John Le Carre, who made thrillers equal parts adventure, moral courage, and literary flair, has passed away at the age of 89.
Le Carre explored the gap between high-profile freedom discourse in the West and the daring reality of defending it, in novels such as The spy who came from the coldAnd the Soldier Tinker Tailor Spy And the Night managerWhich earned him critical acclaim and made him a bestseller around the world.
On Sunday, his family confirmed that he had died of pneumonia at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Saturday night. “We are all deeply mourning his death,” they wrote in a statement.
His longtime agent Johnny Geller described him as “an undisputed giant in English literature. He defined the Cold War era and fearlessly spoke truth to power in the decades that followed … I have lost a mentor, an inspiration and most importantly a friend. We will never see something like him again.” “.
His peers lined up to pay tribute. Stephen King wrote: “This terrible year took the life of a literary giant and a human soul.” Robert Harris said the news left him “very sad … one of the greatest British novelists of the postwar period, a unique and memorable character.” Adrian McKinty described Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as “simply the greatest spy novel ever written,” while historian Simon Sebag Montefiore described it as “the giant of English literature out there with the greats … personally, captivating, kind, and generous with me and many others.”
Born in 1931, Le Carre David Cornwell began working in intelligence while studying German in Switzerland at the end of the 1940’s. After teaching at Eton, he joined the British diplomatic corps as an intelligence officer, recruiting, running and taking care of spies behind the Iron Curtain from a back office in the MI5 Building on Curzon Street, London. Inspired by fellow MI5 novelist, novelist John Bingham, he began publishing thrillers under the pseudonym John Le Carré – though Publisher advice He chose two monosyllable Anglo-Saxon syllables such as “Chunk-Smith”.
A Bingham-style spy who was “amazingly normal … short, fat, and cool”, beats an East German agent in Le Carré’s 1961 debut, Call for the Dead, the debut of his most enduring character, George Smiley . A second novel, 1962 The Quality Murder, saw Smiley investigate a public school murder and it was reviewed positively. (The Observer’s conclusion “is too complicated, too superior”). But a year later, when his third thriller was published, Le Carre’s career took a whole new level.
Smiley is only a minor character in me The spy who came from the coldBut an important story to confront East German intelligence is full of world mockery. According to Alec Limas, the fiftieth agent sent to East Berlin, spies are just “a miserable procession of traitorous fools, traitors, yes; lilies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to cheer up their corrupt lives.” Graham Greene praised it as “the best spy story I’ve ever read.”
According to Lou Carre, the novel’s unbridled success left him amazed at first and then opposed. His manuscript was approved by the intelligence services because it was “pure fiction from beginning to end.” Explained in 2013Hence it cannot be a breach of security. “ However, this was not the opinion of the world press, which decided with one voice that the book was not just authentic but a kind of revealing message from the other side, leaving me nothing to do but sit quietly and watch, in a kind of frozen dread, It climbed to the bestseller list and stuck there, while the analyst behind the critics declared it the real thing. “
Smiley moved to center stage in three novels published by Le Carré in the 1970s that charted the rivalry between the Fat British agent and his Soviet enemy, Carla. In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, he reveals a spy at the highest ranks of British intelligence, while in The Honorable Schoolboy he goes after a money laundering operation in Asia, before pulling the Swiss Carla’s relationships together at Smiley’s People. The world of “ferrets”, “lamp bearers”, “brawlers” and “sidewalk artists” is so convincingly attracted that his former colleagues at MI5 and MI6 have begun to adopt the innovative terminology of Le Carré as their own language.
As the Cold War drew to a close, friends would stop him in the street and ask, “Whatever are you writing now?” But Le Carre’s fears were always broader than the confrontation between East and West, and he had little patience for the idea that the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled any kind of end either to history or the espionage that sharpened its mechanisms. He dealt with the arms trade in 1993 with The Night Manager, the major pharmaceutical company in 2001 with The Constant Gardener and the War on Terror in 2004 with Absolute Friends.
Meanwhile, there was a steady stream of his creations working his way from page to page. Actors including Richard Burton, Alec Guinness, Ralph Fiennes and Gary Oldman enjoyed the finer minutes of his characterization, even as audiences praised his planning skill.
Le Carré returned to Smiley for the last time in 2017, closing his career circle with him Spies’ legacy, Which revisits the failed operation at the heart of the novel that made its name. Writing in the GuardianJohn Banville praised his ingenuity and skill, declaring that “since the spy, Le Carré has not exercised his talent as a very strong storyteller with such an exciting influence”.
After decades of depicting him as a mysterious and mysterious figure, for his lack of interest in advertising or joining the festival circuit, Le Curry surprised the world in 2016 with the release of his memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel. He details his torn relationship with an abusive and fraudulent father Growing up alone after being abandoned by his mother at the age of five, Law Carey detailed the strange life of a spy-turned-author whom Margaret Thatcher and Robert Murdoch asked for lunch. After spending four decades living in Cornwall, married twice and raising a son, Nicholas, who was writing novels himself under the name Nick Harcaway, Le Carrie said, “I was neither a model husband nor a model father, and I’m not interested in him showing that way.”
The constant love of his life was writing, “Scribbling away like a man hiding in a small office.”
He wrote: “Outside the Secret World I once knew that I tried to create a theater for the larger worlds in which we live.” “Imagination comes first, then the search for reality. Then return to imagination, and to the office where I sit now.”
“Subtly charming bacon junkie. Infuriatingly humble beer trailblazer. Introvert. Evil reader. Hipster-friendly creator.”