However, much as I personally loved my golly, I am not either surprised or sad that the golly has gone from the jam lable, the toy shop, the Noddy books, the conciousness; it had its day, and then it slipped away, and now you can go to toy shops and buy reasonable dolls of all ethnicities; those who want to can still see them in toy museums, and read about them, but thatâ€˜s enough, really. Iâ€™m not certain that â€œCongoâ€ hasnâ€™t had its day, and should just be let fade away... I canâ€™t easily admire that artwork, or see it as a great achievement, when there is so much else that is wrong with it, which could have been put right.