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Samson, Jacques: "Adventures of the Proper Name in Tintin in Tibet." In: European Comic Art 5.1 (2012), S. 71–107.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Samson2012
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Keywords: "Tintin", Belgien, Freud. Sigmund, Hergé, Psychoanalyse, Remi. Georges, Sprache, Traum
Collection: European Comic Art
This reading of Hergé’s Tintin au Tibet uses the notions of ‘the daydream’ and ‘the haunting idea’ in order to approach the text not at the level of its plot, but at that of the imaginary that underlies it, whose presence is betrayed through two series of obsessive reiterations and wordplays around the name of Tchang, the lost object of Tintin’s quest. A digression via Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass establishes it as an important intertext, prefiguring Hergé’s album in a number of ways: the metaphorical function of the chess game and its close association with the state of dreaming or daydreaming, and the way in which the use of language, particularly the proper name, becomes analogous to dreamwork as words exceed their literal meaning and slide along the signifying chain, destabilising meaning and identity. The article then focuses on Tintin au Tibet, demonstrating the key importance of the famous large panel on the second page, in which the word ‘Tchang’, cried out by Tintin on waking, is substituted by Hergé for any images of the dream itself. The reverberation of the word, and of words resembling it, is tracked through the remainder of the text, along with a more generalised problematic around proper names and a compulsive tendency to repetition, symptoms of an unconscious grappling with the elusiveness and fluctuating nature of self and other, ontological questions that linger after narrative resolution has been achieved.
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