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Member Since 19 Sep 2003
Offline Last Active Jan 31 2017 02:14 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Is Tiffany Case Fleming's Best Female Character?

10 January 2017 - 12:29 AM

Dustin: The conversation with Simenon is a fascinating read. I'd be happy to post it if anyone here hasn't read it. I think you're quite right that Fleming thought he had let several women in his life down--Muriel Wright and Ann Fleming are two other examples. His late-in-life attempts to contact Monique and go touring with Blanche remind me of Bond's softening toward Vesper's memory and the revelation that he annually visits her grave.


Clublos: I really wanted to attend that panel, but a variety of things got in the way. My article on Tiffany for ALR is a very broad overview of the topics I might have discussed there. I hear the papers from the panel will be published and very much look forward to reading yours. I'm going to attempt submitting one of my own to Prof. Buckton, if I can find a narrower area of inquiry that doesn't overlap too much with your papers and those of your fellow panelists.


For anyone interested, the ALR overview of the panel can be read here.



In Topic: Is Tiffany Case Fleming's Best Female Character?

06 January 2017 - 08:23 PM

I view each Bond heroine as teaching Bond something new about women after the treachery in losing Vesper--the innocence of Solitaire, the resourcefulness of Honey, the worldly cynicism of Domino--all leading up to him falling in love again with Tracy, and the maternal nature of Kissy.  He's basically learning to trust women again. 


That's a wonderful observation and a new interpretation to me. It makes Tracy's death even more tragic, and his separation from Kissy--who had essentially become a wife--also tragic. After this cycle, Fleming seemed to have been left at a loss, since love and women play a very small role in TMWTGG.

I naturally agree with you on the depth of Fleming's women and how they've mostly been let down by the films, though I'll admit that the screen versions of Vesper, Solitaire, and Tracy have more depth than the originals.

In Topic: Is Tiffany Case Fleming's Best Female Character?

05 January 2017 - 10:02 PM

If I remember correctly, all the diamond carriers are watched by the mob on principle, though you're right that she probably should have noticed Wint and Kidd by now (perhaps Fleming is more to blame than his characters). Tiffany also was responsible for devising the smuggling method used in Bond's case (the golf balls) and presumably others as well, which speaks well of her ingenuity. 

I found it interesting that Felix drove Bond and Tiffany straight to LA rather than to a trusted place in Vegas--I guess the town was entirely enemy territory!

I hadn't thought about Tiffany's rareness in rejecting Bond--the only other close examples I can think of are Gala (but she was never in a real relationship with him) and Tilly (ditto). Bond's remark about mixed marriages never struck me as a convincing reason for the break-up--Tiffany's lived in London before, after all. I wonder if she enjoyed a happy marriage with that marine.

The masseuse is a very memorable and plausible character, despite her brief appearance, and as you note, Fleming expertly uses her ordinariness to show the kind of organization Smersh is and the kind of man Grant is--Fleming gets inside her head and shows her mixed fascination and repulsion for Grant's body and face. One of the very best walk-on characters in the books, and evidence that Fleming benefited from writing outside Bond's perspective.

In Topic: Fleming's Last Lines

14 December 2016 - 05:08 AM

You're very welcome Major! The other image on the page indeed shows that Fleming's handwritten corrections occur elsewhere in the typescript. I hope someday you'll gift us with an article or other presentation of your research.


Hoagy, my comment was meant in the jocular vein of phrases like "lucky bastard." And while the buyer and seller certainly don't owe anyone anything, it would be a shame if this typescript was to disappear into a private collection. As a Fleming fan, I feel something of an obligation to share the rare articles I find with other Fleming fans and on boards like this one. It's clear to me that this typescript will be more useful in an institution like the Lilly Library, which has given immense help to Fleming scholarship and to researchers like Major Tallon, than in the bookcase of a private collector. 

In Topic: Why it’s time to kill off James Bond

12 July 2016 - 08:44 PM

My opinion is as good as yours Glidrose (in my opinion anyway).


Um... did anybody say otherwise? The author's point is that Fleming is unique in how many considerably more accomplished novelists have followed in his footsteps.


The author's point is to imply that Fleming was a hack who had proper novelists following in his wake.

Yes, well, peacocks tend to fare poorly in poultry shows. No matter, the much better writers/novelists were handicapped from the outset in that they were trying to write a Fleming pastiche. I can only image the results if Fleming were still alive and tried writing Birdsong based on Faulk's outline, or "Any Human Heart" based on Boyd's.


Which only proves that a thriller writer would be no more proficient at writing middlebrow realistic novels (which are really just another genre) than a middlebrow realistic novelist would be at writing thrillers. Should a sushi chef be downgraded because he can't make a good pizza?

If Dustin Hoffman is such a fantastic actor then why could he never be as good a James Bond as George Lazenby?


For the same reason that he would be miscast in other adventure/action leading man roles. It's also worth pointing out the actors widely regarded as the best Bonds--Connery and  Craig--happen to be pretty in other roles too.

Fleming did not write for the "A audience". He wrote for "warm-blooded, heterosexuals to read on trains." Yes, some very literary people read and enjoyed Fleming's novels. But not because it was "A level" fiction but because it was pulp with some literary flair.


The A-audience quote comes from Fleming's letter debating whether he should allow the Express to run comic strips. Undoubtedly some members of that audience had warm-blood and read thrillers on trains...