Antoine Bello

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september 2012

Legends (short story)

Book description

A civil servant of the British intelligence agency is charged with animating a stock of legends - those disposable identities donned by spies during their missions.

A word from the author 

I wrote Legends in 1999. Initially, I had planned on including this short story along with another one entitled The News in my novel, Les falsificateurs, as inserts between the three parts of the story. I gave up the idea when it became clear that the first volume of Sliv's adventures would already be over 500 pages long.

I've always been fascinated by legends - those disposable identities donned by spies as required by their missions - for their ability to fecundate reality.  A name haphazardly written on a file gives birth to a passport, a driver's license, a lease, and a payslip, as if by magic.  What a beautiful metaphor for the power of the novelist.