dimanche 31 janvier 2010

Tintin mania: coming soon to a theater near you?

Spielberg apparently spent 25 years trying to obtain the rights to Tintin's adventures before succeeding. I can imagine the mixture of pride and apprehension in the French-speaking world at the idea that Spielberg and Peter Jackson have teamed up to do a trilogy, beginning with Le secret de la licorne, due out in late 2011. I read somewhere that Spielberg sees Tintin as an "Indiana Jones for kids", and that Le secret actually combines 4 different Tintin stories into one. Will they get it right?

Meanwhile, Serge Tisseron, a psychoanalyst and professor of psychology from Paris, was in Seattle yesterday to talk about his study of Tintin as revealing a secret de famille of Tintin's creator Hergé, who was Belgian (he died in 1983). It was fascinating and convincing. The lecture was sponsored by Alliance française and held in Balmer Hall at the UW. I found this a perfect way to spend a drizzly Saturday afternoon. Tisseron noted at the end that he was unable to publish his book in English because of the way Anglo-saxon publishers work. Basically, they won't pay to have a work translated. French authors or their publishers have to pay. Naturally, it is not in the interest of the latter to pay for a translation of their author's work, since they won't see a dime. And authors generally don't have the money to pay for translations. After the lecture, I talked to Tisseron about the possibilility of finding some grant money or an outside sponsor. I once translated a book for publication under this kind of arrangement. I got paid for the translaiton and the English publisher got to share the profits with the author. I told Tisseron I would love to translate his book for less than my going rate, rien que pour le plaisir de travailler sur Tintin. With Spielberg's film set for release in 2011, now is the time to get the translation done and the book published in English. I wonder if Spielberg would be interested in financing the translation?