Friday, April 10, 2009

A Study in Power: Ian Fleming's Doctor No



In my view, power boils down to the ability to hurt someone. Hurt avoidance is what makes one person weaker than another.

While Nietzsche made the 'Will to Power' a universal trait in humans, Foucault analyzed specific areas where power was more dominant: madness, illness, sexuality, and sexual deviance.

Ian Fleming in his novella Doctor No —apart from James Bond’s escapades— explores the achievement of power; in particular, through survival and overcoming of pain and fear. Doctor No derides the weak:
Dissipation of energy, fragmentation of vision, loss of momentum, the lack of follow-through — these are the vices of the herd.

First, Doctor No explains his approach:
I had to learn what my tools were before I put them to use on my next goal — total security from physical weakness, from material dangers and the hazards of living. Then, Mister Bond, from that secure base, armoured even against the casual slings and arrows of the world, I would proceed to the achievement of power — the power,

And what is ‘the power’? — Doctor No, continues:
Mister Bond, to do unto others what had been done unto me, the power of life and death, the power to decide, to judge, the power of absolute independence from outside authority. For that, Mister Bond, whether you like it or not, is the essence of temporal power.

So what is the moral of this article: Beware of powerful individuals, and keep them in check lest they become absolute rulers.
The writing techniques I use are explained in Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers e-book.

Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers



Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
GarciaMarquez,OneHundredYrs
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kafka,Metamorphosis
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse


The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia

Lindsey Vonn


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