Archive for July 19, 2012

James Bond Genealogist

I had avoided seeing the 1969 movie, Her Majesty’s Secret Service, because it was reputed to be the weakest entry in the James Bond series of movies. Sean Connery had given up the role and was replaced by George Lazenby. I recently viewed the movie and was pleasantly surprised. It is not as bad as it reputed to be. But the best part of the movie was that Bond gains access to his arch-nemesis, Bloefeld, by pretending to be a genealogist from the London College of Arms. He is going to help Bloefeld prove that he is the Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp!

Writers and Their Families

Have you ever wondered about the influence of a writer’s family on their work? There is an interesting and provocative┬ánew collection of essays on this subject by the Irish writer Colm Toibin. It is titled New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Thier Families. Toibin has done great work in his novels and short stories but here he shows a talent for explaining some great writers (including Beckett, Thomas Mann and William Butler Yeats) in terms of their family dynamics and subsequent inluence on their literary output. Toibin has proved he is a man of many talents.