Saturday, February 27, 2010

007: The Spy Who Loved Me(n)

Previously in my (re) reading of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, I've noted that the book Bond differs from the film Bond. Not in the obvious ways that every half awake reader would see[1]. Oh no. It's a truism that both book and film Bonds don't actually like women very much[2], but it seems that in Diamonds are Forever Bond doesn't even want to sleep with them.

But Bond has been through a lot in the previous three books, and despite a holiday in France, and (as M states) his last medical showing him in "pretty good shape" maybe he needs time to get over being buried under a cliff. After that he didn't actually consummate his relationship with Gala Brand in the previous book Moonraker. In fact, she returns to her fiancé at the end of the novel. Hmm. Anyway, let's return to Diamonds are Forever and meet Bond in his first appearance at the start of Chapter 2.
"Don't push it in. Screw it in," said M impatiently.

James Bond, making a mental note to pass M's dictum on to the Chief of Staff...

I beg your pardon?
James Bond, making a mental note to pass M's dictum on to the Chief of Staff, again picked up the jeweller's glass from the desk where it had fallen, and this time managed to fit it securely into the socket of his right eye.

Oh. I see.

There are still questions to be answered. Fortunately Tiffany Case asks the most pressing at (another) dinner:
She paused and smiled up at him. "Now it's your turn again," she said. "Buy me another drink and then tell me what sort of woman you think would add to you."

Bond gave his order to the steward. He lit a cigarette and turned back to her. "Somebody who can make Sauce BĂ©arnaise[3] as well as love," he said.

Is that "as well" as in "equally well" or "at the same time"?
"And you'd marry this person if you found her?"

"Not necessarily," said Bond. "Matter of fact I'm almost married already. To a man. Name begins with M. I'd have to divorce him before I tried marrying a woman. And I'm not sure I'd want that..."
Quotes taken out of context from Diamonds are Forever by Ian Fleming

Case has got to heart of the, um, case. James Bond: Early gay marriage proponent. My work here is done.

[1] Bond is less likeable, noticeably less competent and slower on the uptake in the books; he also actually gets hurt and is not at all witty
[2] With the notable exception of Countess Teresa di Vicenzo. I note that her wikipedia entry is part of the deliciously eclectic category Fictional Socialites.
[3] Bond, being something of a food snob, gives the french name for the traditional steak sauce. Not having ever made it I can't recommend a recipe, but I note this one. For another way of serving steak see this earlier post of mine.