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Bourne identity

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne, born in the coast off Marseilles without an identity, except for a microchip containing a Swiss bank account.

Robert Ludlum's bestseller"The Bourne Identity" was my very first spy novel. While I was away at university, my brother exchanged my Harlequin Romance novels for spy thrillers. When I found out, I was very unhappy indeed. To curb my anger, he suggested that I read these thicker paperbacks.

And I was hooked.

Spy novels are the modern version of ancient Chinese kung fu novels. After "The Bourne Identity" I wanted more Robert Ludlum. After Robert Ludlum, I wanted more spy novels. Frederick Forsythe...

When I heard that "The Bourne Identity" had been made into a movie, I immediately bought a ticket in advance. Today I cycled in the pouring rain to see it. Unlike my brother who saw it already, I was not disappointed.

I must admit thought that I've never imagined Jason Bourne would look like Matt Damon. Brad Pitt or Colin Firth, but not boyish Matt Damon. The movie was a lot shorter than the book. Although I can't remember what was written, I do remember that it was gripping.

If you haven't been to Europe, go see this movie. From Bourne's point of view, he's a stranger to shore and so are we. He takes the fast French train (TGV) to Zurich to find out what's in the Swiss account. We see a snowy city --- but later I see that this was actually filmed in Prague. Later we see lots of Paris, which reminds me that it's only a short train ride from London Waterloo station - and the fares are always falling!

When Jason Bourne eventually discovers who he is, he doesn't want to be him. But he is so well-equipped, so well-trained, so multi-lingual. How can he reject all that and become a simple family man on a Greek island?

Likewise, should I reject all my education and experiences and become a simple pianist and writer living in cyberspace? Are we borne with an identity or do we develop an identity only to find that we don't like it? In philosophy of science, it says that one way to prove something is to falsify it. To prove one's identity, do we have to falsify it? In other words, do we experience it all, only to reject it in the end? Otherwise, how would we know that we don't like it?

9 September 2002 Monday

Movie reviews
Robert Ludlum died in 2001 (photo below)
Robert Ludlum
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