May 2, 2014

5 Things Friday: 5 Kickass Quotes from (The Novel) Jason Bourne

Hi! It's been awhile - work has been keeping me busy.

I love the Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum and have reread them over more than 10 years. I enjoyed the movies but felt that they didn't contain the books' rich nuances and dark humour or bring out the full complexity of Bourne's character, reducing him merely to an agent mistakenly assumed to have gone rogue.

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The novels' Bourne was a more interesting character study, struggling with his dual personae, sometimes to the point of madness: the original being David Webb, loving husband and father, mild-mannered professor and Far Eastern specialist, and the other, Jason Bourne, ruthless mercenary and decoy sent to draw out another killer, Carlos the Jackal (based on a real person - read more here). Other main characters are equally nuanced - my favourite being the incorrigible old CIA field agent Alex Conklin (most outrageous quote: "What the hell do you think you're going to do?... Storm their houses? Stick needles in their asses between the appetizer and the entrée?"), and Bourne's wife, Marie, who is wonderfully fierce yet tender, instead of Franka Potente's Marie who was merely a prop in my opinion.

Since the books cover Bourne's battle to regain his memories and life as well as kill Carlos, over a period of 15 - 20 years, there is a strong theme of survival and not giving up. The books also deal with loss of resilience and strength with age - Bourne and Conklin are pushing 50 and 70 respectively by the time of  the final book, The Bourne Ultimatum. Here are 5 quotes from the books that still inspire me today:

5. "You're on your own now. You are not helpless. You will find your way.” - Dr. Geoffrey Washburn, who treated the amnesiac Bourne after fishermen found him half-dead in the Mediterranean Sea (The Bourne Identity)

4. “Be like a wolfpack,” said the old soldier, leaning forward, a commander instructing his
officer corps. “Strike swiftly.” (The Bourne Identity)

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I've always wanted to have my own wolf as a kid... :(

3. "Rest is a weapon." - Philippe d'Anjou, Bourne's comrade in the mercenary group Medusa
This cannot be emphasised enough. I come from a university where we outdo each other in hours spent awake every day (48 hours without sleep, no biggie). However, it's good to take a step back and a snooze - you may even solve some of your problems in your sleep... I know I have, on math especially.

2. "The success of any trap lies in its fundamental simplicity. The reverse trap by the nature of its single complication must be swift and simpler still." -The Bourne Identity. Yay for simple and elegant solutions! 

And my ultimate favourite, which links to one of my favourite poems, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night:

1. (Ally and Deuxième agent Francois Bernardine:) "There was an English poet - a Welsh poet, to be exact - who wrote, 'Do not go gently into that good night.' Do you remember it?"
(Bourne:) "Yes. His name was Dylan Thomas and he died in his mid-thirties. He was saying fight like a son of a bitch. Don't give in." 

Yes, rage, rage against the dying of the light. I hope these quotes may inspire you in challenging times.

Happy Friday, all!

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