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Update: Le Carré’s past – as told on the web

September 30th, 2008Posted by in Newspapers

I wrote a post yesterday which looked at how the story of author John le Carré’s alleged temptation to defect to the Russians during his time as a British Intelligence officer (as reported by the Sunday Times) was spreading over the web, despite Le Carré’s lengthy contention with the report.

Hari Kunzru, who wrote a review that referred to the Sunday Times report, in Saturday’s Guardian, has left a comment:

For the record, I wasn’t aware of Le Carré’s objections to Liddle’s interview. My review was filed before the letter was printed in The Times. I’m not surprised. Even from Liddle’s quote the inference that Le Carré ‘almost defected’ is hard to draw.

So either the Guardian Review’s editor didn’t know of Le Carré’s complaint either, or it was a conscious decision to leave it as Kunzru wrote it.

It does seem to suggest that complaints or letters published post-coverage don’t really rectify a situation. It’s lucky that Le Carré aka David J.M. Cornwell enjoyed the Calvados and Liddle’s ‘erudite and perceptive’ conversation, or there could have been rather more costly repercussions for the Sunday Times.

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