From our Literary Tidbit Department:
Ian Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his house in Jamaica where all of the Bond novels were written. He had been musing on a name for his new creation. “I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument…” He looked up from his desk and saw this on his bookshelf:
“I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought, by God, ‘James Bond’ is the dullest name I ever heard.” That’s right. The real James Bond wasn’t a globetrotting super spy. He was an ornithologist. And, yes, that’s a first edition.
Fleming would routinely name villains after actual people who had gotten on his nerves at one point or another. Hugo Drax, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, etc., were all part of a grand payback scheme. Sweet.
The Bond books were written while World War II was still a fresh wound. The villains were mostly Germans or Asians with hideous physical disfigurements who were hellbent on world domination.
Fleming’s greatest nomenclature creation is Pussy Galore. Talk about a straight white male fantasy! She was the leader of a gang of lesbian ex-circus performing cat burglars. Bond turned her hetro with his superior lovemaking skills. The film adaptation has Bond overpowering her in a bail of hay in a barn. Afterwards, woozy from a proper pumping from Bond, she willingly reveals Goldfinger’s nefarious plans to the CIA.
In a heartfelt tribute, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery features a character named Alotta Fagina, which I find no less absurd than Pussy Galore.
Would you look at this whopper I bought before work last week. It was enormous! Gerthy, too. Five inches around. I measured.
Am I the only one astonished that I can buy fresh tropical fruit from a street vendor in Manhattan the middle of winter? Isn’t that a cause for wonderment? I’m certain that option didn’t exist not long ago. Only 50 cents.
I have tried for years to develop an appreciation for Gerhard Richter’s work but it’s just visual noise to me. It’s big. You can say that much for it.
Abstraktes Bild (809-2)
From the collection of Eric Clapton
Sold for $22,087,500
Oh. And Eric Clapton owned it. You can say that, too. And say it they did. Over and over and over. That was thought to be one of the painting’s key selling points. They sure couldn’t sell it on its artistic merit alone. Clapton bought it in 2001 for $3.4 million.
$22 million. Give me a break. It was fugly in 2001 and it’s fugly today.