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The Secret Signature: The Adventures of Tchang and Hergé
WhenFriday, Apr. 20, 2018, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Campus locationThomson Hall (THO)
Campus room317
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsAsian Languages and Literature ( )…

This talk traces the friendship, parallel artistic worlds, and historical fates of the Belgian comic book artist and author of the Adventures of Tintin, Hergé, and the Chinese sculptor Zhang Chongren 張充仁. Tchang (as he was known in French) is not only the central character in two of Hergé’s best loved albums, Le Lotus Bleu and Tintin au Tibet, but also the linchpin of the story of Hergé’s own unlikely transformation from a crude caricaturist to the avatar of a new realism in the realm of the comics. Tchang was the secret co-author of Le Lotus Bleu, who trained as an artist in Belgium, and went on to a long and distinguished career in the socialist realist style in post-1949 China. The talk explores the formal and ideational affinities between comic art and socialist realism, as well as their mutual entanglements with war and revolution.

Andrew F. Jones is the Louis B. Agassiz Professor of Chinese and Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Like a Knife: Ideology and Genre in Contemporary Chinese Popular Music (Cornell East Asia Series, 1992) and Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age (Duke University Press, 2001), among other works, and translator of literary fiction by Yu Hua as well as Eileen Chang. Professor Jones teaches modern Chinese literature and media culture.

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