A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020

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A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020

A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020

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Price: £9.9
£9.9 FREE Shipping

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In a letter to her parents, le Carré wrote, “Her dedication to the people she loved was absolute, and I cannot resist adding that she was ready to die for them. The letters to his mentor and Smiley prototype Vivian Green are more revealing, as are his scornful asides on Kim Philby.

The wonder pills I have been taking for the same complaint have run their course, and the next stage is to nuke me with an experimental radioactive infusion every six weeks. The correspondence that makes up “A Private Spy” is capacious in theme, but a steady through line is work.The net result is that we have cleaned up in a pretty big way and as long as I keep out of England until April ’66 stand a goodish chance of keeping 2⁄3 of the stuff. A theme of the novel,” le Carré wrote to his aunt Ella Haymes, who along with her sister Ruby was upset by the book (or at least its reception—they hadn’t read it), “is that hypocrisy thrives upon the silence and the goodheartedness of respectable people, and that deceit, when it passes unchallenged, can be bestowed upon one generation by another. Combining the services and moving them to Cambridge Circus put his characters in spitting distance of Soho, the better to allow for random binges at the pub and casual visits by George Smiley to the rare booksellers on Charing Cross Road. After an abrupt departure from boarding school he went to Germany and later spent five terms as a German teacher at Eton (“I don’t think I’ve ever met so much arrogance”). John le Carré understood what, for all its moral failings, a career in intelligence represented for many: a good, stable government job.

For the next few months he would be preoccupied with his new novel, including a planned visit to the Caucasus, where Chechen rebels were fighting a war of independence against Russian rule, and where the climax of the action was set. A Private Spy is] a portrait of the famed spy novelist via a lifetime of correspondence…Meticulously edited and expansively annotated by le Carré’s son, Cornwell, this collection lands like a biography…Le Carré’s wry modesty and cleareyed insight into human nature consistently shine through…invaluable for fans.No, you are not rotund or double chinned, though I think I have seen you in rôles where you have, almost as an act of will, acquired a sort of cherubic look!



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