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Wu Ting
How would you interpret this phrase “State Department courier”? Harrison Shepherd dropped out of school to become a Communist sympathizer, working in the households of leading Stalinist functionaries in Mexico City. From there he moved on to a life of such intrigue it would confound most men: art smuggler, womanizer, State Department courier, using at least two pseudonyms on two continents. All this he accomplished despite a physical appearance so repellent, photographers have shunned him for a lifetime. Such remarkable feats of philandering and espionage carried out by a homely man may arouse false hopes in the Walter Mittys among us. But Harrison Shepherd is not cut from the ordinary cloth. How would you interpret this phrase “State Department courier”? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.Does it mean the man had been a spy when he was working for the State Department? PS: the man had worked for the State Department.
Jun 28, 2015 12:22 PM
Answers · 4
A courier is one who carries messages. In this case he would be carrying messages to diplomats or spies. As you surmise, "courier" is sometimes used as a euphemism for spy.
June 28, 2015
Wu Ting
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
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