At the mention of international intrigue and espionage, we naturally think of dashing secret agents who play roulette in Monacco while dressed in sparkling white dinner jackets. If the story involves a mad dictator, we expect his adversary to be a clever and precise dandy, whose smart lip can undo th
"The air raids on the distant metropolis, which I watched from the shelter at the arsenal, were beautiful. The flames seemed to hue to all the colors in the rainbow: it was like watching the light of a distant bonfire at a great banquet of extravagant death and destruction." So wrote Yukio Mishima in
The popular media has adopted the name Lolita to describe any sexually precocious young woman with a penchant for twisting older men around her finger. The original Lolita, however, was a more mythical creature, a "nymphet" (Nabokov coined the word especially for her), who at a mere 12 years of age c
Iris Murdoch's fiction has a way of exposing fears and insecurities; suspense and an impending sense of death drive the plots of many of her novels. Dark, uncontrollable forces are abroad in her world, and keep her readers shifting, looking over their shoulders, and counting the shadows on the wall.