Monday, May 18, 2015
Right at the start of my stay in China I happened on a used book market at the Confucius Temple in Shanghai. I've been kicking myself ever since for not picking up one of the Tintin volumes I found in a stack of illustrated booklets. The little booklets have been available in the several used bookstores I've since found, but never the Tintins. Until Luzhi, one of whose little stalls had what may have been a complete set - including the one I barely dared hope to find, Tintin in Tibet, translated here in 1984 as The mysterious 'snow man'. The original is appeared as a book in 1960, before the West had processed the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The story is about Tintin rescuing his Chinese friend Chang, who was in a plane which crashed in the Himalaya. Vital assistance is offered by yellow hat Tibetan monks. In case you haven't read it, I won't give away the story and tell you how the yeti figures in it. There's more than I could ever have imagined to this, Hergé's favorite of his Tintin volumes, as I learned (where else?) at Wikipedia, including Jungian analysis of Hergé's nightmares of white. But the Chinese, possibly pirated edition (it's clearly redrawn, and often poorly) isn't mentioned. And what to make of the fact that the covers of my two volumes are switched, and the paper inside a bright white - a fake of a fake, prepared precisely for the likes of me today?