James Bond - Modern Myth

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Topics: James Bond
Most of what we consider to be today’s modern myths are timeless superheroes that have been preserved and elevated to this status by comic books, television shows, and movies. One modern character who has achieved this title, partly due to this same timelessness and seeming immortality, is Ian Fleming’s James Bond. Fleming created the character of Bond in 1953, when he released his first novel entitled Casino Royale. Critical acclaim for the novels led Fleming to partner with EON productions to film a James Bond movie – the first being Dr. No. While Fleming penned his final Bond story in 1964, other novelists and directors have continued to produce material that adds to the never-ending story of this British superspy. The image of James Bond has become an important part of pop culture, spawning a line of video games and musical arrangements made specifically for the series. It has also influenced many other novels and films; including the Austin Powers spoof series and the Jason Bourne books and movies. The name James Bond has become synonymous with violence, sex and sophistication, and it is a prime example of a modern myth due to people’s familiarity with the character and his personality. James Bond is a modern myth not just because of the mythic qualities that the character and his codename, 007, possess, but also because of the status to which it has been elevated and the number of ways in which it has been recreated.

Ian Fleming released the first novel featuring Commander Sir James Bond of the British Secret Intelligence Service in 1953, which was entitled Casino Royale. The novel introduced Bond as a cold and virtually emotionless MI6 (SIS) agent sent to defeat a Soviet terrorist who is funding a weapons trade in an intense game of Baccarat. As Fleming said of his creation:
I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find, 'James Bond' was much better than something more interesting, like 'Peregrine Carruthers.' Exotic things would



Cited: Barnes, Alan, and Marcus Hearn. Kiss kiss bang! bang!: the unofficial James Bond film companion. New York City, NY: Penguin Group, 1998. Print. Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth. New York: Anchor Books, 1988. Print. Campbell, Martin, dir. Goldeneye. Perf. Pierce Brosnan, EON Productions, 1995. Film. Chancellor , Henry. James Bond: The Man and His World. London, England: John Murray, 2005. Print. Fleming, Ian. Casino Royale. New York City, NY: Penguin Books, 2002. Print. Fleming, Ian. From Russia with Love. New York City, NY: Penguin Books, 2002. Print. Fleming, Ian. "The Fleming Creed - The Ian Fleming Collection of 19th-20th Century Source Material Concerning Western Civilization together with the Originals of the James Bond-007 Tales." Indiana University. Web. 5 Dec 2009. . Hinson, Hal. " 'Goldeneye ' : Traditional Bond." The Washington Post. 1995. The Washington Post - Critic 's Corner , Web. 1 Dec 2009. .

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