The world of James Bond has gone under the microscope in a brand new French 32-chapter book consisting of over 400 pages of essays examining anything and everything relating to 007.
The Scotsman reports that the newly published book, James Bond (2)007 Anatomy of a Popular Myth is the work of 24 French academics. These Gallic authors–university professors, historians, sociologists, economists, political scientists, philosophers, a geopolitician and a musicologist–lift the lid on what they refer to as ‘l’univers Bondian’.
The book covers an amazing variety of topics relating to the world of 007. Bond’s sexual magnetism is analyzed in the chapter ‘James Bond: A reassuring fantasmic virility’, while his pronounced elegance and dinner habits are covered in ‘The myth of the dinner jacket’ and ‘Death at breakfast: At the table of a secret agent’, respectively.
Other subjects examined in the book include ‘From pin-up to wonderwoman: the evolution of female characters in the films of James Bond’, ‘Subversive readings of the Bondian universe in Greek cinema of the 1960s’ and ‘The anguish of conspiracy and the excess power of capitalists before Fleming (1830-1930)’. The overall relevation is that the 007’s world is ‘dominated by the death of God in the Nietzschean sense of the expression’ or, as Sartre said, ‘the conscience of each of us is the author of our own morality’.
Lucie Blettery, who edited the collection of essays, said: ‘Britain had just emerged from the Second World War when Fleming wrote the first Bond novel in 1953 and its influence in the world had dwindled with the decline of the British Empire.’
‘The character of James Bond enables the British to maintain a false image of superiority as the secret agent uses the Cold War to teach both the Russians and the Americans a lesson.’
‘As for the legendary Bond Girls, they are gadgets, objects of consumption, like his cars and his champagne. After all we mustn’t forget that in Bond’s opinion a woman must have two qualities – she must make love as well as she does a sauce bearnaise.’
James Bond (2)007 Anatomy of a Popular Myth has resulted from a compilation of papers delivered at a French academic conference which was held in January of this year. Those who participated have stressed that the character of Bond was deserved of research and compared author Ian Fleming to the greatest 19th-century French novelists.
Published Editions Belin has pointed out that James Bond (2)007 Anatomy of a Popular Myth is one of only three serious attempts to analyse James Bond that has been made in continental Europe in the past 50 years.
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