Friday, August 14, 2009

James Bond Daily: A Honey on a Beach

From p.079-080 of Doctor No, in which 007 sees Honeychile Rider:
It was a naked girl, with her back to him. She was not quite naked. She wore a broad leather belt round her waist with a hunting knife in a leather sheath at her right hip. The belt made her nakedness extraordinarily erotic. She stood not more than five yards away on the tideline looking down at something in her hand. She stood in the classical relaxed pose of the nude, all the weight on the right leg and the left knee bent and turning slightly inwards, the head to one side as she examined the things in her hand.

It was a beautiful back. The skin was a very light uniform cafe au lait with the sheen of dull satin. The gentle curve of the backbone was deeply indented, suggesting more powerful muscles than is usual in a woman, and the behind was almost as firm and rounded as a boy's. The legs were straight and beautiful and no pinkness showed under the slightly lifted left heel. She was not a coloured girl.

Her hair was ash blonde. It was cut to the shoulders and hung there and along the side of her bent cheek in thick wet strands. A green diving mask was pushed back above her forehead, and the green rubber-thong bound her hair at the back.

The whole scene, the empty beach, the green and blue sea, the naked girl with the strands of fair hair, reminded Bond of something, He searched his mind, Yes, she was Botticelli's Venus, seen from behind.
Note how careful Fleming is to point out that Miss Rider may be tanned, but she's certainly not coloured. It was 1958, after all.
Listening to: Elvis Costello - She Was No Good
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

I find it more interesting to note, given the next installment regarding Fleming's distaste for gays, that he writes "...and the behind was almost as firm and rounded as a boy's."


Jeff P.

Andrew Wheeler said...

Jeff P.: Well, Goldfinger isn't really concerned with male homosexuality in any way -- Fleming does slander them in passing in that other passage I quoted, but the gay characters are all lesbians, and Fleming is firmly of the "they just need to be correctly fucked by a Real Man" school.

I suspect the usual lurking knowledge of situational homosexuality of the upper-class British male; Fleming did go to Eton.

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