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Cigars of the Pharaoh: The trip to Shanghai?

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labrador road 26
#1 · Posted: 10 Dec 2005 09:53
In a Swedish edition printed in 1983 of Cigars of the Pharaoh, the route Tintin describes to Milou is different from the map on page 1, showing that their destination will be Shanghai.
Tintin says:
(Panel 4) "Then we continue to Istanbul and go ashore".

(Panel 6)"Pireus, Naples, Marseille, Gibraltar and Tangier... straight home".

In later edition this was corrected to what's on the map, with them ending in Shanghai.
I don't know where the wrong text originated or why. I just thought it was an odd thing that you would find interesting.
#2 · Posted: 22 Mar 2007 14:14
The first page of "Cigars" is really confusing. I have English and Finnish editions.

In English edition Tintin is coming back from Asia and heading for Port Said and then for Istanbul, Piraeus, Naples, Marseilles, Gibraltar and home. So Tintin says on a deck. But the map tells something else, it is a map of Asia including the route from Port Said to Shanghai.

In Finnish edition Tintin says to Milou that they are heading for Aden, Bombay, Colombo, Singapore, Hongkong and Shanghai. The map next to Tintin is a map of Europe including the route from Port Said to Gibraltar and home.

So it seems that the map in Finnish edition should be in English album and the map in English edition belongs to Finnish album according to what Tintin says.

And where on earth is Tintin sailing to? To home or to Shanghai. Tintin says this and map says that. In Finnish album his voyage is beginning and in English album ending.

Any comments?
Jack Brabham
#3 · Posted: 23 Mar 2007 00:12
I agree tuhatkauno, it's very confusing. I'm only looking at the English version and the direction of the journey, looking at the map, is definitely from Port Said to Shanghai, unless the illustrator got the arrows pointing in the wrong direction! But that does not explain why there is a map of Europe in the Finnish version.

I've just Googled 'cigars of the pharaoh AND map' and hey presto Wikipedia!!

Scroll down to the section marked Notes and you'll see a reference to the incorrect map and even the French spellings of the ports.
#4 · Posted: 23 Mar 2007 12:41
Thanks Jack, I'm so old-fashioned, that it is difficult for me to believe Google is an answer to everything.

Besides the mapproblem there is a miracle in page 46. Milou (the Copperfield of all dogs)forces his way through the wall. I saw David himself did the same trick in China, now I realized he has stolen the trick from Milou.
#5 · Posted: 23 Mar 2007 12:55
Actually, tuhatkauno, I don't think it's implied in the text of the English edition that Tintin is coming back from Asia at the start of the book (nor that he's intending to travel to Asia either). I think he's supposed to be on a circular cruise around the Mediterranean, starting from Europe and returning to Europe, without going further east than Egypt. When the book starts, his cruise ship has thus got about halfway round as it approaches Port Said. I believe this is also the case in the text of Tintin's speech to Milou in the French-langage original (though I couldn't be certain).

In the English edition I had as a child, the map was of the Mediterranean and showed the route of this intended cruise, so that the text of Tintin's speech to Snowy and the map in the next frame matched with each other. However, I believe the French-language book (at least from the time when the colour edition was drawn in the 50s) has always had a map showing the route that Tintin actually ends up taking throughout Cigars and The Blue Lotus, rather than the route of the planned cruise that Tintin's describing. (And this map has now been adopted by modern Engish editions.) This does make a confusing mismatch on that page, but presumeably it was felt more important to show readers the geography of the two-book adventure they were about to read, than to show them the geography of a planned cruise which is aborted after Tintin reaches Port Said.

It sounds like your Finnish translators have used the map of the Mediterranean that I had in my old English edition (or something like it), yet at the same time bizarrely mistranslated the text to make it sound like Tintin's planned cruise was going to follow the same route to Shanghai that his adventure sends him on, thus making the mismatch between text and map the other way round in the Finnish edition!
A Taxed Mind
#6 · Posted: 22 Apr 2011 11:20
I am currently rereading all the albums alongside Michael Farr's Tintin: The Complete Companion - highly recommended as a great source for Hergé's original inspirations etc.

But I came across something unexplained in my English 1996 edition by Mammoth of the Cigars of the Pharaoh.

I understand that in the original version Tintin says something about going to Shanghai, which makes sense considering the next book is the Blue Lotus.

However in my English 1996 edition by Mammoth, Tintin states on Page 1 in blocks 3 and 4 that the ship will stop in Port Said then Istanbul. The map shown in Block 5 shows an arrowed line stretching from Port Said to Shanghai, ie, the opposite way.

Block 6 continues the travel list "Piraeus, Naples, Marseilles, then home through the Straits of Gibraltar" The map would be more in line with the sequel the blue Lotus coming next. Either way, why would it be translated to be Istanbul next, it makes no sense, when the map shows the complete opposite, and what did the original text state in blocks 3, 4 and 6, assuming that the map and map text (remaining in original French in my book "Asie, Singapour, etc) in Block 5 was as per the original version?

Did block 6 originally mention places going the other way eg Aden, Bombay, etc, but if so, why did the translators change it?

Either way, having fun rereading the albums, thanks in advance for your thoughts.

#7 · Posted: 22 Apr 2011 12:59
There are several elements at play here, and it isn't to do with a mis-translation as such.

Firstly, although it is available now, for many years Blue Lotus was not considered for publication in English. I don't think the English market was alone in this either - if memory serves it was left out, or left late in several languages. This was due to the emphasis on stereotypic depictions of the oriental characters, and locations such as the opium den, etc.

However, although the two are sometimes seen as a double album adventure, because of the discursive nature of the story it was realised that you don't really need to have Lotus to enjoy Cigars as a stand-alone book.

To this end, a revised map was prepared, which replaced Tintin's voyage to the East with a circular tour of the Mediterranean Sea, effectively a cruise holiday, taking him back to where he started.

There is nothing to say that this was done at the behest of the English translators, it may have been a general attempt by Casterman or others to allow the book to come out in markets where the Lotus album would be problematic.

Provided the dialogue was tweaked it works - and remember again, this scenario might have been written by Hergé himself (or under his supervision) for such use, rather than being created by the translators.

However, the variant voyage has led to several anomalies over the years, with print-runs being made where the wrong map appeared for the text which accompanied it - human error, one supposes.

Thus, for example, in addition to some English copies having the map showing the trip to Shanghai but with Tintin saying he's off round the Med, there have also been Finnish editions which have the map putting him on the circular cruise, and him saying he's going to Shanghai.

These things happen - the matter of which flag flies on The Unicorn is another one, where there are version showing a Union Jack, a blue flag with fleur-de-lys, and also a plain blue flag. Presumably there was a system to decide which editions in what languages got a particular flag, but over the years all three have appeared in the English editions, and seemingly more-or-less at random.

Update: The story was reprinted in the Journal Tintin as a serial in 1976; the Mediterranean cruise map was used, along with the original Shnaghai dialogue...
A Taxed Mind
#8 · Posted: 22 Apr 2011 15:28
Very informative, thanks for your help.
#9 · Posted: 22 Apr 2011 18:22
Jock i think you should write a book.It would be a fantastic read.I had noticed this once but forgot about it many years ago.I remember reading as a young boy the great pleasure i had in knowing that The Unicorn was a British ship.This was till one day i looked at the french version and saw the flag flying on the Unicorn.I hope in the American editions it has stars and stripes.A few people i have spoken to had read Tibet before Blue Lotus and wasnt sure who Tchang was so there was definatley a delay there.I dont think the chinese depictions get mentioned much in comparison with Congo which is more or less the same steriotypes.Though everything is steriotyped from Germans to British.
#10 · Posted: 23 Apr 2011 12:42
A Taxed Mind:
Very informative, thanks for your help.

No problem at all.

As an after thought, I'm now wondering if the fact that Lotus is now available hasn't messed things up further - it could be that this has meant that somewhere down the line someone has decided to abandon the alternate map, under the false impression that it isn't needed any more, without thinking about whether the dialogue matches... Food for thought...

Jock i think you should write a book.It would be a fantastic read.

Very kind! I'll keep it in mind!

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