Sunday, 4 September 2016

New Q&A .... the Cold War

Readers,

Len's kindly agreed to do a Q&A interview via email with the Deighton Dossier, as he's done with us a number of times before.

I've suggested we do questions around a broad theme, and that theme is THE COLD WAR.

So, suggest questions either on the Facebook page or here on the blog; I'll collate the best and liaise with Len.

What do you want to ask one of the UK's premier spy thriller authors about the Cold War, and his writing?

I've now had a number of suggestions from readers for questions, and a Q - to which he'll provide the As - has gone to Mr Deighton. Let's see what his replies tell us.

6 comments:

  1. Deighton and Le Carre are the 2 authors who knew the East Germany very well. Berlin is the place where the cold war was palpable those days.
    I would like to hear Deighton's experience-particularly how the ordinary citizens in East Germany felt about the Cold War. Did they know there was Cold War? What he thought about Angela Merkel's position in East Germany then. Did he know of her ( she was a minor official then)?
    Please formulate your questions as appropriate.

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    1. Yes. The decision of her father to move his family east to become a pastor there has always struck me as a questionable one. Just what would have been Angela's ideological upbringing in such a household? Would her father have been a supporter or critic of the regime? Would the family have compared conditions in the east unfavourably with those of which they'd had experience in the west? Or would a man who had made a move in the opposite direction to the one of which so many other Germans dreamed have been at ease with the values of the DDR? Or would they have just been like a number of the characters in the Samson novels who pragmatically got on with life whichever side of the border they found themselves. I realize there's no particular reason why Len should have any knowledge of the Merkel situation, but I'd be curious to know whether it's ever puzzled him as it has me.

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    2. I raised Angela Merkel issue not because I thought Deighton heard about her then, but as an author who had first-hand experience of visiting East Germany in the thick of the Cold War period (I visited there rather a bit late in early 1980s), and had a singular insight of East Germans'attitude to the Cold War which reflects so well in his novels. His comments about Merkel now will be interesting to read.. I do not claim to be an expert like Deighton. just after one visit, but I have some idea of how even the highly educated scientists -Merkel was one, felt about the Cold War, when I talked to a few of them during my visit to Dresden to attend an academic conference in early 1980s.
      Dr Kohl then the West German Chancellor, after the German re-unification took Merkel under his wing as his protege, but what I read and hear from my German friends, Kohl now is very dis-enchanted with her. .

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  2. Hope I'm not too late!

    I would be interested to hear how Mr. Deighton thinks Bernard would have adapted to the end of the Cold War? and perhaps the war against terrorism? Given that Bernard was born at the end of the Second World War, it is very possible he could have continued working for the service through the early 2000s. Would he, with his unique knowledge of Europe, have been re-purposed for terrorism? Possible given that many of the key 9/11 plotters were based in Germany.

    I can also imagine him being very cynical that the Cold War was truly over. Or his acknowledgement of the supreme irony that many of the hardline KGB types he used to cross swords with are now businessmen making more money than his father-in-law.

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  3. Hope I'm not too late!

    I would be interested to hear how Mr. Deighton thinks Bernard would have adapted to the end of the Cold War? and perhaps the war against terrorism? Given that Bernard was born at the end of the Second World War, it is very possible he could have continued working for the service through the early 2000s. Would he, with his unique knowledge of Europe, have been re-purposed for terrorism? Possible given that many of the key 9/11 plotters were based in Germany.

    I can also imagine him being very cynical that the Cold War was truly over. Or his acknowledgement of the supreme irony that many of the hardline KGB types he used to cross swords with are now businessmen making more money than his father-in-law.

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    1. Have to wait till the next one, sadly.

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