Another eight years, and another piece of the puzzle can be added...
I've come across an article from the Charle De Gaulle Foundation
, which talks about the Malraux quote: it does caveat the whole thing by clarifying that the quotation was first published after de Gaulle was already dead, and therefore, "It is not certain that the General made such remarks", but, on that basis, it says it is still has "become one of the most famous attributed to the General".
It's also most interesting to read a letter that Hergé wrote to the Charle De Gaulle Foundation in 1973, in response to a request for his reaction to the comparison - he says that, although the remark is obviously framed as a joke, it gave him a serious message, which helped him to "discover a simplicity, even a humility, which restores a human dimension to the character".
Given that this would have been in the period running up to the start of Tintin and the Picaros
, it's interesting to think that this might have been one of the sparks used to re-ignite the long-bubbling "Bigotudos" plot, which had played a part in the creation of Flight 714
The article makes interesting remarks about how the use of Tintin, as opposed to the possibly more obvious choice of Astérix (le gaulois), might have been a deliberate snub to the generation who had demonstrated in the civil unrest in May 1968, which had caused de Gaulle - then the President of France - to flee briefly to West Germany, dissolve the National Assembly and call for parliamentary elections.
Written by French MP Didier Quentin, the article also contains this interesting summation of Tintin's politics, in an answer he'd previoulsy given to the question, "Is Tintin Right- or Left-Wing?". He says:Tintin est gaulliste, et je dirais même mieux: gaullien, car comme le Général, il a le mépris de l'argent et du luxe ; il n'aime pas "les communistes séparatistes, proches des Soviets", pas plus que "le capitalisme façon pétrodollar". À l'image du Général, Tintin n'incarne ni la droite, ni la gauche!
(Tintin is Gaullist, or I might better say, Gaulle-ian, because, like the General, he has contempt for money and luxury; he does not like "separatist communists, close to the Soviets", any more than "petrodollar-style capitalism". Like the General, Tintin embodies neither the Right nor the Left!
Anyway, it's a good article to read, and very nice to know about Hergé's reaction to it!