Quantum of Solace : Ian Fleming’s reflection on the limitations of love.

Quantum of Solace

Quantum of Solace

The source story “Quantum of Solace” written by Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond from which the new 007 film obtains its title is not actually considered a spy espionage story though there is mention of a mission, the story is an anecdote told to James Bond at a dinner party… and here’s the rub…

The crux of the story is the emotional phenomenon the Governor calls the Quantum of Solace, the smallest unit of human compassion that two people can have. As long as that compassion exists, people can survive, but when it is gone, when your partner no longer cares about your essential humanity, the relationship is over.


“The Quantum of solace” is defined as a small degree of comfort that can exist between two people emotionally in a relationship. Some people define it as ‘a precise figure defining the comfort, humanity and fellow feeling required between two people for love to survive. If quantum of solace is nil, Love is dead’.

It’s often said that the opposite of love isn’t hate. In fact, love and hate are separated by the thinnest of lines. Really, the opposite end of the spectrum from love is indifference. It’s that Quantum of Solace that keeps somebody caring about another human being – instead of dismissing them as utterly emotionally insignificant.

I find this fascinating and everyone is terribly amused. But really, isn’t that fantastic?!


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Filed under Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts, Strange But True

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