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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Barbel wrote:
superado wrote:

BTW, I have for sale a grocery list handwritten by Fleming himself with one page that officially vouches for its authenticity!

I think I've seen that list:

Two bottles vodka, made from grain
One bottle Kina Lillet
Lemons
Two dozen eggs
Butter

Nah, can't be his!

The additions of 6 boxes of 100-count Morland cigarettes and lighter petrol would prove it authentic beyond a doubt!

clublos wrote:

Still waiting for that grassy knoll proof...

With respect, the grassy knoll theory had been purported by multiple witness testimonies, but it did not conclusively satisfy the Warren Commission’s findings.  Per the JFK movie, perhaps we’ll find out the truth in 2038 when the National Archives declassify CIA and FBI documentation on the assassination  ajb007/lol

Revelator wrote:
superado wrote:

But because there’s only one page of minor suggested changes, no ghost-editing was ever involved…what geniuses...

If Amis had ghost-written the book, why would he have submitted a single page of changes alongside a typescript that had corrections in Fleming's own handwriting that matched the final text of the novel? Furthermore, if Amis had ghostwritten the book, wouldn't we have turned up evidence of this by now, considering that 50 years have passed? There's no credible evidence to believe that Amis ghost-wrote TMWTGG. That theory now has the same credibility as as the ones about 9-11 being an inside job or the moon landing being faked in my back yard.

Now, you are being facetious with comparisons with 9/11 and Moon Landing conspiracy theories, for which a wealth of documentation exists to prove the veracity of both events, just as the same documentation can potentially provide solid and reasoned counter-arguments…and with all of that none hold water and those conspiracy theories were sufficiently debunked.

The issue here, on the other hand, is a lack of sufficient documentation, or at least a lack of access to it.  Think for a moment that you are Jonathan Cape and realizing that much more work was needed for TMWTGG.  From a business standpoint, you intentionally bring in a qualified author who is a Fleming expert to not just "look at it" but to actually provide more than just a grammatical and continuity polish, a situation that will raise red flags with the publishing world and more importantly, the public, with serious questions about the bonafides of Fleming's last novel for which his authorship is a critical attraction for readers.

To quell any doubts, what would you do if you were the publisher?  Logically, you would destroy any paper trail about your solution and put out there diversionary apparatuses, and this single page of Amis' "recommendations" to accompany one of the final typescripts fits the bill.  Is that too fantastic?  If you were an astute publisher and if that were the situation you faced (a final manuscript that falls short of publication quality), you would be foolish to not consider such measures.   

As I said, in short of us seeing an expert summation of the entire manuscript, not just mere auction blurbs, can you reasonably rule out any other scenario that differs with what's being officially purported?  Again, I’m not stating that my assertions are absolutely true, but unless otherwise disproven or ruled out, it remains a reasonable possibility.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Perhaps these existing threads may be of relevance in this discussion:

http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/43407/scaramanga/

http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/35271/doe … te-tmwtgg/

http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/30928/the … -question/

and most especially
http://jamesbond.ajb007.co.uk/a-licence-to-read-tmwtgg/

10 songs done for next CD- one more started, one being discarded.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

superado wrote:

To quell any doubts, what would you do if you were the publisher? Logically, you would destroy any paper trail about your solution and put out there diversionary apparatuses, and this single page of Amis' "recommendations" to accompany one of the final typescripts fits the bill.

And logically, some documentation of this--at the very least in the form of contracts--would still exist in (a) the company's innermost archives and (b) Amis's papers. After 50+ years, such documents would have been discovered by now, especially since Amis's papers have been exhaustively documented.
The paper trail that we do have regarding TMWTGG--such as Amis's letter to Tom Maschler--further disproves the idea of him rewriting the book: Amis's suggestions for improving the novel never made it into the final text (if TMWTGG had been rewritten by a master novelist, why wasn't it a better book?). Amis also mentions "an enclosed list of errors" which is almost certainly the same as the sheet mentioned in this auction.
The more fundamental question is why anyone should believe a theory for which no actual evidence exists? There is no evidence to back up the idea that Amis did a deep edit or rewrite, whereas we now have evidence--in the form of those sample pages--that Fleming personally corrected the typescript that provided the final text of the novel. How on earth would the Amis theory fit into that? It doesn't, so there is even less reason to believe it. What we do have is new evidence that Fleming wrote and revised what was ultimately published, right down to the last sentence.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Revelator wrote:

if TMWTGG had been rewritten by a master novelist, why wasn't it a better book?

I submit that this is a very valid point. The track record of Kingsley Amis doesn't need cited here. If he had rewritten the book, I don't think there's any question that it would have been the stronger for it. He pointed out the weaknesses of Fleming's work several times (in the Dossier, his contemporary review, his communications with Cape), even going so far as to discuss the possibility, no more, of his rewriting parts, and yet the final version is lacking in many ways which Amis' involvement in a more than editing capacity would have dealt with.
This is not to say that TMWTGG as we have it lacks all merit. The opening few chapters ingeniously bring 007 back with a bang and throw an offbeat light on M, Tanner & co. Once Bond is in Jamaica things go downhill of course, but even so there are a few memorable moments (the erotic dance on the giant hand, for example). And where would Roger Moore have been without the superfluous papilla to make jokes about?

10 songs done for next CD- one more started, one being discarded.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Barbel wrote:
Revelator wrote:

if TMWTGG had been rewritten by a master novelist, why wasn't it a better book?

I submit that this is a very valid point. The track record of Kingsley Amis doesn't need cited here. If he had rewritten the book, I don't think there's any question that it would have been the stronger for it. He pointed out the weaknesses of Fleming's work several times (in the Dossier, his contemporary review, his communications with Cape), even going so far as to discuss the possibility, no more, of his rewriting parts, and yet the final version is lacking in many ways which Amis' involvement in a more than editing capacity would have dealt with.
This is not to say that TMWTGG as we have it lacks all merit. The opening few chapters ingeniously bring 007 back with a bang and throw an offbeat light on M, Tanner & co. Once Bond is in Jamaica things go downhill of course, but even so there are a few memorable moments (the erotic dance on the giant hand, for example). And where would Roger Moore have been without the superfluous papilla to make jokes about?

I think the simple answer to Revelator's question, is that it would have been a step too far that would obviously not be a product of Fleming.  The problem of the various arguments that attempt to resolve this issue is that they often go to extremes, like "why was not TMWTGG intentionally made out as a masterpiece," or how the auction sample of Fleming's handwritten addition of the novel's final line is proof that all the published edits were done by him alone.  IMO, because of the situation at hand, e.g., Fleming's declining health and subsequent death, the manuscript was in a particular state of flux that was in serious need of attention and the parties involved did what they deemed judicious to do, in whatever measured amounts, whether simple or slightly more complex as needed.

Last edited by superado (23rd Dec 2016 23:32)

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

superado wrote:

IMO, because of the situation at hand, e.g., Fleming's declining health and subsequent death, the manuscript was in a particular state of flux that was in serious need of attention and the parties involved did what they deemed judicious to do, in whatever measured amounts, whether simple or slightly more complex as needed.

It's documented that Amis offered his thoughts on the weaknesses of the book, along with "an enclosed list of errors." The latter were almost certainly rectified in the final text, whereas Amis's ideas clearly weren't. Why should we assume anything more? We have two pages of Fleming's typescript, edited in his own handwriting, and those pages match those in the published text. So why should we assume that other hands heavily reworked the book, when the pages we have indicate otherwise? The final novel came out weak and feeble, so what exactly was accomplished by this supposed reworking?

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Revelator wrote:
superado wrote:

IMO, because of the situation at hand, e.g., Fleming's declining health and subsequent death, the manuscript was in a particular state of flux that was in serious need of attention and the parties involved did what they deemed judicious to do, in whatever measured amounts, whether simple or slightly more complex as needed.

It's documented that Amis offered his thoughts on the weaknesses of the book, along with "an enclosed list of errors." The latter were almost certainly rectified in the final text, whereas Amis's ideas clearly weren't. Why should we assume anything more? We have two pages of Fleming's typescript, edited in his own handwriting, and those pages match those in the published text. So why should we assume that other hands heavily reworked the book, when the pages we have indicate otherwise? The final novel came out weak and feeble, so what exactly was accomplished by this supposed reworking?

As I've stated previously:

(1)  Anyone can put out whatever documentation they want to portray; it's been done since documentation, i.e., history, began.  In this particular case, the assumption is based on a situational need that without adequate access to us at large, was a state with variables still not completely known...which therefore is one that cannot be concluded with finality.  Is that such a hard reality to accept?

(2)  Again, because there are only 2 pages revealed to us at large, how can anyone confidently assume that they prove how the rest of the manuscript was similarly, adequately edited to its final form by Fleming?  What if he worked his way backwards in regard to edits, or if he jumped around?  It's like assuming that your late Uncle Theodore bequeathed a specific Sterling amount in the millions to you, based on a statement of the signature page of his will that stated his fondness for his nephew.

(3) What if the state of the manuscript was just a bit worse for publishing and Glidrose/Jonathan Cape would have deemed it needed selected and measured rewrites to bring it up to an acceptable level for print?  If the text was reworked any more than it was, you would have Colonel Sun.

I defer to the available expert opinions as follows:
 
Jon Gilbert in Ian Fleming, the Bibliography, pp. 412-413:
 
"Although Fleming was involved in part of the typescript state, The Man With The Golden Gun did not undergo such meticulous revisions by the author in typescript and the majority of corrections were carried out by others, including fellow cape-published writer Kingsly Amis, as Fleming’s health declined in the summer of 1964”
 
“Beryl Griffie-Williams, Fleming's secretary sent out batches of the manuscript to various people stating, " ...Mr. Fleming has not been too well and consequently been unable to face the corrections."”
 
"The script was subject to the usual editorial scrutiny in July and August, but without the input of the author on this occasion, whose health was deteriorating. In the absence of Ian Fleming, Kingsly Amis was called upon to tidy up the script of The Man With The Golden Gun. Fleming, who died from heart failure on 12th August 1964, would not see the final typed draft of the novel, which was ready by September.”

 
John Griswold in his Ian Fleming's James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming's Bond Stories, p. 434:
 
“Ian Fleming died on August 12, 1964 after correcting only half of the final manuscript of The Man With The Golden Gun.”
 
Andrew Lycett in his Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond (pp. 444-45) highlighted how Glidrose was seriously concerned about “keeping the Bondwagon” rolling, which belies their financial interests to ensure that TMWTGG would succeed in the market; it was this concern that got Amis involved in the TMWTGG (though Lycett took the more innocuous route) and the first continuation novel.  However, all of that pretty much covers means, motive, and opportunity on their part.

Last edited by superado (25th Dec 2016 01:19)

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

The documentation one has is all one has to work with. Why invent phantom papers when real ones exist that fit the purpose ascribed to the phantoms?
The idea that Fleming might have worked backwards is disproven by the fact that one of the sample pages is from the first third of the novel.
It's true that not every page has been corrected. Sothebys reports that out of 182 pages, 80 have received "autograph revisions" and "extensive editorial corrections." So the much of the typescript might have needed corrections, but "selected and measured rewrites" is a step too far. Plomer--who apprently read this exact typescript, according to Sotheby's--assured Fleming that it didn't need rewrites at all. Fleming might have written the book while ill, but there's little reason to assume that he lost his competence.
I like deferring to expert opinion too, but none of those experts think Amis rewrote the book (and would he really agree to a rewrite knowing that his major suggestions couldn't be used? A successful novelist has more important things to do with his time.) They all agree that Amis did correcting and "tidying up." It's also unlikely that the experts had seen this typescript, whose provenance is rather mysterious.
Sotheby's states that "three sub-edited typescripts were completed by 24 June," including this one. This is the first that has turned up in the public eye, and we don't know which of these might have been seen by the experts.
Now, until this typescript has been fully examined, we can't state with 100% certainty that it represents the final text, but it does show that Fleming edited parts of this typescript into a state corresponding to it. And it makes the Amis rewrite theory--for which there is not a single shred of evidence--even more unlikely.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Anyone else want to throw in their tuppence on this topic (in the OP)? I'd be most grateful!  ajb007/smile

http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/46443/unf … lonel-sun/

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
Follow TBB on Twitter: Dragonpol 
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In memory of Ian Fleming, Sir Kingsley Amis and John Gardner

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

It's been a while since I read it, but I seem to recall Amis commenting on this in his "Letters".

10 songs done for next CD- one more started, one being discarded.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Barbel wrote:

It's been a while since I read it, but I seem to recall Amis commenting on this in his "Letters".

Yes, he does give his thoughts on the weaknesses of TMWTGG in his Letters, but not on the unfinished Bond novel rumour about his own Colonel Sun.

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
Follow TBB on Twitter: Dragonpol 
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In memory of Ian Fleming, Sir Kingsley Amis and John Gardner

62

Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

No, I didn't mean the TMWTGG comments, rather the CS rumours. The "Letters" is a massive tome (over a thousand pages, not about to flick through it right now!) and I do recall Amis saying that CS was all his own work... though it might have been elsewhere since it's been years since I read it!

I did read this earlier today http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.u … ssier.html which you might be familiar with, SM!  ajb007/biggrin

10 songs done for next CD- one more started, one being discarded.

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Re: Unfinished Fleming Manuscript Rumour about Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun?

Barbel wrote:

No, I didn't mean the TMWTGG comments, rather the CS rumours. The "Letters" is a massive tome (over a thousand pages, not about to flick through it right now!) and I do recall Amis saying that CS was all his own work... though it might have been elsewhere since it's been years since I read it!

I did read this earlier today http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.co.u … ssier.html which you might be familiar with, SM!  ajb007/biggrin

Oh, sorry, I wasn't sure as this thread of mine has covered a few different strands of Amis Bondology. I have the Letters and clearly need to have a look over them again.

Yes, I have found a source where Amis confirms that Colonel Sun is all his own work.

I'm in the process of writing an article on the Fleming manuscript rumour for my blog and I'm trying to get all of the sources together so I can make it as complete as is humanly possible!

Thank you for reading the TBB Guest Article by Hank Reineke. I was honoured to have that written for my blog. I hope to get more articles published in 2017 as things have been very dormant over the last year on the blog. Hopefully that is all about to change.. .

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
Follow TBB on Twitter: Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on Facebook: TBB Update Page
In memory of Ian Fleming, Sir Kingsley Amis and John Gardner