The Paris Review Daily

Posts Tagged ‘James Bond’

The Most Expensive Book in the World, and Other News

April 15, 2013 | by

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  • This is the most expensive book in the world.
  • “Because the Pulitzer board couldn’t possibly be so cruel two years in a row, right?” We shall see.
  • We have a title: the new Bond novel is called Solo.
  • Neil Gaiman left a little guerrilla artwork on the New York streets.
  • Julian Barnes: England “has always been a comparatively philistine country.”
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    James Bond’s Breakfast, and Other News

    February 25, 2013 | by

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  • Well, this is depressing: for fiscal reasons, a Tennessee post office has taken to tossing books that get returned to sender. Hopefully Dolly Parton, whose charity is involved, will intervene and make everything right.
  • Ten “unfilmable” books, made into films of varying quality.
  • Meanwhile, Penguin has been toting up the Oscar wins on adaptations of their titles, all of which are discounted. (The Shakespeares seem like cheating.)
  • If all that was old news to you, perhaps we can interest you in a literary Oscars quiz?
  • “Meticulous breakfast prep often signals violent tendencies.” On James Bond’s prandial fussiness and breakfast as character indicator in fiction. 
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    Bond. James Bond.

    November 26, 2012 | by

    James Bond was a well-known ornithologist. His Birds of the West Indies is an unusually rich source of names. According to Bond, the Sooty Tern is also known as the Egg Bird; Booby; Bubí; Hurricane Bird; Gaviota Oscura; Gaviota Monja; Oiseau Fou; Touaou. But when the keen birdwatcher Ian Fleming needed a name that sounded as ordinary as possible, he had to look no further than the title page of Bond’s great work. Why does the name of an actual ornithologist sound so right as the name of a fictional spy? Why couldn’t Fleming have used another pair of common monosyllables—John Clark, say? Bond is a solid, blue-chip, faith-giving kind of a name. Who wouldn’t prefer a government Bond under their mattress (we’re talking AAA British) to a petty clerk? Is your word your clerk? I don’t think so. Bond. It’s in the name.

    —Colin Burrow, London Review of Books

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    007, Moby-Dick, Literates

    October 19, 2012 | by

  • The handwritten contract for Moby-Dick.
  • The top ten literary parodies! (Warning: highly subjective and skews very British. But then, it would.)
  • Watch the trailer for Midnight’s Children. In the words of one YouTube commenter, “can b a gud movie for literates.”
  • In news that will shock no one, Swedish researchers find writers are unusually prone to depression, mood disorders, and substance abuse.
  • The Economist charts the kills, conquests, and tipples of the various James Bonds.
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    Hacks Britannica: Reviving an Olympic Tradition of Crapness

    July 31, 2012 | by

    At the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, to which Britain did not send a delegation but at which it did earn two medals by virtue of owning Ireland, the first-place finisher in the marathon, a New York City bricklayer, was disqualified for having covered eleven miles of the course by automobile. The runner-up, a British-Bostonian brazier competing for America, whose trainers had administered him strychnine and brandy and egg whites and who had been borne along by officials for part the race, was declared the victor. At the 2012 London Olympics, in a video clip shown during the opening ceremony, the comic actor Rowan Atkinson (as Mr. Bean) was digitally inserted into the beach run that opens Chariots of Fire; imagining the scene as a race, Atkinson flags, veers offscreen, then overtakes the other runners in a car, rejoining the pack just in time to win.

    Such filmed-to-order interludes, which cutely recontextualize iconic personages for special occasions, are familiar from Academy Awards broadcasts, and their appearance in a live Olympic commencement marked conspicuously the London show’s direction by British filmmaker Danny Boyle. Read More »

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    Burning Books, Listening to Just Kids, Casting Fleming

    May 22, 2012 | by

  • For those with Spotify, all the songs mentioned in Just Kids, in playlist form. (Perfect for a rainy day!)
  • Duncan Jones has signed on to direct a biopic of Ian Fleming, based on Andrew Lycett’s The Man Behind James Bond. Everyone knows the man himself okayed Sean Connery to play 007, but who should fill the enigmatic writer-spy’s shoes?
  • A letter from Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah Josepha Hale, author of the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” has sold at auction for $164,000. In it, Poe refuses an offer to publish in Hale’s magazine, explaining, “To send you a crude or hastily written article would be injurious to me, and an insult to yourself—and I fear that I could, at present, do little more.”
  • William Peter Blatty, better known as the author of The Exorcist, is suing Georgetown University in church court, disputing his alma mater’s right to still call themselves Catholic given some of its secular policies.
  • “Frat boys burning textbooks to celebrate graduation burn down frat house.”
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