When mentioning to my buddies that my last name resembles an Italian name, I used to get scoffed at. While reading Shantaram today, I came upon a curious cultural comparison that left me feeling somewhat vindicated.
“There is so much Italian in Indians, and so much Indian in Italians. They are both people of the Madonna – they demand a Goddess, even if the religion does not provide one. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy; and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop corner .For them food is music inside the body and music is food inside the heart. The language of India and the language Italy , they make every man a poet and make something beautiful from every banalite. These are nations where love –amore, pyaar- makes a cavalier of a Borsalino on a street corner, and makes a princess of a peasant girl , if only for the second that her eyes meet yours .”
I know, it’s not really related to my claim. No matter.
Posted in Quotes, The Book Show, Visual Art, Where in the world is Hit?
Tagged cross-culture, Gregory David Roberts, india, Indians, Italians, Italy, pop art, Shantaram, SophiaYB, Sue
80 years. 50 languages. 200 million copies. A 3D movie with Spielberg & Peter Jackson in the works. The creator of Tintin, Georges Remi alias Herge, must be a happy ghost.
The babyfaced reporter and his Shabaab (crew) captured the imagination of Europe and subsequently the entire Commonwealth. Herge relied on a potent formula: Meticulous research into the geopolitical climate , mischievous illustration, good vs. evil, consistent rib-tickling and satire, and above all, glorious disregard for political correctness. Or, to be precise (a la Thompson and Thomson :)), “a political correctness that disregards glory.”
All sorts of stereotypes are supremely exaggerated; from a naked fakir sitting on a bed of nails to a wild Arab sheikh with a tiger as a pet and a penchant for whipping blondes. We’ve got the savant professor, the foul-mouthed drunken sailor with the heart of gold, and the opera diva.The illustrations play along- African slaves are drawn coal-black, the Asians have no eyes…These comics would never get past the back room if published today, but they are bloody brilliant, and I’m glad that they’re around.
One more thing, the abuses in the book are….wait for it…..legendary! To make the book children-friendly but still stay true to his characters, Herge invented innovative non-swearwords used luxuriously by Captain Haddock. These include “ectoplasm!”, “Bashi-Bazouk!” “Patagonian Petticoat!“, and the most famous phrase of them all “Billions of bilious blue blistering barnacles (Mille Millions de mille milliards de mille sabords!)”. Wit combined with alliterative allure make Haddock’s abuses among the most famous comic book expressions of all time, right up there with Mr. Lodge’s “Egad!” and Obelix’s “These Romans are crazy!“.
*The download link to the entire Tintin series, in PDF, here.
Enjoy the magic of the comics that inspired the likes of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and so many others. Jump into the world of the boy-wonder reporter who became a global icon, so much so that General Charles de Gaulle once quipped that his “only international rival is Tintin”.
Posted in The Book Show, Visual Art
Tagged Andy Warhol, Archie, Captain Haddock, Castafiore, Charles de Gaulle, comics, creativity, culture, Europe, European culture, European humor, Georges Remi, Herge, Le General, LinkedIn, Mr.Lodge, nonsense insults, Obelix, Peter Jackson, Professor Calculus, racial slurs, racial stereotypes, Roy Lichtenstein, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Adventures of Tintin, Tintin, Tintin 80th anniversary, Tintin comics download, Tintin download link, Tintin film, Tintin movie, Tintin PDF
It’s heartening to know that with just a $.50 pen and paper, we can create opulent ideas.
Courtesy of itchyhandseng
I found this amazing image a few days ago. It is hilarious, and conveys its point with far more eloquence than I could ever aspire to.