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Thursday, 22 May 2014

That old racist Ian Fleming

The text here is from my Goodreads review of the Ian Fleming novel, Live and Let Die.

To charge this book with racism, as many reviews have done so, is absurd. The book and attitudes were of the time and obviously these views are expressed within the pages. The same charges could be aimed at Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Bulldog Drummond and any classic character.Or what about Shakespeare - could we call the bard homophobic for not representing gay characters in his plays? Do we start judging classic works by modern standards? The book uses the word Negro a lot but at the time this was not considered a racial slur. It also uses the word gay in its true meaning - damn Ian Fleming for living during the period and writing what is probably the best series of thrillers in history. Didn't he realise that in the future the PC brigade, those same people who airbrushed the cigar from a famous poster of Winston Churchill, would be judging him by standards of the next century? How small minded of him!

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