Passings. John le Carré, Gerard Houllier, Otto Hutter

I was sad to hear yesterday of the death of John le Carré. He dragged the spy novel into the post-Second World War world and elevated it to the status of literature. His early novels had all the relevance the Cold War gave to the genre and he illuminated that looking-glass world of the secret services. In George Smiley he gave the world the epitome of the enigmatic, taciturn thinker.

When the Soviet Union fell the spy novel lost a lot of its wider resonance but le Carré adapted to the new circumstances. A total of over 20 successful best selling novels speaks for itself.

My collection of his books – apart from the omnibus edition of his early works the good lady started to read – is on this shelf.

David John Moore Cornwell (John le Carré): 9/10/1931 – 12/12/2020. So it goes.

Also gone today is Gerard Houllier, one of Liverpool’s more successful managers of the “fallow” period. While he never achieved the holy grail (for Liverpool supporters) of a League Championship he still oversaw an impressive haul of trophies for the club.

Gérard Paul Francis Houllier: 3/9/1947 – 14/12/2020. So it goes.

On Friday I read the Guardian obituary of Otto Hutter. He was one of my lecturers when I briefly (one year only) studied Physiology at Glasgow University back in the day. I don’t think I realised at the time he had been one of those who came to Britain via the Kindertransport. What an incredible contribution to British life those children went on to make.

Otto Fred Hutter: 29/2/1924 – 22/11/2020. So it goes.

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