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We haunt a ruined century

VIKING (deținut de Random House) anunță pentru 6 decembrie lansarea volumului A private Spy - Letters of John le Carré, 1945-2020, edited by Tim Cornwell.

În ediția sa din 8 octombrie, ziarul britanic The Guardian publică, în exclusivitate, o scurtă selecție din misivele lui le Carré. Printre destinatari - membri de familie, celebrități din varii domenii și fani ai scriitorului: Graham Greene, Stephen Fry, Sir Tom Stoppard, Sir Alec Guinness sau fostul colonel KGB Mihail Liubimov, devenit și el scriitor.

Una dintre scrisorile care mi-au plăcut foarte mult, pentru umorul ei Lecarresque, este cea adresată conducerii revistei Literaturnaia Gazeta:

May 1966

‘To Russia, with Greetings’


The problem of the Cold War is that, as Auden once wrote, we haunt a ruined century.

Behind the little flags we wave, there are old faces weeping, and children mutilated by the fatuous conflicts of preachers. Mr. Voinov [a Soviet critic who reviewed A Spy Who Came In From The Cold], I suspect, smelt in my writing the greatest heresy of all: that there is no victory and no virtue in the Cold War, only a condition of human illness and a political misery. And so he called me its apologist (he might as well have called Freud a lecher).

James Bond, on the other hand, breaks no such Communist principles. You know him well. He is the hyena who stalks the capitalist deserts, he is an identifiable antagonist, sustained by capital and kept in good heart by the charms of a materialist society; he is a chauvinist, an unblinking patriot who makes espionage exciting. Bond on his magic carpet takes us away from moral doubt, banishes perplexity with action, morality with duty. Above all, he has the one piece of equipment without which not even his formula would work: an entirely evil enemy.

He is on your side, not mine. Now that you have honoured the qualities which created him, it is only a matter of time before you recruit him. Believe me, you have set the stage: the Russian Bond is on his way.

With greetings,

John le Carré

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