Petualangan Tintin: Permata Castafiore (Tintin #21) By Hergé

The most absurd of Herge's albums
24 February 2012

This is a unique comic in all of Herge's repertoir in that it is probably the most absurd of his stories. Granted, Tintin and Alpha-Art (which is unfinished and I am unlikely to purchase it on those grounds) appears to move into a more post-modern setting (it is suggested that Alpha-Art was an adventure into the world of art, but Herge died before its completion) but in this story, basically nothing happens. In fact, the entire story seems to be one great red-herring.

The entire story is set in Marlinspike, and Captain Haddock is simply having a really bad day (or at least a month). It seems as if it is a comedy of errors for the poor captain. First he learns that Bianca Castafiore, the famous opera singer, is coming to stay so he wants to get out but he slips on the broken stairs and busts his pelvis and ends up being confined to a wheelchair. He gets his nose stung and his finger bitten, and near the end he has become a patchwork of bandages.

Throw in the red-herrings, as well as the running jokes (such as Cutts the Butcher and Joylon Wagg) and we have a very interesting story, which doesn't seem to really go anywhere. This is not necessarily a bad thing though, since it succeeded in Waiting for Godot and also in Seinfeld. Then there are the jokes running through the story, such as the broken step. Pretty much everybody in the story, with the exception of Bianca Castafiore, slips and falls on the step at one time or another. Herge does it brilliantly, and it is very clear that he had truly developed his style by this point. There is also the parrot that keeps on screaming 'Hello! I can hear you!' which we soon discover is how Bianca Castafiore answers the phone.

There is a little case of the missing emerald, and it is unexpected (too an extent, though there is a hint dropped in the first frame) where it turns up. However, it disappears nearer to the end, namely because through the story we hear Bianca Castafiore continually jumping at ghosts believing that her emerald has been stolen. We are also led to believe that it is likely that either the Gypsies or the Pianist Wagner, are the culprits, but it turns out that they are not (I am not going to reveal the culprit though, since it is a surprise).

Herge does not pull back on commentary here either, and in this particular story it involves the gypsies. It appears that Herge is very supportive and sympathetic towards them, which shows in the character of Haddock and Tintin. I have never had any interaction with the Romani until 2011 when I travelled to Europe, and you pretty quickly work out who they are. It is also very tempting to take a prejudice view of them, particularly with the multiple warnings you receive about them on the web and in other travel literature. While I am tempted to say that they brought it on themselves, I believe that there is a lot of prejudice in Europe towards these people. I know Romanians that wail in anger over suggestions that they are connected with the Romani. However, I believe it is very brave and noble of Herge to stand up for these people.

It seems that by this time Herge was winding down the Tintin comics, as he only produced another two and a half comics after this one. Earlier it appeared that he would produce at least one to two a year, but has now dropped down to about two a decade. Maybe Herge was simply getting tired of the endless adventures of Tintin and wanted to pull the plug. However, it appears he continued to experiment, and in doing so, explored new areas. In all seriousness, nothing that I have seen coming out of the US comic book scene even compares to the ingeniousness of Herge, and in a way, I do not feel that even Asterix comes anywhere near to Herge's brilliance. 64 چقد سركارى و خوووب بود =))))) 64 The Castafiore Emerald is what I would call a home-adventure for Tintin. It is a little different than the other tintin books as the adventure take place at one place, the Marlinspike Hall.

The billions blue blistering barnacles turn into trillion blue blistering barnacles for Captain Haddock, when Bianca Castafiore pays a visit to Marlinspike. With his foot fractured, Captain Haddock nerves are through the roof. This comic is way funnier than any of the other tintin adventures. The story is pretty straight forward but what it lacks in story and suspense, it builds up in humor. 64 Tintin was one of the comic book heroes of my childhood. I'm going to read my way through the series again as I listen to a radio program about him, and his creator, Hergé. Next after Tintin in Tibet is The Castafiore Emerald, named after the world famous opera singer Bianca Castafiore who annoys both Tintin, and captain Haddock so terribly badly. They are at home, and the Captain manages to injure himself. So who invites herself for a visit at this time other than Bianca Castafiore with entourage.

The Castafiore Emerald is an unusual Tintin book because all of it takes place at Captain Haddock’s home. There is no journey, no adventure, but at least there is a minor mystery. What happened to a emerald that Castafiore owns, but goes missing after she comes for the visit.

I can’t say this is a great book. It feels a bit like Hergé is saying to his readers: “Tintin and I have been on twenty adventures in a row. We are on holiday now. Normal adventure business will assume shortly.”

Mind you, I’m not saying it’s all bad. It’s funny. In fact, it is quite a bit funnier than Tintin in Tibet. Just think, Captain Haddock is unable to run away from Bianca Castefiore who treats him like a toy that she can’t remember what is called. There are quite a lot of comic moments that work very well.

But the mystery is insignificant. It never manages to become exciting, just a silly little thing, and never reaches Agatha Christie complexity, even though I think it may have been thought of as homage to that kind of mystery novels. Perhaps it feels as much a let down as it does because it comes straight after one of the greatest Tintin book in the series. Still, it is funny. There is no denying that. 64 Captain Haddock invites a group of Gypsies living on nearby rubbish dump to come and stay on a meadow by the stream on his estate. Meanwhile the Captain's nemesis, the Florentine opera star, Bianca Castafiore
invites herself to say at his residences of Marlinspike.
Castafiore and her entourage cause the Captain no end of irritation , but the real adventure comes when her prize jewelry goes missing and it is up to Tintin to unravel the mystery.
With the interplay of the Captain and people like Castafiore , the pet parrot , troublemaking journalists, and the insurance broker , Jolyon Wagg , this Tintin album is hilarious from beginning to finish. 64


READ Petualangan Tintin: Permata Castafiore (Tintin #21)

Di dalam album ini dikisahkan bagaimana sang diva Italia, Bianca Castafiore menginap di rumah Kapten Haddock. Kemudian terjadi hal-hal aneh yang berhubungan dengan Castafiore dan sekelompok orang Gipsi yang kebetulan berada di tanah rumah Kapten Haddock. Petualangan Tintin: Permata Castafiore (Tintin #21)


While I have read this here instalment of the Tintin series multiple times in both German and French (in the French original, its title is Les Bijoux de la Castafiore and in German it is called Die Juwelen der Sängerin), I am indeed very much thrilled to finally have been able to find a (rare) copy of this book in Alsatian, which is why the book title might seem a bit different and strange to Tintin fans (De Castafiore ihre Schmuck). Furthermore, please do note that in German (and in the low Allemannic dialect of Alsatian, of Elsässisch), Schmuck simply means jewelry; it does NOT have the negative connotations it has in Yiddish. And oh wow, reading Les Bijoux de la Castafiore in Alsatian is proving to be so much linguistic fun for me. I had always been under the impression that Alsatian, while indeed a German dialect (or rather a Low Allemannic dialect), should be considered a French/German Creole type of language, but upon reading De Castafiore ihre Schmuck, I for one do no longer really consider it as a true Creole, but basically a staunchly German based dialect that uses a certain amount of French vocabulary for salutations, terms of respect and such (in other words, the grammar, the sentence structure of Alsatian is German, is Allemannic, as is in fact most of the vocabulary used, with some specific French word choices providing what I would label a decorative trim).

I was also a bit pleasantly flabbergasted at how much of the Alsatian is really, truly easy for me to figure out and understand, until I decided to do some online research and began to understand and realise that Alsatian as a Low Allemannic dialect is both geographically and linguistically close and linked to the dialects spoken in and around Basle, Switzerland and to what in German we call and label as Lake of Constance Allemannic Bodenseeallemannisch (which is the dialect my mother's family speaks, and thus it makes perfect sense that I am somewhat familiar with it, having heard it, even if I have not actively used it, on multiple visits to the area both recently and not so recently). And of course, I am also now more keen than ever to locate any other Tintin books that have been translated into Alsatian (I think there might be three more, but I am not sure).

And as to the specific narrative themes and contents of De Castafiore ihre Schmuck, there is considerably more straight out humour and slapstick comedy visible and present than the standard, than the usual cloak and dagger adventures of the majority of Hergé's Tintin series contain, especially with regard to the eponymous clowns and jesters of the series, curmudgeonly Captain Haddock and the accident prone Duponts (all three of them experience à la The Three Stooges a myriad of both physical and psychological, mental calamities, including for the unfortunate Captain Haddock the neither tender nor in any way desired attentions and mercies of opera singer Bianca Castafiore, who basically does descend on his humble manner, his refuge and home like a grating and chaotic but also entertaining tsunami).

Now the above all being said though, and while much of the action presented and featured throughout the illustrated text of De Castafiore ihre Schmuck is most definitely entirely physical and at times even rather violent slap stick like humour, the author (Hergé) has also (and appreciatively) included subtle satire and pointed socio-critical jabs at cultural stereotyping (with regard to the Roma, who have not only been harassed and forced by the authorities to set up camp near the town dump, but who are later after they have been granted refuge at Marlinspike Manor, unjustly accused of having stolen Bianca Castafiore's jewels simply because they are Gypsies), as well as criticisms of the tabloid media and paparazzi (who basically descend on Captain Hadock's manor like a pack of raging lunatic locusts when it becomes common knowledge that famous opera diva Castafiore is indeed visiting).

But I do have to wonder a bit if younger children reading De Castafiore ihre Schmuck (in whatever edition, whether in French, English, German, Alsatian etc.) would necessarily catch all of the included, featured cultural and societal allusions and innuendoes. Case in point, the first time I read this story (at around the age of eight, and in German translation), I certainly did NOT make the connection that Tintin manages as to what had really happened to the stolen jewels (that due to Rossini's opera La Gazza Ladra, The Thieving Magpie, being mentioned in a newspaper article, Tintin realises and then proves that a magpie and not the wrongfully accused Roma had stolen Castafiore's baubles, that the thief was indeed a thieving magpie of tradition and folklore). And with these nuances in mind, and although I do very highly recommend De Castafiore ihre Schmuck as one of the most humorous and entertaining offerings of Hergé's Tintin series, some of the themes, some of the details and especially many of he satirical asides and such might well be beyond younger children. 64 This is such a lovely screwball story. Not your typical Tintin adventure, perhaps that's the reason why it still was so vivid in my mind after all these years.
Apart from the fun I had reading the trials and tribulations here I was positively surprised by the fair take on gypsies in the story. With older books I always prepare for prejudiced misgivings of one kind or the other that make me cringe inwardly, but that wasn't necessary in this case.

I was an avid Tintin reader in my childhood (it was the only graphic novel series I did collect) and I still own all of them but the first volume - yet some of the books already fall apart. The Never too late to read classics group Chose Hergé's books as BotM and I enthusiastically dove into them with a lot of childhood nostalgia.

How wonderful to see that the love still holds after all those years. Now I will read on (in a more chronological fashion this time). 64

Jess, my 8-year old little girl, gives it 5 stars.

Comments while reading:

1. Captain Haddock is bad with kids. Why did he say “KILIKILIKILI” to that little girl and scared her off?

2. What are Gypsies? Why do people in Europe don’t like them?

3. I think it’s very bad to make the Gypsies stay in the rubbish dump. Captain Haddock is very good to let them camp on his land.

4. How come that every time anyone call Cutts the butcher, they get Marlinspike instead? I’m glad that our phone isn’t like that.

5. Mr. Jolyon is an insurance agent. I know what insurance is. It means that if anything that you own is broken or lost, the insurance man will give you money to buy a new one. What? Do you have to pay them money too? I didn’t know that.

6. Is Castafiore very rich and famous? I think she’s kind of spoiled and not very nice.

7. I like Tintin because he’s good and smart, but I don’t like Mike because he’s always snooping around.

8. This book is very funny! Things that make me laugh:

- Iago the parrot saying “Helloo, I can hear you” when Captain Haddock was talking to the police chief on the phone, and the police chief got annoyed because he thought that Captain Haddock was teasing him. Anything with Iago and Captain Haddock is funny!

- Captain Haddock calling that lady “nanny goat”.

- Castafiore calling Captain Haddock funny names because she couldn’t remember his real name. She always calls him silly names like “Halibut”, “Hammock”, “Paddock” and “Stopcock”.

- Professor Calculus thinking that Castafiore was a painter, instead of an opera singer. He’s so deaf!

- The weird pictures that Calculus’ TV made --- doesn’t he know that somebody had invented color TV before?

9. Thompson and Thomson are so stupid! How could they be detectives if they’re that silly?

10. Snowy finds the emerald and saves the day!
64 Les bijoux de la Castafiore = The Castafiore Emerald (Tintin, #21), Hergé

The Castafiore Emerald is the twenty-first volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé.

It was serialised weekly from July 1961 to September 1962 in Tintin magazine.

Tintin and Captain Haddock are walking through the countryside of Marlinshire when they come across a Romani community camped in a garbage dump, and reunite a lost little girl named Miarka with her family there.

The Romani explain that they are not allowed to camp anywhere else so Haddock invites them to the grounds of his estate, Marlinspike Hall. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال1977میلادی

عنوان: جواهرات کاستافیوره؛ کتاب بیست و یکم از ماجراهای تن تن و میلو؛ نویسنده: هرژه؛ مترجم: اسمردیس؛ تهران، ونوس، سال1357، در62ص موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بلژیک - سده20م

پای کاپیتان «هادوک»، پس از فروافتادن از یک پله، در «مارلین اسپایک»، به شدت آسیب دیده، و او به شدت کفری شده، «کاستافیوره» به همراه دستیار، و متصدی خود «ایرما»، و آقای «واگنر» پیانیست ویژه اش، به «مارلین اسپایک» می‌آیند؛ در این میان گروهی از کولی‌ها نیز، به دعوت کاپیتان «هادوک»، به نزدیکی قصر آمده اند، تا برای زمانی کوتاه، در آنجا اسکان پیدا کنند؛ زمرد بزرگ و گرانقیمت «کاستافیوره»، دزدیده می‌شود، و افراد بسیاری را «دوپونت‌»ها متهم می‌کنند، تا اینکه سرانجام، کولی‌ها و میمون دست آموزشان، متهم شناخته شده، و زیر پیگرد قرار می‌گیرند؛ سرانجام پس از مدتی، «تن‌ تن» پیروز میدان کشف راز سرقت می‌گردد؛ او زمرد دزدی شده را، به همراه بسیاری از وسایل دیگر، در لانه ی یک زاغ، که در نزدیکی قصر لانه داشته، پیدا می‌کند…؛ نخستین بار این ماجرای زیبا، خانوادگی، و پلیسی، با عنوان «جواهرات کاستافیوره»، در سال1963میلادی، چاپ شده است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/09/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی 64 The Castafiore Emerald is my most favourite of the Tintin series. It is also the most hilarious one. This adventure is not quite the usual of Tintin. There is no neck breaking chase to catch the bad guys or to stop some disaster, but rather a slow-paced adventure into investigating certain mysterious happenings and disappearance of items including Bianca Castafiore's emerald.

Unlike in others, here the whole adventure takes place in Marlinspike. I think it may be the only story that is wholly set at Marlinspike. I've always liked this fictitious environment and was very much pleased to see the whole story taking place there. I also was happy to find all my most loved characters coming together in this adventure. It was such a pleasant experience.

As to the story, it was more of a mystery than a thriller, and as such, held more attraction for me. Our dear clever Tintin finds the answers while as always, the detective duo is groping in the dark. Captain Haddock has to face many mishaps here - a sprained ankle, a thumb bitten by a parrot, nose stung by a bee, and his ears strained by Bianca Castafiore's singing! :) There was a lot of laughter at the expense of poor dear Captain.

Personally, I think The Castafiore Emerald is one of the cleverly written stories of the series. It is certainly very entertaining. I've singled it out from my childhood with a few more. I've read them so many times and have watched the cartoon time and again that I've lost track of the number of times. Reading them always takes me back in time to my childhood and early youth. It is funny how a few comic books can transport you back in time to those innocent and carefree times. 64