Spain axes sex out of James Bond novels

Spaniards reading censored versions have suggestive words like 'virgin' and 'breast' deleted from the text.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: September 20, 2012 5:21:04 pm

James Bond fans all over the world know their favourite secret agent as suave and sexy figure,with a naughty glint in his eye.

However,Spanish readers believe the 007 spy is a far more conservative character.

Even fifty years after the first Bond book was published,Spaniards are still reading heavily censored versions,with suggestive words including ‘virgin’ and ‘breast’ deleted from the text,the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

Bangor University academic Dr Jordi Cornella-Detrell,who discovered that the censored versions are still being reproduced,said the news was “disconcerting and difficult to explain”.

Strict censors in Madrid originally used to cut passages from Ian Fleming’s books before allowing them to be published under dictator General Franco’s rule in the 1940.

However,even today,almost all the books remain censored and in some,entire chapters are omitted.

Cornella-Detrell,a lecturer in Hispanic studies,said Spain did not want the books published at all.

“During Franco’s regime,foreign ideas were perceived as a potential threat to the moral and social fabric of the country,” he said.

“The regime promoted the very Catholic nature of Spain and censored literature that was at odds with this or with its political stance,” said Cornella-Detrell.

He said that attempts to publish the novel were met with fierce opposition by the Spanish censors.

Cornella-Detrell was surprised to see that discrepancies between the English and Spanish versions of sixth Bond novel ‘Dr No’ still existed.

He went on to find that many edited versions of translated novels in the country are still being republished and read in Spain even today.

“A translation of Dr No presented in 1960 was rejected outright by the censors. Five years later,they forced substantial cuts on the editor,” said Cornella-Detrell.

“The last two pages of the novel were deemed to be pornographic and completely excised. As a consequence the ending feels rushed and makes little sense. The effects of censorship on this text,however,did not end with the regime’s collapse,since expurgated versions of Dr No were reprinted in 1996,2001 and 2011,” he said.

Cornella-Detrell is now keen to explore why the advent of democracy did not stop the production,circulation and consumption of censored books in Spain.

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