The Belgian artist Georges Remi's (Herge) legendary creation, Tintin, is a figure whose adventures have enchanted readers in Europe for the last 80 years. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the twentieth century, with translations published in over 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books sold to date.
With the proliferation of Tintin blogs, Steven Spielberg's and Peter Jackson's planned cinematographic adaptations, and a Tintin museum scheduled to open in Belgium in the near future, there are many signs that the popularity of Herge's boy hero continues to grow.
The Metamorphoses of Tintin is the English translation of the first critical study of the canonical Tintin cartoons. Published in French in 1984 and republished many times since, this pioneering work examines the long career of both the cartoonist and his creation.
After the Second World War, Tintin's adventures became more psychological than political, thus appealing to a wider range of readers. He left behind the real world and came to occupy the center of a fictional universe where he tirelessly championed the underdog. A figure without origins, he turned international hero at the very moment that Western nations were becoming homogenized and transmitting their commodities and values on a global scale.
Arguing that the series of albums thus offers a reflection on the whole of twentieth-century life, Jean-Marie Apostolides traces the evolution of Tintin's character and reveals the unity of Herge's masterpiece.
Professor Apostolides was educated in France, where he received a doctorate in literature and the social sciences. He taught psychology in Canada for seven years and sociology in France for three years. In 1980 he came to the United States, teaching at Harvard and then Stanford, primarily French classical literature (the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and drama. He is interested in avant-garde artistic movements such as dada, surrealism, and situationist international; as well as the theory of image, literary theory, and Francophone literature. He is also a playwright, whose work has been staged in Paris, Montreal, and New York.
Professor Apostolides has served as chair of the Department of French and Italian and as executive editor of the Stanford French Review and the Stanford Literature Review.