James Bond and James Joyce

What is good and what is not good, Socrates, need we ask anyone to tell us these things?


Have a quick read of the two passages below:



James Bond

Bond knew that sound. He leapt up the last steps and ran towards the figure lying spread-eagled on its back in the bright moonlight. He stopped and knelt slowly down, aghast. The horror of the strangled face was bad enough, but it was not Mr. Krest’s tongue that protruded from his gaping mouth. It was the tail of a fish. The colours were pink and black. It was the Hildebrand Rarity! The man was dead – horribly dead. When the fish had been crammed into his mouth, he must have reached up and desperately tried to tug it out. But the spines of the dorsal and anal fins had caught inside the cheeks and some of the spiny tips now protruded through the blood-flecked skin round the obscene mouth. Bond shuddered. Death must have come inside a minute. But what a minute!


The first is an extract of a short story – THE HILDEBRAND RARITY by Ian Fleming.

This second one is an extract from ULYSSES by James Joyce – heralded as the greatest novel ever written.

Ineluctable modality of the visible at least that if more thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am seen to read; sea spawn and sea wrack the nearing tide the rusty boot snotgreen blue silver rust coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds in bodies then he was aware of them bodies them coloured. How by knocking his sconce against them sure. And he was and a millionaire maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphance adiaphenae if you can put your five fingers through it if it is not a door. Shut your eyes and see.


James Joyce


The Times Literary Supplement called the James Bond stories ‘glossy trash!’ – whatever that means. What do you think? And if you’re struggling to understand the extract from Ulysses you’re not alone. Joyce was aware he was going blind when he wrote it and ‘invented’ the word ‘ineluctable’ because for him the world was not getting any lighter. As for the rest of the passage – well, I’m not sure, even though I studied Joyce at University. So why is Joyce considered to be such a prestigious author and Ian Fleming ‘trashy’? And who tells us these things and what’s it got to do with Brexit? Well the answer may lie in the ebbing of the ‘snotgreen tide’. Times are changing folks as Donald Trump keeps reminding us – and maybe we voted for Brexit because like Peter Finch in ‘Network’ – we’re all angry and we’re not gonna take it anymore!

The world of writing is changing. No one is listening anymore to the literary snobs from the Times Literary Supplement. Readers are making up their own mind. We can read digital versions of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY or for that matter JAMES BOND without feeling guilt-ridden. To get your book published nowadays you don’t have to get interviewed by pock-marked Cambridge University undergraduates who’ve been engineered to quote from Ulysses even though they don’t understand it.

We customers will make up our own mind, thank you very much and authors are now enjoying the freedom this ‘book publishing revolution’  offers.

iwitness-logoWelcome to i-Witness Publications – A brand new publication house that will focus on social issues  – not just novels and short stories but stage plays, radio drama, screenplays and poetry. writing, in essence, that reflects the anomalies, glitches and variances of the world, past and present. In short any literature that has social and moral ‘issues’ underpinning its theme – everything from ‘cross-dressing’ to 17th Century prostitution.

The upswing of digital publishing has unfastened a wide range of opportunities for the writer and publisher and our keyword is creativity – at any level. Creativity – visions, imagination, innovation, originality – ingenuity. without the constraints limitations, bias, prejudices and favouritism of the ‘professional’ publishing houses.


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