Earlier this week, a British journalist wrote an entire investigation on the sexuality of Belgian comic book character, Tintin. Naturally, the French have a rebuttal.
Times of London: Le Figaro hammered Matthew for “reviving this old fable“. It hauled in Serge Tisseron, a celebrity psychiatrist, to explain that claiming the hero as gay “is a lovely revenge for a homosexual”. “The problem is that the sexual dimension is totally absent. Tintin is a creature whose sex is never defined. Beware of launching into a sexual reading of Herge’s works… In reality all the characters in Tintin are children.”
Figaro’s article produced a torrent of mainly conservative internet comments pointing out that Hergé was drawing and writing at a time when boys’s adventure stories were allowed to be violent (as Tintin was) but steered well clear of romance or sex. France Info, the public news radio network, even got in on the subject this morning, pointing out that Hergé, who died in 1983, scoffed at the gay Tintin theory after it was aired by studies in the 1970s.
The French defensiveness over Matthew’s piece seems a bit overdone. The same protective reaction appears when people investigate Hergé’s work during the Nazi occupation of Belgium in the early 1940s and when Tintin is nailed as a proto-fascist.
Now he’s a fascist too? Considering his 80th birthday is tomorrow, can’t the poor thing get some privacy!?
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