From Paul La Farge at The Believer.
. . . in some circles Tintin is accused of more or less overt colonialism: he is the European who teaches the savages their business. Not so the Tintin who appears in Tuten’s novel. Dispatched to Machu Picchu, the site of Neruda’s great poem of South American identity, Tintin meets the Lieutenant dos Amantes, who recites for him a prophecy concerning the coming of the jaguar god: “Long before the Spanish arrived, the Indians believed that one day a man with golden hair, a man half-animal, would appear from the West, sent by Viracocha, the Creator.” The Incas took this god to be the ruthless Spanish explorer Pizarro—who came from the East, but they couldn’t have known it. But really, who could it be, if not Tintin himself? Especially because the prophecy goes on to state, “Some say this new god is a man; some, a woman; some androgynous. Some believe that he will be very young, or very old, or both at once.” Tintin is blonde, unsexed, youthful of aspect though he’s over seventy years old. He must be the one who will unite the Indians “and all their kind from Tierra del Fuego to the northernmost limits of their culture. And this divinity will restore to them their rightful lands and their ancient arts, and afterward he will vanish like rain in the desert.” Anticolonialists, take heart; in this new world, Tintin is a revolutionary.