“He was a mean and vain man”

Sobre a estranha relação profissional entre o escritor Ian Fleming e o artista Richard Chopping – unidos na criação deste das sobrecapas dos livros da série James Bond da autoria daquele e publicados pela Jonathan Cape nos anos de 1950 e 60 – escrevi já aqui. Neste post pode-se encontrar um documento que torna mais nítidos os contornos dessa relação, e ilustra a tensão inerente ao trabalho de um “artista” na arena da edição comercial, artista esse que era também possuidor de um carácter sui generis e algo difícil. Eis a carta enviada por Fleming a Chopping a 21 de Junho de 1961:



Numa entrevista posterior à morte do autor, Chopping seria ainda mais claro quanto ao que sentia pelo seu “cliente” (e onde gostaria de ter enterrado o punhal que colocou na capa de The spy who loved me…):

He was a mean and vain man. I regret having anything to do with him. The paintings I did for his dust jackets are now worth thousands and they sold as many books. But he would not even let me have me royalties. Quite honestly, I’m sick to death of it all […] I have been swindled all the way along the line. I was quite fond of doing the early work but it became a bore and I hate the books.

I’ve already written here on the quite strange professional relationship between James Bond author Ian Fleming and the artist who did all the classic hardback covers for the series published by Jonathan Cape in the 1950s and 60s, Richard Chopping. I was just lead to this post in which we can read a document that sheds light into that relationship, and illustrates the inherent tension in the work of an “artist” in the commercial publishing arena, an artist who was himself a rather peculiar man. This is a letter sent by Fleming to Chopping on the 21st of June, 1961. In an interview given some years after Fleming’s death, Chopping got a chance to say what he really felt about the man and the books (and made it very clear where he had wanted to stick the dagger he had painted on the cover of The Spy who loved me…).


1 Comment

Filed under Capas, Soltas

One response to ““He was a mean and vain man”

  1. Anthony Lizard

    Dicky was a lovely person. I had the pleasure of being a student of his at the Royal College of Art at the end of the 80’s, last century! A real character!

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