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Do you know the real James Bond?

James Bond has been traveling the world for almost 70 years. Since the publication of Ian Fleming’s first novel Casino Royale (1953) until Dying can wait. Released today in 3D, the world’s most famous secret agent is the subject of debate among fans, disagreements over interpretation and conflicting interpretations among bondologists. Agent Provocateur, ed. It has been making headlines since the famous article by Paul Johnson in 1958. New statesman Fleming blames “sex, malice, and sadism” for corrupting youth and complicity in imperial depravity.

At the same time, it pushed James Bond into the orbit of iconic celebrity, making him more than just a mainstream icon of popular culture, but a new phenomenon of mass culture. In 1965, when Thunder ball (Operation Thunder) attracts people from all over the world, Oreste del Bono and Umberto Eco published “Il Caso Bond” in Bompiani, in which they study this phenomenon from sociological, political, gender, intellectual, technological and literary perspectives.

Eco’s essay becomes a milestone: the author accuses Ian Fleming of collage and literary tinkering, bridging Victorian novels and science fiction. The young doctor Eco won the war of criticism against Mr. Fleming, even signing the death warrant for James Bond in Italy and France, considering the binary structure of the story as fascist. Fleming’s novels remain bestsellers in English-speaking countries and are to this day enshrined “classics” of British literature in the popular Pleiades genre.

But if the literary James Bond has certainly slipped off the radar of the French intelligentsia, his cinematographic avatar has become an object of particular interest in cultural studies. with release Bond and beyond: the political career of an iconic hero By Bennett and Wollacott in 1987, James Bond became a textbook case for the study of changing representations of identity, ethnicity, race, class, gender, etc. However, there is one area of ​​the Bondian universe that, despite being the subject of the saga, is the world of espionage itself. A blind spot or an eye of the storm?

An author associated with the world of intelligence

Like President Kennedy, the first director of the CIA, Allen Dulles (1953 to 1961), was such a big admirer of Fleming that he wrote an article entitled “James Bond’s Favorite Spy Chief” in tribute to his friend Fleming and their friend. According to him, the novels were an invaluable source of inspiration for the CIA. JF Kennedy also mentioned With love from Russia on his bedside book list and Fleming sent each new novel to the Kennedy brothers.

At the same time, Fleming knew that among his most astute readers were KGB agents, to whom he communicated messages. With love from Russia According to Fleming’s data, each member of the office is described in detail. So Fleming uses his novels to check his sources and information, to sow chaos in the KGB, to convey messages and inventions, to convey situations and visions of the world, to spread fake news. Check” by starting a letter with Fleming, to report the wrong address of the KGB or the inappropriate selection of the Beretta 418 for 007. Major Boothroyd, the author of one of these letters, turns to novels and legends in Q. So Ian Fleming is not only the director of foreign correspondents in Sunday TimesHe is the head of a temporary international intelligence agency that communicates through these novels.

The field of espionage and intelligence deserves to be explored through James Bond, as Ian Fleming himself used his novels and films, dubbed “Intelligence” by the Anglo-Saxons. The exploration of intelligence, communications and “intelligence” as a cover for his activities, Ian Fleming and James Bond, ornithologist, makes us question the connections that Fleming unites under the pretense of being “abducted”. He found it both banal and virile.

The accompanying photo, taken by Mary Bond in Jamaica Goldeneye, shows James Bond, left, and Ian Fleming, right, all smiles in 1964. James Bond’s wife and novelist Mary Bond gives a glimpse into her husband’s biography. In love with James BondIt seems that these two thieves have a hell of a relationship and if they have never met publicly outside of this photo shoot, they share a lot of things from their British education, their sense of humor and their love for Jamaican birds. Or more precisely “birds”, a word that covers birds, women… and missiles in English. Countless jokes, quotes and messages from Fleming readers among ornithologists?

Between Bond and Fleming, a true bond

In the year Born in the United States in 1900, James Bond attended the prestigious private school in Harrow during the First World War, where he received the lectures and training that characterized the English elite at a time when British nationalism was at its height. However, too young to sign up at the front, Bond described himself as one of the “most popular old men” at Harrow. Bond received his higher education at Trinity College, Cambridge, the alma mater of the so-called Cambridge spies, which housed members of the very closed Pitt Club, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, two of the Cambridge Five. Although James Bond did not appear on any of the Cambridge spy lists, he found himself on the red list after Burgess and McLean went to Moscow in 1952. Old boy Cambridge, suspected by the CIA.

This is exactly where Ian Fleming returned to his Jamaican home Goldeneye – named after the bird and named for the operation led by Ian Fleming during World War II. He wrote his first novel in three weeks Casino Royale The main character is a secret agent named Bond, James Bond. “Why James Bond? In an interview, Fleming asked again. “James Bond appeared in my library, on the cover. Birds of the WestIn Jamaica it is “my Bible”.

Ten years and 12 novels and 9 short stories later, James Bond has become the most famous secret agent on the planet. Since then, ornithologist James Bond has never been bothered by the CIA, never bothered by 007 fans in the middle of the night.Fiction and fact? Jim Wright is the last participant in this dangerous practice in the book. The Real James Bond: Identity Theft, The Avian Conspiracy and the True Story of Ian Fleming In the year Published by Schiffer in 2020. In this highly researched and illustrated biography of the real James Bond, Wright nevertheless dares to question whether James Bond was an American spy. Wright does not conclude. But the question is, isn’t James Bond on Her Majesty’s Secret Service?

When opened Birds of the West Published by Riverside Press, Cambridge, Great Britain, the only work James Bond wrote on more than a hundred voyages to the Caribbean but without any new bird specimens, we are entitled to question his time with the pair. Binoculars (007) and a license to kill…birds?

Knowing that in English military terms “bird” means missile, James Bond knows all the beaches, beaches and beaches of pigs, it is impossible to read. A field guide to the West Indies Complete with maps and topographical descriptions, depending on its purpose as a guide or source of military information. This guide, published at Cambridge, is written for a British and American readership with this dedication: “To my many friends in the West Indies, with thanks for their hospitality and assistance.” “Friends” reminds us of the famous M. Foster, published in 1939, which Cambridge spies often refer to and is a key word that one can read. “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my country, I hope I have the guts to betray my friend.

James Bond, ornithologist, at the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences in 1974.

In this sense, James Bond’s homeland may not be the United States or England, but the land of his friends who took refuge in Jamaica. Ian Fleming lived the dream there, surrounded by a group of friends like Noel Coward, Cecil Beaton, William Plummer, Truman Capote… all gay, like the Cambridge spies, when homosexuality was still a crime in Britain.

Was James Bond part of this circle of close friends? Was he one of them? A biography of Mary Bond and a photo of Fleming and Bond, as well as Ian Fleming’s dedication to James Bond in his book You only live twice : “To the real James Bond from the identity thief Ian Fleming, February 5. 1964 (a great day!)” Suggest yes. In Fleming’s novel Dr. No And the movie, with Pierce Brosnan, Die another day, James Bond introduces himself as an ornithologist. In the last part He has no time to die, Bond/Craig retires to Goldeneye, Fleming’s former village. The circle is complete.

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