Chapter 32. Asterix and the Class Act

Rene Goscinny

Albert Uderzo

English Translations: Anthea Bell & Derek Hockridge


A compilation of Asterix (and Obelix) short stories. that were previously published in the French magazine Pilote and some are new.

Table 32.1. Asterix and the Class Act - Annotations

Page, Panel Comment
Page 1, Panels 1-11 The Vitalstatistix press conference is a caricature of a Charles de Gaulle press conference.
Page 3, Panel 6 Misogynist: Someone who has an exaggerated aversion towards women
Page 4, Panel 4 The Battle of Gergovia took place in 52 BCE.
Page 6, Panel 1 "living the life of Rilix" = ???
Page 8, Panel 2 Astronomix is Asterix's father we were introduced to in Asterix and the Actress.
Page 8, Panel 3 Obeliscoidix is Obelix's father we were introduced to in Asterix and the Actress.
Page 9, Panel 1 This story continues the plot element of Asterix and Obelix being born on the same day that we encountered in Asterix and the Actress. We also learn that Asterix and Obelix are younger than Chief Vitalstatistics, Fulliautomatix, Unhygenix, Cacophonix and, of course, Geriatrix.
Page 9, Panel 6 "And 35 years later..." = This establishes the age of our heros — they are 35 years old; "two other firm friends" = Refers to Goscinny and Uderzo.
Page 11, Panel 2 Caesar is pointing towards the New World when he says "Are you quite sure there's nothing over there?".
Page 11, Panel 6 This panel lampoons all the stereotypes of the French — Be-goateed, beret wearing, baguette-eating Eiffel tower painters.
Page 12, Panel 11 "Dog biscuits had not yet been invented in 50 BC" = ???
Page 13, Panel 4 "Oh to be in Armorica now..." = A take-off on Robert Browning's poem (1845) 'Home-thoughts, from abroad'.
Page 15, Panel 8 "I am the emblem of the Gauls" = ???
Page 15, Panel 9 "Galli-narius Minus" = ???
Page 16, Panel 10 Apparently, Dogmatix can speak the language of the birds.
Page 21, Panel 3 Kismet = Destiny or fate.
Page 27, Panel 2 This drawing is done in Walt Disney style.
Page 27, Panels 4-10 This drawing is done in Peanuts style.
Page 28, Panels 2-6 This drawing is done in Flash Gordon style.
Page 28, Panel 7 Sycophant: a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage; Cinedological: ???; Necromantic: Magically calling up the dead; Symbiosis: Mutual relationship between two species in which both benefit; Dehortation: Dissuasion or advice against something; Cretinoidal: Having to do with a deformed and mentally retarded person; Microcephaly: Having a small head; Phylacterio-logical: An amulet or reminder (from the Hebrew word for either of two small leather boxes, each containing strips of parchment inscribed with quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures, one of which is strapped to the forehead and the other to the left arm; traditionally worn by Jewish men during morning worship, except on the Sabbath and holidays.); Empiricist: Relating to, or resulting from, experience, or experiment; Delerium: A temporary state of mental confusion and fluctuating consciousness resulting from high fever, intoxication, shock, or other causes. It is characterized by anxiety, disorientation, hallucinations, delusions, and incoherent speech.
Page 29, Panels 2-5 Done in the psychedelic style of 'Yellow Submarine'.
Page 29, Panel 6 Plus-fours = Loosely tailored slacks cut 4 inches below the knee. They have been traditionally associated with sporting attire from the 1860s and onward, and are particularly associated with golf.
Page 32, Panel 6 RER = Something to do with the Parisian public transport system???
Page 33, Panel 6 "Carrier piegion tower" = A reference to the Eiffel tower.
Page 39, Panel 3 "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" = "it is sweet and appropriate to die for your country" or "it is sweet and fitting to die for the fatherland" (Horace in Odes iii 2.13)
Page 39, Panel 4 "Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa catoni" = "The victorious cause pleased the gods, the defeated one pleased Cato" (Lucan, Pharsalia 1, 118).
Page 39, Panel 5 "Nunc est bibendum" = now for drinks (Horace, Odes I.xxxvii.1)
Page 39, Panel 6 "Cur, quid quomodo" = ???
Page 39, Panel 7 "Res, non verba" = "deeds, not words"
Page 42, Panel 5 "Beati pauperes spiritu" = "Lucky are those of a poor spirit" (Vulgate, Matthew 3:5)
Page 50, Panel 7 I am sure these are real-life colleagues of Goscinny and Uderzo. Anyone know their names???

Table 32.2. Asterix and the Class Act - Names

Name (in order of appearance) Comment
Semiautomatix Fullyautomatix's father. I wonder if Fulliautomatix's grandfather is named Manuel?
Unhealthix Unhealthy. Unhygenix's father.
Chanticleerix ???
Henna A coloring agent made from the green leaves of a henna plant which, when mixed with ingredients like tea, coffee, cloves, or tamarind, forms a paste.
Partipolitix Party politics.
Pierre Decoubertix Pierre Decoubertix. A reference to Pierre de Coubert (1883 - 1937), a French pedaogue ang historian, best known as the founder of the modern Olympic games.
Inglorious Pithecanthropus Inglorious: Deserving or bringing disgrace or shame; Pithecanthropus: Pithecanthropus erectus was the name first given to the Homo erectus specimen, also known as "Java Man", by its discoverer Eugene Dubois. The word "pithecanthropos" was derived from Greek roots and means ape man.
Civilservix Civil Service: The entire body of those employed in the civil administration of a country at a local or national level. Military and elected officials are technically excluded from the term.