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Illustration by Anna Schuleit Haber


This is how it is with my mind, heading out over the ocean, tipping one way so I see only water, shades of blue and green and cloud-shadow slate; tipping the other, all sky and complication of cloud. Ruckus of glinting refracted light. Some days, just empty gray, in both directions.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Schreiber

Dehn (pronounced “Dane”) resurrected or reinvented at least three genres given up for dead at the time: the British mystery, the Shakespeare adaptation, and the spy film. He understood a thing or two about espionage, having taught and then practiced it with distinction during World War II. Yet the hundredth anniversary of Dehn’s birth has passed without the merest hiccup of notice.

The Gay Godfather of James Bond

November 5, 2012

Born a hundred years ago today, the poet and critic Paul Dehn trained spies, won an Oscar and, notwithstanding his long, loving co-habitation with another man, helped create the epitome of 20th-century heterosexual virility—yet even Google all but asks, “Paul who?” How could this be? What tastemakers did he offend? Did he throw a drink in Malcolm Cowley’s face, make a pass at Edmund Wilson? Hardly. His only crime was to excel at the art that dare not speak its name: Paul Dehn was a screenwriter.