»Le Carré first disclosed that Bingham was the inspiration for Smiley in 1999. Bingham had also written crime novels, and when one was reissued, Le Carré wrote in the introduction: «He had been one of two men who had gone into the making of George Smiley. Nobody who knew John and the work he was doing could have missed the description of Smiley in my first novel.»«
Jasper Copping, Ben Farmer and Hayley Dixon
Novelist John le Carré hits out at accusations that his portrayal of the world of espionage had »hurt« his former mentor in the intelligence services, on whom he partly based his most celebrated character, George Smiley. Jasper Copping, Ben Farmer and Hayley Dixon report at The Telegraph.
»It could be suggested that the spy thriller itself — certainly after Somerset Maugham’s 1928 Ashenden — became the perfect genre with which to explore so many of the anxieties about identity and its representation to which the modernist greats gave expression. Like Eliot’s Prufrock, Bond and his peers are for-ever preparing ‘a face to meet the faces’ that they meet, always working with that lurking uncertainty as to whether they are the hero or the anti-hero of their own life’s narrative. Joseph Conrad had earlier delved into similar territory in his thriller The Secret Agent.«
Matthew Woodcock about the writer Ian Fleming invented, and his literary influences. His essay at The Spectator.
»Scratch a journalist, especially a foreign correspondent, and more often than not you will find a frustrated thriller writer. We cover riots, revolutions and coups; we get arrested, shot at, tear-gassed, all the while gathering experiences and material that are the very stuff of human drama. It seems a natural progression to use our notebooks to create fiction as well as factual writing.«
Mastering the art of writing fiction about spies: Journalist and writer Adam LeBor (The Geneva Option) about Tinker, Tailor, Reporter, Thriller. His essay you will find at The New York Times.