Monday, December 11, 2006
Was Tintin Gay?
Tintin conspiracy theories abound, and the blameless boy reporter has been interpreted as a capitalist, a fascist, an anarchist, and a very poor advertisement for Belgian tailoring
· Was Tintin a Nazi? Michael Farr, author of Tintin: the Complete Companion, said this idea dates from Hergé's decision to continue working for the Brussels paper, Le Soir, after the Nazis took it over. "He was certainly not a Nazi sympathiser in any sense, he hated fascism, but he saw his work as an essential service, like being a milkman. I think perhaps he slightly regretted it later, because it gave rise to so much misunderstanding"
· Was Tintin a capitalist? His first adventure in the Soviet Union was a swingeing attack on Bolshevism. Hergé wanted to follow it with an even more savage attack, on American capitalism, set in New York, but his editor asked for the next adventure to be in Congo - to inspire young Belgians to join the civil service there
· Was Tintin gay? Despite his wandering life with a hairy old sea captain as his closest companion, Tintin had no family background of any kind, says Michael Turner, his translator for 40 years and a friend of Hergé. "It made him a free spirit, able to go off and have adventures," he notes
· Did the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte inspire Thomson and Thompson, the Belgian bowler hatted twin detectives? Nick Rodwell, of the Fondation Hergé in Brussels, whose wife Fanny was previously married to Hergé, thinks there may be some truth in this.
However, he says the chief inspiration was Hergé's father and uncle, who took a very Belgian walk every Sunday afternoon, always immaculately dressed.