The very latest, Mr Bond?
You may not have known that even though Ian Fleming died almost 50 years ago, his creation James Bond has been experiencing many new adventures. Various authors have been allowed to try their hand at new Bond novels, and this week it has been announced that US author Jeffery Deaver has written the latest one, Carte Blanche, to be published in May. It is set in present-day Dubai. In addition of course, whoever writes the scripts for James Bond movies has been going far beyond Fleming.
And James Bond is not alone. In 1991 Alexandra Ripley wrote Scarlett, a badly received sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. And there have been several new Sherlock Holmes stories.
Should this bother us? After all, James Bond and Sherlock Holmes have probably developed a life beyond the control of their creators. Or should we be purist and insist that fictional figures should die with their original authors? Agatha Christie was careful enough to kill off Hercule Poirot in a posthumously released novel, making his re-appearance less credible.
I guess in the end I am a purist, and prefer these characters to remain the property of the original authors. Though I’ll stretch a point for another movie featuring Sean Connery; I wouldn’t object to a new script for that. Connery, after all, was the only real Bond.