Did James Bond or Ian Fleming suffer from depression?

WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
edited June 2015 in Literary 007 Posts: 3,157
Just something I always wondered, did Bond or his literary father suffer from depression?

Bond definitely was depressed over the course of You Only Live Twice, but that's because he's still upset because of Tracy's death. Before that, was he? For example, at the beginning of OHMSS, when he wrote the resignation letter to M.

And what about Fleming? Did he suffer from depression? Is that why he always drank and smoke?

Comments

  • Posts: 1,992
    If you read Andrew Lycett's biography, you'll find that Fleming definitely suffered from depression and alcoholism, especially toward the end of his life. Beyond that, he had a melancholy streak that he shared with his creation, as seen in the opening chapter of Goldfinger.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    Thank you very much, I'll buy that book right now.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    It's also discussed the in the "Everything or Nothing" documentary about 007 released to commemorate the 50th anniversary. Highly recommended

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/everything_or_nothing_the_untold_story_of_007/
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    edited February 2018 Posts: 3,157
    Thank you, I was planning to watch that documentary at the end of my Bondathon.
    I've also immensely enjoyed the Fleming tv series, but that didn't explore the concept too much.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    I just wish I could write as well as Fleming when drunk and depressed!
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    007InVT wrote: »
    I just wish I could write as well as Fleming when drunk and depressed!

    We all do, I guess.

  • Posts: 5,767
    I understand the relationship between Fleming and his wife was not always peaceful, so perhaps there was kind of an interaction between that and depressive phases. Hard to say of course which followed which.

    There are for sure a number of mentions of Bond being melancholic one way or the other in the novels. One could argue that in the novels, that goes along with Bond having to deal with killing people in his job, as well as his decision to avoid a long-lasting relationship with any woman and the resulting loneliness.
    In general, Bond has various moods throughout the novels. I wouldn´t say that out of those descriptions one could attribute Bond with an illness. At the end of the novel DAF for example, Bond ponders over the thought that he needs action and adventure, leaving it open wether out of his basic character or out of compensation.


    007InVT wrote: »
    I just wish I could write as well as Fleming when drunk and depressed!
    Try living in a beautiful house in Jamaica for a few weeks, perhaps that helps ;-).

  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,862
    Revelator wrote: »
    If you read Andrew Lycett's biography, you'll find that Fleming definitely suffered from depression and alcoholism, especially toward the end of his life. Beyond that, he had a melancholy streak that he shared with his creation, as seen in the opening chapter of Goldfinger.

    This pretty much sums up Fleming by those who knew him. Bond was certainly depressed after Tracy's death in YOLT (the novel). He shows little depression in the light hearted DAF film (just a little anger) which is soon 'forgotten'.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited July 2015 Posts: 893
    Ian even warned Ann about his melancholic disposition. It's as if he knew marrying Ann was doomed but felt it was the 'right thing to do'.
  • Posts: 197
    Were their IQs over 120? Then probably, yes.
  • GleanerGleaner Germany
    edited March 22 Posts: 2
    At the beginning, Bond does not seem to suffer from depression. On the contrary: In chapter 20 of CR, after having been tortured by Le Chiffre, Bond talks to Mathis about his decision to resign from the Secret Service:
    ›When I was being beaten up,‹ he said, ›I suddenly liked the idea of being alive. Before Le Chiffre began, he used a phrase which stuck in my mind … »playing Red Indians«. He said that’s what I had been doing. Well, I suddenly thought he might be right.‹
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