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Living by the Golden Rule: Mentor – Scholar – World Citizen

A Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder’s 75th Birthday

Edited By Andreas Nolte and Dennis Mahoney

This Festschrift for Wolfgang Mieder, preeminent paremiologist and folklorist, combines personal tributes and scholarly papers by colleagues, friends, and former students – presented in three categories that address his roles as a mentor, scholar, and world citizen over many decades.

The central scholarly section likewise consists of three parts. The papers dealing with proverbs examine them as patterns, stereotypes, rhetorical devices, media for self-enchantment, and means of allusion in works by Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, Chukovskaya, and Kempowski. A second group deals with fairy-tale motifs in literary works by Lehmann, Rabinowich, and Hummel. A third section includes topics ranging from James Bond to Stephen King, from runaway slaves to the Holocaust, and literature as cultural ecology.

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“The World Is Not Enough”

Extract



A Latin Tag from Juvenal to James Bond

Abstract: Ian Fleming establishes James Bond’s family motto, “the world is not enough,” in a 1963 novel; it then appears in the 1969 and 1999 Bond films. This paper serves as a case study in transmission and reception from classical antiquity to 16th-century Spain to its current association with the quintessential fictional British agent.1

Introduction:

ELEKTRA KING: I could have given you the world.

JAMES BOND: The world is not enough.

ELEKTRA KING: Foolish sentiment.

JAMES BOND: Family motto.

This exchange takes place during the climactic confrontation between iconic fictional British agent James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) and his antagonist and murderous former lover Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) in the 1999 Michael Apted film The World Is Not Enough. While King seethes with rage, Bond responds with characteristic insouciance, and in fact Brosnan delivers the line “Family motto” with a wry half-smile. It sounds like a cheeky quip, one well in keeping with the tradition of Bond witticisms on screen, and a casual viewer would be justified in taking it as one of many throwaway jokes.2 A more astute 007 aficionado, however, may recognize a reference to Bond creator Ian Fleming’s 1963 novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in which he included a detail: Bond’s family crest with a motto that was indeed “The world is not enough.”3 Even this, however, does not plumb...

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