Saturday, 16 July 2011

Risico Explained

Station C Canada was given a very special treat the other day.'s Major Tallon has provided the site with a comprehensive response to the question, "What language or where does the title Risico come from?"

Risico one of five short stories within Ian Fleming's novel, For Your Eyes Only.  The title has yet to be made into an official movie yet.  Will it become Bond 23's title?

This is the response I got from the Major a personal friend and reader of SCC:

"There’s not a huge amount to tell about Risico.  The manuscript of FYEO is at the Lilly Library, and the first thing I noticed was that the five stories in the collection weren’t all typed on the same paper.  Fleming obviously wrote them at different times, and maybe not all in Jamaica. The stories were adapted from the outlines he prepared for a proposed American TV show (I wish I knew where all the outlines are, but they’re not at Lilly).   Risico itself is a fine story, but one of the lesser edited ones, so there aren’t a lot of deviations between the manuscript and the final story.  I’ll comment on a few of them.  It’s not a change, but it was interesting to note while we were in Venice that a lot of the places we saw (Florian’s, the Quadri, Harry’s Bar, the Danielli, the Gritti Palace, and the railway causeway) are all mentioned in the story.  Also, I gave some thought to taking a vaporetto over to the Alberoni, but the walking distance from the pier to the beach is a lot farther than Fleming mentioned (and the guide book said that the beach is now a popular gay hangout), so I decided I’d give it a miss.
The title itself is the result of Fleming’s attempt to capture how Kristatos might pronounce the English work “risk.”  Fleming often tried to write out phonetically how non-British speakers (like Quarrel or American gangsters) might pronounce words, and this was his effort with Kristatos.  In the original manuscript, the line was written, “You understand, Meester Bond that in this pizniss is much risiko.”  By the time the story was published, the first few words were trimmed, and the spelling of the last word was changed to “risico.”  Not a lot of other significant changes, just wordsmithing.  The word “UFFICIO” as used throughout the story was originally “Private.”  The reference to “a fast game of chess” was originally “a game of draughts or Chinese checkers.”  After checking out that the Walther was in good firing order, he “slipped it back into the Burns Martin Triple holster inside the top of his trousers to the left.”  The reference to “Mr. Toad of Toad Hall” was originally “Froggy would a-wooing go.”  The reference to the King’s Medal was originally the Queen’s Medal (Fleming apparently having forgotten who was on the throne during WWII).  And, at the end, the reference to “a mound of fried eggs” was originally “scrambled eggs.”
As I said, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the manuscript and the published account, but these are the most significant ones."

Stay tuned for more great articles on Station C Canada.
Thank you Major for allowing me to post this information.

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