Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bond James Bond - Ian Fleming's Life Adventures Create Bond

I came to man-hood in the early 1960's along with the advent of the James Bond movies...I was a movie-buff it was easy for me to translate the unreality of the films I saw into my own personal reality...I had a Father complex where I saw my Dad just as suave and debonair as that guy on-screen at the time...the following article is extracted from The Times - London, published August 18, 2007 by Ben Macintyre, entitiled "The life that led to 007":

"In March 1952 a middle-aged journalist began tapping out a story on a battered typewriter, partly to take his mind off his imminent marriage. One month later Casino Royale was completed and James Bond was born.

Ian Fleming had tried his hand as a stockbroker, a reporter on The Times and, during the Second World War, a spymaster in the Naval Intelligence Division. But shortly before the end of the war he told a friend: “I am going to write the spy story to end all spy stories.” By the time of his death, in 1964, Fleming had written 14 Bond books, sold more than 40 million copies, creating a character with a lasting grip on popular culture.

Like Bond, Fleming was attractive to women: hard-living and handsome, with exquisite taste and considerable charm, but with something cold and hard in his personality. But Bond dined on caviar and champagne; Fleming preferred scrambled eggs (“they never let you down”), Bond smoked 70 cigarettes a day and drank nuclear cocktails with little apparent effect; Fleming’s drinking and smoking contributed to his death at the age of 56.

Fleming understood the importance of “things” in an postwar world that was slowly waking up to the possibilities of consumerism. The key to the modern thriller, Fleming once remarked, was to “write about what people are really interested in: cards, money, gold and things like that”.

Working for The Times and then The Sunday Times, Fleming travelled to distant and glamorous locations. Like all the best journalists he was a magpie, gathering anything that caught his eye: gizmos, plots and personalities. Fleming often based his characters, including Bond, on people he had met, and he gathered names from his wide acquaintance. The villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, for example, was named after the father of the cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, who had been at Eton with Fleming.

- For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond, supported by The Times will run from April 25, 2008, to March 1, 2009, at the Imperial War Museum. Ben Macintyre is writing the book to accompany the exhibition, For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond, due to be published by Bloomsbury in April."

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