“Dark Tintin”, the cursed manuscript about Hergé’s childhood
dark tintin, it is the story of a book that might never have appeared, a cursed manuscript that was rejected in turn by several major Parisian publishers. Its author, however, is by no means an amateur. Follower of a « pop philosophy », Preferring great eternal truths to mythologies that fascinate our time, Mark Alizart has published with the Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) as many as five essays in six years on very different topics, such as the presence of dogs near humans or cryptocurrency.
The essayist thought he had a good subject again: Tintin, the most popular character in comics, who has structured the imagination of 7 to 77-year-olds since 1929. From a more original angle, a re-reading of the adventures of the little reporter through the prism of rape by its author, Georges Remi, alias Hergé, suffered in childhood. “I knew that by dealing with this topic I was desecrating the temple dedicated to childhood, but I didn’t expect that…”, still surprised Mark Alizart, sipping coffee in his huge apartment in the Marais, Paris.
Everything started like a dream. “I want to publish your text”, Maxime Catroux, editor at Flammarion, wrote to him in September 2020. The message is not overly extensive, but it has the merit of being clear. In December of the same year, a contract was signed with a payment of – a modest – 2,500 euros. That’s when the big promotional machine that Flammarion is capable of kicks into motion.
Before the release, scheduled for September 2021 in accordance with the literary season, a big interview was given Vogue etc the item is scheduled in weekly book, publishing bible. But, in June 2021, boom, Flammarion decides to cancel everything. “Bad returns from bookstores, things that happen,” he hears Mark Alizart speak. Thousands of openings! Tintin is popular though. In good years, Casterman, Hergé’s historic publisher, sells at least 3 million albums. Successive closures even strengthened the appetite for reading. As for the topic of incest, it is extremely relevant after the thunderous announcement Big family (Prague, 2021), Camille Kouchner.
In hindsight, without paranoia, conspiracy or even revenge, Mark Alizart developed his own little theory about the case. “From a reliable source”, says Antoine Gallimard himself, head of Madrigall (Flammarion’s parent company), would stop Dark Tintin to avoid jeopardizing the fragile relationship between Casterman, his second flagship, and the successor to Hergé, who died in 1983. In this way, he would seek to spare the sensitivities of Nick Rodwell, a Brit with gray curls who, since his marriage in 1993 to Hergé’s widow, Fanny Vlamynck, ruled the estate with an iron hand.
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