Imaginați-vă: doi scriitori cunoscuți de thrillere, unul englez, unul american, care stau la un pahar de vorbă. Despre James Bond și Philip Marlowe, cum e când te lovește cineva cu mânerul unui pistol în cap, de ce Bond e torturat de fiecare dată și cum se pune la cale un asasinat.
Conversația (care a fost difuzată în 1958 la BBC) este absolut delicioasă, iar cei doi autori au foarte mult respect unul pentru celălalt (la un moment dat, Fleming îi spune lui Chandler: “You write better books than I do”).
Și, pentru că nu au relația obișnuită dintre intervievator și intervievat, discuția e personală, aproape că ai senzația că tragi cu urechea.
Dacă nu aveți răbdare să ascultați tot, găsiți interviul transcris aici (la pagina 30). Iar dacă n-aveți răbdare nici de asta, uitați pasajele noastre preferate:
Ian Fleming: I don’t know if you do, but I find it extremely difficult to write about villains. Villains are extremely difficult people to put my finger on. You can often find heroes wandering around life. You meet them and come across them as well as plenty of heroines of course. But a really good solid villain is a very difficult person to build up, I think.
Raymond Chandler: In my own mind I don’t think I ever think anyone is a villain.
Ian Fleming: Your hero, Philip Marlowe, is a real hero. He behaves in a heroic fashion. I never intended my leading character, James Bond, to be a hero. I intended him to be a sort of blunt instrument wielded by a government department who would get into bizarre and fantastic situations and more or less shoot his way out of them, or get out of them one way or another. But of course he’s always referred to as my hero. I don’t see him as a hero myself. On the whole I think he’s a rather unattractive man . . .
Raymond Chandler: Why do you always have to have a torture scene?
Ian Fleming: Well . . . do I always? Yes, let me think now . . . maybe you’re right.
Raymond Chandler: Well, every one that I’ve read.
Ian Fleming: Really? I suppose I was brought up on Dr Fu Manchu and thrillers of that kind and somehow always, even in Bulldog Drummond and so on, the hero at the end gets in the grips of the villain and he suffers, either he’s drugged or something happens to him . . .
Raymond Chandler: Well, next time, try brainwashing. Probably worse than torture.
Ian Fleming: I think it is, yes. I don’t like to get too serious. This so-called hero of mine has a good time. He beats the villain in the end and gets the girl and he serves his government well. But in the process of that he’s got to suffer something in return for this success. I mean, what do you do, dock him something on his income tax? I really tire of the fact that the hero in other people’s thrillers gets a bang on the head with a revolver butt and he’s perfectly happy afterwards – just a bump on his head.
Raymond Chandler: That’s one of my faults – they recover too quickly. I know what it is to be banged on the head with a revolver butt. The first thing you do is vomit.
Ian Fleming: It is, is it?
Raymond Chandler: Mm-hmm.
Ian Fleming: Would you say there are any basic differences between the English and the American thriller?
Raymond Chandler: Oh yes. An American thriller is much faster paced.
Ian Fleming: We’ve got into a rather ‘tea and muffins’ school of writing here, I think. Policemen are much too nice and always drinking cups of tea, and inspectors puff away at pipes and the whole thing goes on in a rather sort of quiet atmosphere in some little village somewhere in England.