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Sport 1: Spring 1988


page 59


In Tintin's Himalayas an avalanche may be triggered by the sound of a human voice.

     It is the fear
          not the romance of the snow
          that makes you want to whisper.

So much depends upon the sunshine-loose or the hard-packed snow of the piste, the cranked up motion of a cartoon voice, the sneeze of Tintil1 on a mountain.

Tintin outruns an avalanche, even several, at least once a day. He never looks back in case he is buried in total knowledge of what is behind him. At his side hurtles a white dog. He is called Snowy; a spit in the face of any avalanche.

Tintin, Snowy and Prince Charles outrun an avalanche. Prince Charles steps off the Gotschnawang ski slope, off the world news and into the bloody, massive, pumping heart of fiction. He is the reconstituted beef of the civilised conscience.