The Calculus Affair

Backstory Key Characters

First edition album (Belgium) published in 1956.

They have barely arrived back on earth from their moon adventure when Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy are caught up in a tale of intrigue and espionage. Professor Calculus has invented a machine capable of destroying objects with sound waves. Although the machine is only at a prototype stage, it has already come to the attention of the Bordurian secret services. Borduria is a fascist country ruled by a dictator named Marshal Kûrvi-Tasch.

The Bordurians will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When they can’t get their hands on Professor Calculus’s invention itself, they simply kidnap the professor and take him to Borduria.

Tintin and his friends travel from Marlinspike to Geneva, and then from Geneva to Szohôd, the capital of Borduria, as they set out to rescue their friend. Unfortunately, they quickly become the target of the entire Bordurian army. Will our brave heroes be able to escape?

The Calculus Affair

Backstory

The Calculus Affair takes us on a voyage full of surprises, with a plot that evokes the arms race between Russia and America during the 1950s. Hergé’s fictional country of Borduria is a satirical caricature of a fascist state with a totalitarian dictatorship based on a personality cult, such as that of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. Professor Calculus’s ultrasonic weapon, and the espionage in which he finds himself tangled, parallels the events of the Cold War and the increasing tensions between the two world superpowers.

Back to Top
The Calculus Affair

Back to Top