These forums may contain mild adult content and are not associated with EON, Sony or any other companies and do not reflect their views.
 
HomeHome  RegisterRegister  Log in  

Share | 
 

 What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?

Go down 
AuthorMessage
Secret Files
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12
Location : Computer says "No".

PostSubject: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:31 am



Lately I've been thinking about what it was that inspired Ian Fleming to write what was to be his last James Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, written in 1964 and published posthumously in 1965. We know it is one of Fleming's shortest novels (alongside The Spy Who Loved Me, 1962). It seems that this final Bond novel from Fleming seemed to be 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration more than ever before for the author but the at least skeleton inspiration for the story must have come from somewhere. I have one idea from the annals of True Crime that I think might have inspired the story about golden guns. I won't share it here just now as it's part of an upcoming blog article I'm writing about this. I may be completely wrong about this anyhow and deep down I suspect that I probably am, but the possibility of the idea intrigues me nonetheless.

Having read the relevant letters on The Man with the Golden Gun novel in Fergus Fleming's excellent book The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters (2015) I can confirm that there is sadly very little help there in what inspired the idea of the golden gun, Scaramanga and the plot to disturb the sugar industry in Jamaica on behalf of Fidel Castro's Cuba.

Of course Kingsley Amis was the first (and no doubt not the last) to point out the weaknesses of The Man with the Golden Gun from an inspiration and originality point of view. In his influential literary Bond study The James Bond Dossier (1965) Amis stated that he thought The Man with the Golden Gun was "very thin", seemingly being based on reworks of earlier Fleming Bond novels, those being the Hood's Congress in Goldfinger (1959) and the steam train action sequence first seen in Diamonds Are Forever (1956). One could certainly add to this by pointing to the Scaramanga dossier M reads at Blades was almost certainly an idea cribbed from Fleming's first Bond novel Casino Royale (1953) where there was a very similar dossier for the destruction of the villainous Le Chiffre. Besides this, Amis noted that Francisco Scaramanga and Mary Goodnight hardly qualified for their roles as as the Bond villain and Bond girl respectively.

Others have commented (on the Bond forums generally) that The Man with the Golden Gun represented a new and exciting departure for Fleming as Blofeld and SPECTRE had clearly been vanquished and Bond as a character seemed to be returning to an even keel again after the trauma of losing his wife of one day Tracy Bond, getting revenge on Blofeld and then being brainwashed by the Soviets to assassinate his chief M. Some say Fleming created a new type of independent and more self-employed villain with Scaramanga (albeit with links to Castro). In fact, Scaramanga is the first henchman type to be the main villain in a Bond novel since Horror and Sluggsy in The Spy Who Loved Me. There is also a return to a wider realism not seen since perhaps Casino Royale and Live and Let Die with a myriad of plots emanating from Scaramanga's employer - Castro's Cuba. The more stripped down plot of saving the free world's sugar industry is certainly a far cry from the more fantastical Fleming plots of the past - zeroing in a nuclear rocket on London in Moonraker (1955) or stealing two atomic bombs in Thunderball (1961)!

Obviously, as Fleming was ill and tired at the time of writing The Man with the Golden Gun he didn't get any chance to travel to new and exciting locations for what was to be his final literary work. Though the Panama Canal was apparently considered as a location for the novel (at least according to his friend Richard Hughes) Fleming instead returned to his old haunting ground of Jamaica and focused on the new elements of the culture of the Rastafarians, Jamaican brothels and the mangrove swamps. Fleming had already of course used his home from home, Jamaica, in the novels Live and Let Die, Dr. No and the short stories 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'Octopussy'.

These are just some ideas that come to my mind onThe Man with the Golden Gun. We also know from a letter to William Plomer that Fleming (who was quite literally dying at the time) said that the novel represented his last work as he had run out of both puff and zest and that he found the writing difficult and a lot slower than was usual. It's likely the published novel was Fleming's first draft edited as usual by William Plomer at Jonathan Cape.

Well, that's more than enough from me now. What do you think inspired Fleming's last Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun and his creation of the main villain Francisco Scaramanga? I'm all ears!   smile


Last edited by Secret Files on Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:50 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
Kath
Experienced Correspondent
Experienced Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 352
Member Since : 2017-12-23

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:20 am

That's a bit unfair because we obviously do not have the best part of this. big grin
Why don't you write your article and we discuss it then? I'd love to hear your theory about the crime record, because I'd say, just judging by my feelings, that this might be a very likely source.
Back to top Go down
Secret Files
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12
Location : Computer says "No".

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:29 am

Kath wrote:
That's a bit unfair because we obviously do not have the best part of this. big grin
Why don't you write your article and we discuss it then? I'd love to hear your theory about the crime record, because I'd say, just judging by my feelings, that this might be a very likely source.

Yes, I'm writing it now and will post a link to it here once I have finished it.

I just wanted to see what other members here thought about the origins of the literary Scaramanga and I'm of course still open to hearing their views in his thread. They might think something else entirely, of course! smile
Back to top Go down
http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
Kath
Experienced Correspondent
Experienced Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 352
Member Since : 2017-12-23

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:41 am

I would love to help, but I cannot come up with any good idea at the moment. I'm sorry.
Back to top Go down
Secret Files
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12
Location : Computer says "No".

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:52 am

Kath wrote:
I would love to help, but I cannot come up with any good idea at the moment. I'm sorry.

Not to worry. I'll go ahead and write the article. I'm currently rereading TMWTGG again for just that purpose.
Back to top Go down
http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
Kath
Experienced Correspondent
Experienced Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 352
Member Since : 2017-12-23

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:31 am

I think I have already told you about JBS, haven't I?
Back to top Go down
Secret Files
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12
Location : Computer says "No".

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:31 pm

Kath wrote:
I think I have already told you about JBS, haven't I?

What's JBS?
Back to top Go down
http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
Kath
Experienced Correspondent
Experienced Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 352
Member Since : 2017-12-23

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:22 am

James Bond Studies
An academic journal devoted to James Bond. They accept submissions of everyone (you do not have to be an academic); but you do need research material. And it will be reviewed by experts of the field. Just in case you might be interested.

https://jamesbondstudies.roehampton.ac.uk/
Back to top Go down
Flush
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 94
Member Since : 2014-08-05
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:38 am

That looks interesting.
Back to top Go down
Secret Files
Correspondent
Correspondent
avatar

Posts : 185
Member Since : 2016-12-12
Location : Computer says "No".

PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:55 am

Kath wrote:
James Bond Studies
An academic journal devoted to James Bond. They accept submissions of everyone (you do not have to be an academic); but you do need research material. And it will be reviewed by experts of the field. Just in case you might be interested.

https://jamesbondstudies.roehampton.ac.uk/

Thank you, Kath. Yes, I remember your mentioning it shortly after you joined. Sad to say I'd never heard of it, but it does look good. I've long believed that there should be some sort of regular James Bond journal so I'm glad to hear that one has already been set up!

I doubt my writing ability is good enough to feature, mind you, so this article will go up on my blog instead. Im just an amateurish hack in comparison!

You can find the link to my blog at the bottom of this post of mine if you'd like to get a taste of some of my articles. Enter at your own peril of course!
Back to top Go down
http://www.thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.uk
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?   

Back to top Go down
 
What inspired Ian Fleming to write The Man with the Golden Gun (1965) (and create Francisco Scaramanga)?
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Bond And Beyond :: Bond :: Literary Bond-
Jump to: