Ian Fleming's biographer slams decision to rewrite James Bond books to make them politically correct
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The modern 007 is known as the sharp, suave, and sort-of sensitive secret agent.
But decades ago it seems he was rather different.
Let's be frank: James Bond was a notorious womaniser and a massive cad.
While many know the British spy through the iconic films, the character of Bond originally came from a 12-book series of novels written by Ian Fleming.
But those novels are getting a bit of a refresh so that they fit with modern audiences' tastes.
Things like the N-word as well as specific references to a character's race will be deleted.
A disclaimer will also be placed at the start of each novel, according to The Guardian, that says: “This book was written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.
“A number of updates have been made in this edition, while keeping as close as possible to the original text and the period in which it is set.”
Fleming died in 1964, so he can't come to the defence of his classic British spy tales.
But, his biographer, Andrew Lycett, can.
He sat down with The Telegraph to chat about Bond's rebranded novels and, hoo boy, did he come out swinging.
"It’s never a good look to change what an author originally wrote. It smacks of censorship, and there’s seldom much mileage in that," Lycett said.
"Of course, there are words and phrases in the Bond novels which look out of place today.
"References to race, as in the ethnicity of the barman in Thunderball, have reportedly been removed from a new edition of the 007 oeuvre, along with the description of a striptease in Live and Let Die.
He went on to add: "However, I feel strongly that what an author commits to paper is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be altered. It stands as evidence of that writer’s – and society’s – attitudes at a particular moment in time, whether it’s by Shakespeare, Dickens, or Ian Fleming."
While Lycett argued that the original works of Fleming - or any author - should be left as they are, the British writer went on to point out that it would be impossible to make Fleming's Bond politically correct anyway.
"Fleming created a sexist, often sadistic, killer, with anachronistic attitudes to homosexuals, and to a range of people of different nationalities," he told The Telegraph.
Lycett believes this style of writing is a relic of the past and should be treated as such, rather than a reflection of what people think is appropriate today.