In life there are sometimes threads of interrelated synchronicities. A couple of days ago I posted a draft list of my top 40 favourite films in response to a challenge to do so by Randy Resnick. My number two is the excellent Thomas Alfredsen 2011 adaptation of John le Carré’s singular 1974 novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Today I came across some explanation of what it was about le Carré’s characters I found so authentic. But first some nostalgia.
When I was a teenager I consumed le Carré’s novels with a voracious appetite, and to begin with, much to the alarm of my school masters. Being thoroughly British, they thought a young German boy should learn the Queen’s English first from Ladybird readers and approved ‘adolescent’ fiction (they really flipped out when I carried around Peter O’Donnell’s The Impossible Virgin for a couple of days, anticipating the title presaged sordid content!). The subject matter of le Carré’s spy thrillers was considered risqué for entirely different reasons. Le Carré was considered unsound for casting aspersions on the old British stiff upper lip. As if there was a secret conspiracy by which I would be unaware of bullshit British conceits so long as no one mentioned them.