Agentul secret

‘Barefaced audacity and childishness of a peculiar sort’ Has ISIS been reading Conrad’s classic novel The Secret Agent? By Mick Hume

There has been much confused and confusing breast-beating about what’s behind the series of bloody terror attacks in Europe this summer. After each outrage in France or Germany or wherever is next, the overnight Koranic scholars of the liberal media insist that it has nothing to do with the Islamic faith, while an opposing army of equally instant experts declare that is all about Islam. (Neither side is quite right of course, but that’s for another spiked article.)

It might help a bit to step back from the immediate febrile debate, and see things in another context. It occurs to me, for example, that a 109-year-old work of fiction, currently being dramatised on British television, could tell us something different about the nihilism and adolescent self-righteousness of modern terrorism-for-terror’s sake.

The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad’s classic 1907 novel and one of my favourite books, has been brought to timely life on BBC 1 (the last of three episodes airs next Sunday, the first two are available on iplayer). Set in Victorian London and loosely based on a true episode, it is a dark tale of espionage, terrorism, intrigue and betrayal, as a farcical but deadly bombing in Greenwich Park unravels the lives of all the characters.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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