Friday, 11 November 2016

Final Confrontations

Both Merau Varagan in his final confrontation with Manse Everard and Ernst Stavro Blofeld in his final confrontation with James Bond quote Hamlet. For Varagan, see here. Blofeld claims that his garden of poisonous plants, snakes, scorpions and fumaroles and his lake of piranha have:

"'...provided the common man with a solution of the problem of whether to be or not to be...'"
-Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice (London, 1966), p. 173.

Hamlet is about death: a ghost; a skull; a corpse; murder; contemplated suicide; vengeance. Both quotations are apt.

Aycharaych in his final confrontation with Dominic Flandry addresses the latter by his first name, invokes their shared aloneness and tempts Flandry to betray Terra and Dennitza in order to preserve the Chereionite heritage. Flandry says that there have been too many betrayals. Aycharaych appears to pray. Flandry orders the bombardment of Chereion. Maybe Aycharaych survives - like a living ghost. That is quite a final confrontation between a hero and a villain.

Holmes and Moriarty have their Reichenbach. Of the authors whom we compare here, I think that Ian Fleming was the best at writing a long build-up to a final confrontation:

in From Russia With Love, SMERSH plans to assassinate James Bond and, in the concluding chapter, Bond confronts their Head of Operations, Rosa Klebb;

You Only Live Twice begins with Bond going to pieces, about to be "let go," but then - he accepts a diplomatic mission to Japan, accepts a hit job from the Japanese Secret Service, realizes that his target is Blofeld, travels to the southern island, swims to the promontory, climbs the wall, hides in the garden, creeps into the castle, is captured and interrogated... At last, the final confrontation!

4 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    DID Aycharaych died in the bombardment of Chereion ordered by Flandry? Maybe, and at least Sir Dominic thought death at that time would have been a MERCY for Aycharaych. But, in THE GAME OF EMPIRE, about 20 years later, we see the Protector of the Roidhun's Grand Council, Tachwyr the Dark, wondering if Aycharaych had TRULY died at that time. Because you could be sure about the Chereionite.

    Sean

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    Replies
    1. Drat! In the last sentence above I meant to say: "Because you could NEVER be sure about the Chereionite." Bother!

      Sean

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Good! and I was certainly convinced before I read THE GAME OF EMPIRE that Aycharaych was dead! Now I have that niggling, maddening bit of uncertainty in my mind about his fate.

      Sean

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