Tintin Forums

Tintinologist.org Forums / Official Tintin books /

The Blue Lotus: Delay in the English publication?

#1 · Posted: 22 Jul 2004 04:30
Is it just my imagination, or did the English version of The Blue Lotus come after the others? I seem to remember it as a "new" Tintin book in the mid 80s as a child, and the publishing date seems to confirm this. Can anyone tell me why?

Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, I did a search, but couldn't come up with anything.
Moderator Emeritus
#2 · Posted: 22 Jul 2004 07:35
The book was indeed released in the 80s - 1983, to be precise. I believe this was due to the complex nature of the translation of the book - at least that's what I think I read. If anyone knows more, please explain. There were several posters for the release, which sometimes crop up on eBay.
#3 · Posted: 22 Jul 2004 09:50
It wasn't some much the translation of the book, but the content and how out of date it would seem to English readers. The translators weren't so sure it should be classified as a children's book because it is very heavy politically and they thought it was too 'deep' for younger readers. I read that was part of the reason to it being translated last (of the 21 common colour editions).
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 22 Jul 2004 17:24
In the interview that Chris Owens conducted with Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner, they talk about how as it was a controversial work, the series needed to be firmly established before they released a book which caricatured another country as strongly as "The Blue Lotus" does.
Moderator Emeritus
#5 · Posted: 23 Jul 2004 03:32
Richard wrote:
In the interview that Chris Owens conducted with Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner ...

To go a little off-topic, it's an excellent interview and gives a bit of insight into how things worked back when the books were originally being translated and published in English...well worth taking the time to read!

In short, apparently Herge was worried about how the Japanese were depicted: it was a truthful and quite accurate depiction, but there was a good likelihood that they wouldn't like it! In the end, it turned out that by the time it was published they were perfectly happy with it.

To go slightly off-topic: Michael Turner says, at one point: "You can see how one gets hooked on something like that." I'm sure we can all see.

#6 · Posted: 29 Jul 2004 16:04
That's why on all the English Tintin books, up until recently, the books were laid out in a square pattern on the back, with The Blue Lotus above in the corner (and The Making of Tintin in the other corner); my older version of Tintin in America only shows the twenty books below these, in a rectangular formation.

I suppose if they'd never published it, we'd never have found out who the boss of the evil cult was. That'd be awful.
#7 · Posted: 7 Jan 2012 17:58
The same thing happend to Tintin in the Congo. The publication date was delayed until the 1990's.
#8 · Posted: 6 Oct 2022 21:00
The same thing happened to Tintin in the Land of the Soviets. Hergé was reluctant to republish this one. It was only republished in English by Casterman in 1989.
#9 · Posted: 6 Oct 2022 23:45
Hergé was reluctant to republish this one.

This was long held to be the case, but research in the Hergé archives has largely debunked this: Hergé was actually quite keen to have the book in print, and it was Casterman who were reluctant: they only relented when Hergé threatened to take the book to Dupuis.

You can read a more detailed post I made about it here.

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.


 Forgot password
Please log in to post. No account? Create one!