Thursday, December 09, 2021

James Bond in the Lancet

The new issue of medical journal Lancet Psychiatry includes my essay, "Was it obvious to everyone else that I'd fallen for a lie?" on James Bond, and also Len Deighton and John le Carre. I wrote it before I'd seen No Time To Die.

You need to be signed up to read the whole thing, but the teaser first paragraph goes like this:

"When actor Sean Connery died in October, 2020, media coverage focused on his success as the secret agent James Bond. The franchise is still going strong, with Bond now played by Daniel Craig and No Time To Die, the latest film, now in cinemas. That enduring appeal is partly due to the movies consciously keeping up with the times and reflecting contemporary trends. Yet Connery's Bond films are still screened on prime-time TV in the UK; remarkable, given that the first of them, Dr No, is nearly 60 years old and invidiously features White actors made up to look Asian. The best of Connery's Bond films, Goldfinger (1964), was even back in cinemas at the end of 2020. They are exciting movies, and sexy and fun, but their persistence is down to something more profound. The world of espionage portrayed by mid-20th century writers was deeply concerned with scientific and political issues concerning individuality, identity, and the human mind..."

Simon Guerrier, "Was it obvious to everyone else that I'd fallen for a lie?", Lancet Psychiatry vol 8, issue 12, pp 1040-1 (1 December 2021)

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