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Reading: Of Migrants and Men: Networks and Nations in the Millennial Bond Text

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Of Migrants and Men: Networks and Nations in the Millennial Bond Text

Authors:

Stephen Watt ,

Edward P. Comentale

Abstract

This essay traces the evolution of James Bond in both contemporary cinema and recent fiction. Its principal aim, after theorist Vilém Flusser, might be termed an assessment of heimat in these texts construed not only as homes “encased in mystification” and grown “hallowed by habit”, but also as homelands. As Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) taunts Bond (Daniel Craig), encircled by computers in Skyfall (2012), “England. The Empire. MI6. You’re living in a ruin”. Our argument, however, focuses less on the devolution of Britain than on the migrant flows and global networks that, for better or worse, vex the very notion of the nation-state in Skyfall and Spectre (2015). In this context, the recent cinematic incarnation Bond stands as a transformed figure who exists within digital networks that transcend the Cold War binaries recent Bond novels tend to perpetuate. That is to say, unlike previous Bonds who, in the films’ final moments, enjoy dalliances in lifeboats or mini-submarines not far from the gaze of M, British intelligence, or the military – or report for duty (Skyfall) or announce their continuing service (Quantum of Solace) – in the final scene of Spectre Bond and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) speed away from London (and not in a new Aston Martin DB10 either, but in a replica of the almost talismanic DB5 that was destroyed in Skyfall). They and the fictional heimat where 007 once resided could be going anywhere – or everywhere.

 

Keywords: James Bond; Daniel Craig films; nation; network; migrant; nomadicism. 

How to Cite: Watt, S., & Comentale, E. P. (2017). Of Migrants and Men: Networks and Nations in the Millennial Bond Text. International Journal of James Bond Studies, 1(1), 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.24877/jbs.8
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Published on 25 May 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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