SPECTRE

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The "L" Word

For those interested, let me provide you a couple of brief passages from the Goldfinger novel. As you know, the movie wouldn't (& doubtless couldn't) frankly discuss the issue of Pussy Galore being a lesbian, except for a few coy references. So I thought I'd let you see how Ian Fleming dealt with it in print.

I'll refrain from editorial comment, except for 2 notes. First, the novel was published in 1959, so the times were a wee bit different. Secondly, Tilly Masterson dies much later in the novel, not until after the raid on Fort Knox. She and Bond are put to work helping Goldfinger implement Operation Grand Slam. After resisting Bonds' advances, she becomes...ahem...taken with Pussy Galore.

Bond, having seen her name on a list, asks who this Pussy Galore might be. Goldfinger's response:

"She is the only woman who runs a gang in America. It is a gang of women. I shall need some women for this operation. She is entirely reliable. She was a trapeze artiste. She had a team. It was called 'Pussy Galore and her Acrobats.' " Goldfinger did not smile. "The team was unsuccessful, so she trained them as burglars, cat burglars. It grew into a gang of outstanding ruthlessness. It is a Lesbian organization which now calls itself 'The Cement Mixers.' Even the big American gangs respect them. She is a remarkable woman."

Next, we have Bond ruminating on Tilly Masterson, as she falls under Pussy's...ahem...influence:
Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterson was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and 'sex equality.' As a result of fifty years years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits--barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them.
And the book's denouement:

She lay in the crook of Bond's arm and looked up at him. She said, not in a gangster's
voice, or a Lesbian's, but in a girl's voice, "Will you write to me in Sing Sing?"

Bond looked down into the deep blue-violet eyes that were no longer hard, imperious. He bent and kissed them lightly. He said, "They told me you only liked women."

She said, "I never met a man before."
Sigh...perhaps it's just as well the 1964 movie completely avoided the topic...

2 comments:

  1. Well, if there was a man who could "turn" a lesbian, it would have to be James Bond, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. God, that's horrible. Still, thanks for sharing...I guess.

    ReplyDelete