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This sense of being outside of time, which Hergé worked so hard to create, is one of the deep springs of Tintin’s popularity. Children, who have a similar sense of existing outside of normal adult time, identify with it. For them, as for Tintin, what matters are the attachments and attractions that surround them here and now. And though I no longer think like that, Hergé’s work is so skilful that when I read Tintin today, I slip back into his timeless world. Apostolidès and Assouline try valiantly to pull back the curtain and show us the ropes and pulleys of Hergé’s magic act. But I am not sure that we want this. Tintin is too good a trick to spoil with explanations.

Thoughtful close to a not-too-long review of two books recently available in English — one a biography of author-artist Hergé and the other a study of the Tintin oeuvre. Thanks are to Gideon Strauss, who linked to it on Facebook.

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