Publication Information

Publication Date: September 2013
Publisher: Anti-Oedipus Press
ISBN: 978-0-98-923912-7 (hc) 978-0-98-923911-0 (pbk)

$29.95 hardcover
$16.95 paperback
$5.95 ebook

132 pages
6 x 9 inches

AOP Publicity: Stanley Ashenbach
Cover Design: Matthew Revert


© 2013 Anti-Oedipus Press

Ian Fleming whittled the effigy of James Bond out of his experiences with the British naval intelligence during World War II. After the publication of his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952, 007 quickly became a cultural icon in the Cold War and a fixture in our collective consciousness. In SPECTRE, Laurence A. Rickels examines Fleming’s novels and film adaptations like never before, looking awry at Bond through the sieve of psychoanalytic theory, history, and Kulturindustrie.

Within the Bond universe, SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is the global terrorist organization run by supervillain Ernst Stavro Bloefeld. Fleming added SPECTRE late in the game for the crossover into the film medium. The ghostly amalgam of perpetrators and victims of the Nazi era, SPECTRE deconstructs and manipulates the opposition of the Cold War in order to promote the welfare of an organization that is in every sense an underworld. For Rickels, SPECTRE is a theoretical apparatus whereby he monitors and measures the flows, intensities and codings of the Bond universe while using it to read other texts, ranging from the writings of Goethe, Shakespeare and Derrida to the post-Freudian theories of Melanie Klein. This visionary, richly allusive study breaks new ground while extending ideas developed in such works as Aberrations of Mourning and Nazi Psychoanalysis. Rickels’ approach is at once playful and pointed as he looms over Bond and lays him bare on the chaise.

LAURENCE A. RICKELS is an emeritus professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Academy of Fine Arts-Karlsruhe. Currently he holds the Sigmund Freud Chair in Media and Philosophy at the European Graduate School while serving as Eberhard Berent Visiting Professor and Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. He is the author of many works of cultural theory, among them Aberrations of Mourning, The Case of California, Nazi Psychoanalysis, The Vampire Lectures, The Devil Notebooks, I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick, Germany: A Science Fiction and The Psycho Records.