noun [C] plural quanta SPECIALIZED
the smallest amount or unit of something, especially energy:
noun [S or U] LITERARY
help and comfort when you are feeling sad or worried:
When his wife left him, he found solace in the bottle. (= drank alcohol)
Music was a great solace to me during this period.
used after words or phrases expressing amount, number or particular unit:
a kilo of apples
loads of food
hundreds of people
Since yesterday’s announcement of the new title of the film that was formerly and temporarily called Bond 22, the educated press have been running to their dictionaries to find the meaning of ‘Quantum of Solace’. They have decreed confusion, ran to physisists, and simply pegged it as possibly the worst Bond title ever. It is also interesting that the media has even proclaimed that the title ‘has left many 007 fans baffled and confused’. We, as fans ourselves, are wondering who these baffled fans are. Yes, there are at least two, so far, of the first 231 who have voted in our forum poll that have said they do not understand. And yes, some Bond fans at CommanderBond.net do not like the title (about 6% according to our poll at last check) and some think and hope the title will grow on them (15%-ish). A solid three-quarters admit to liking the title. Judging by their comments that may be a better showing than Tomorrow Never Dies.
So how can the press immediately declare the title unsuitable for Bond? It is simple; they just don’t get it. No, not the definition of Quantum of Solace—they have looked that up by now—but the meaning of Quantum of Solace. They ask themselves, How can this be a Bond title when it doesn’t include the sex, death, or greed included in most all of the other Bond films’ titles? Well, before I spell it out for them let us look at others’ explanations.
Here is Daniel Craig explaining the title:
We could have gone for a snappier title, but that sort of suggests we’re insecure about what we’re trying to say. The statement is an Ian Fleming statement. It comes from the idea that in a relationship, if you don’t have a quantum of solace left in your relationship, then give up. Where Bond is left at the end of the last movie his heart’s been broken and he doesn’t have that quantum of solace, he doesn’t have that … closure on what happened in his life and he needs to find out. What is great about it is it also applies to something very important in the plot.
Since Mr Craig was good enough to bring up Mr Fleming, so shall we with a snippet of the original story.
The Governor paused and looked reflectively over at Bond. He said: “You’re not married, but I think it’s the same with all relationships between a man and a woman. They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good. That particular insult to the ego—worse, to the instinct of self-preservation—can never be forgiven. I’ve noticed this in hundreds of marriages. I’ve seen flagrant infidelities patched up, I’ve seen crimes and even murder forgiven by the other party, let alone bankruptcy and every other form of social crime. Incurable disease, blindness, disaster—all these can be overcome. But never the death of common humanity in one of the partners. I’ve thought about this and I’ve invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it the Law of the Quantum of Solace.”
“Quantum of Solace” – Ian Fleming
You see, our journalistic friends, the vast majority of Bond fans approve of this title because they not only understand the definition of Quantum of Solace, they understand the heart of it. There is no sex, death, and greed in this title, but that was the pre-Casino Royale Bond. There is love, grief, mystery, intrigue, introspection, and poetry within these three words Mr Fleming put together nearing on a half century ago. Bond fans know these are elements of this Bond that the team of Broccoli and Wilson finally have brought back in to sync his literary namesake. You see with this re-thought James Bond character it is not necessary to understand title going in—just as you weren’t expected to understand Silence of the Lambs—the understanding should be on the way out of the theatre.
Now if you in the press will be will be so kind to not use the phrase ‘007 fans’ as a replacement for ‘a very small amount of 007 fans’ (We haven’t forgotten two years ago), we might just stop using the phrase ’the press‘ in a similar fashion.