Manuscript Notebook

Containing notes taken during a trip to the Far East, including source material for 'You Only Live Twice'.

FLEMING, Ian

FLEMING, Ian Manuscript Notebook Containing notes taken during a trip to the Far East, including source material for 'You Only Live Twice'.

1959.

Small perfect bound pocket notebook with cloth-backed card covers. Square-ruled paper, 54 leaves of manuscript notes by Fleming written in blue biro written mostly on rectos, with occasional striking through in pencil or red biro. A further seven unused leaves. Near fine condition, housed in a red cloth chemise and a red morocco-backed slipcase.

Fleming's visit to the Far East in 1959 was at the behest of Leonard Russell, The Sunday Times features editor, with the purpose of writing a series of articles on various glamorous spots about the globe. Fleming had initially refused the commission, but was eventually persuaded by the possibility that he might get some material for his James Bond novels in the process. The Sunday Times articles were later collected in Thrilling Cities, but the real success of the trip was the on-the-ground material he was able to gather for the as yet unwritten You Only Live Twice.
This note book, carried everywhere by Fleming, was used to note down impressions, appointments, interesting facts and the odd bit of lexicon ("Moshimosh = hello!").
After a brief stop off in Beruit ("a sprawl of twinkling hundreds + thousands under a theatrically new moon... The first sticky fingers of the East"), he landed in Hong Kong, where he had arranged to meet his Australian friend Richard Hughes, who would become one of the dedicatees of You Only Live Twice and was fictionalised in the books as Dikko Henderson.
The several pages of notes were taken during the stay in Hong King are mainly terse notes about the surroundings (the opium pipe sellers in Cat Street Market, popular bars and types of beer: "Tiger beer and San Miguel"), to musings on the wildlife ("No seagulls in Hong Kong. In Shanghai they say seagulls have come back because no longer have to fight with humans for the refuse...").
Fleming left Hong Kong via Macau and a visit to the house of P.J. Lobo, who might have been part of the inspiration for Goldfinger ("Well guarded... likes young girls... centipedes + scorpions... no income tax..."). The journey to Japan is punctuated by Fleming's notes on air travel,  "Round the world in 30 days - but at what price in blurred impressions, fudged facts, pirated quotations...".
In Japan they were joined by Torao "Tiger" Saito, the other dedicatee of You Only Live Twice, who was fictionalised in that novel as Tiger Tanaka. His description in Tokyo becomes more detailed. A couple of closely written pages describe his room and its furniture with the precise journalistic detail which characterises his novels. There are notes from a visit to a Kodokan judo institute, and hot springs, as well as many terse observations, such as the Japanese superstition, "Tip of little finger - no nail - must be higher than the first joint of the 3rd finger - means you can rely on your friends"; some useful lingo, "GOKUHI = Top Secret / KEISHIO = Tokyo Metropolitan Police. /SOSAKA - CID", cultural asides, "Japs drink sweet sherry", all of which are later drawn upon to lend verisimilitude to his descriptions in You Only Live Twice.
An extraordinary insight in the Fleming's creative process and the painstaking way in which he recorded everyday details of the exotic surrounding he later described in his books. Significant Fleming manuscript material is profoundly uncommon in commerce, the majority of material now being held by Lilly Library's Fleming collection. This remains one of the very last pieces in private hands.

Stock ID: 40890

£95,000.00

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