British Spy Fiction and the End of Empire (Routledge Studies by Sam Goodman

By Sam Goodman

The place of secret agent fiction is essentially synonymous in pop culture with principles of patriotism and nationwide defense, with the secret agent himself indicative of the defence of British pursuits and the maintenance of British strength all over the world. This ebook finds a extra advanced aspect to those assumptions than normally perceived, arguing that the illustration of house and gear inside of undercover agent fiction is extra complicated than typically assumed. rather than the British undercover agent tirelessly protecting the integrity of Empire, this quantity illustrates how undercover agent fiction includes disunities and disjunctions in its illustration of area, and the connection among the person and the country in an period of declining British power.

Focusing totally on the paintings of Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, and John le Carre, the amount brings a clean methodological method of the learn of undercover agent fiction and chilly struggle tradition. It offers shut textual research inside of a framework of spatial and sovereign conception as a method of reading the cultural influence of decolonization and the transferring geopolitics of the chilly warfare. Adopting a thematic method of the research of house in secret agent fiction, the textual content explores the reciprocal procedure in which contextual heritage intersects with literature through the interval in query, arguing that secret agent fiction is chargeable for reflecting, strengthening and, at times, precipitating cultural anxieties over decolonization and the tip of Empire.

This examine offers to be a welcome boost to the constructing box of secret agent fiction feedback and pop culture reports. either attractive and unique in its procedure, it is important examining for college students and teachers engaged within the examine of chilly conflict tradition, renowned literature, and the altering country of British identification over the process the latter 20th century.

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Additional resources for British Spy Fiction and the End of Empire (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature)

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These chapters illustrate how interrelated concerns of national identity, space, and power are altered by a conjunction of travel, technology, social mobility, and self-determination occurring during the post-war period. NOTES 1. See John Atkins, The British Spy Novel (London: John Calder, 1984), 16. Atkins cites Myron J. Smith’s Cloak and Dagger Bibliography (1976) in which Smith claims that 1675 espionage novels were published between 1937 and 1975. 2. Post-war British audiences were predisposed towards the figure of the spy and the secret world that (mainly) he inhabited.

Throughout the war, a range of sources such as literature, film, and newspapers simultaneously popularised the appeal of clandestinity. In print, the heroism of the Resistance, the SOE, the SAS and other organisations operating behind enemy lines was celebrated as an open secret; see Michael R. D. Foot, An Outline History of the Special Operations Executive (London: Pimlico, 1999) and Gavin Mortimer, Stirling’s Men: The Inside History of the SAS in World War II (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2004).

The book is thus is organised thematically and examines a variety of spaces in turn across its five chapters. Chapter one analyses how national identity, as informed by a preoccupation with participation in the Second World War, is created in the representations of divided spaces of occupied Europe throughout post-war spy fiction. In relation to the continued exercise of control over spatial borders and interiors throughout the espionage fiction genre, this chapter identifies how sovereign power attempts to affix a sense of stability to hybrid spaces that remain continually in flux.

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