David Leavitt’s Spy Tale

Feature

Friday, May 06, 2011

David Leavitt agreed to write an original short story for Studio 360’s Science & Creativity series, and said he wanted to write about book codes, a venerable, low-tech way of encrypting secrets using any printed book. We put him in touch with cryptographer Steve Bellovin, a professor at Columbia University and a major figure in internet encryption. After their conversation, Leavitt wrote an original story for Studio 360 called The Cheese Pastries of Sintra. It’s read for us by actor Ed Herbstman. Produced by Sarah Lilley.

 

 

 


Bonus Track: The Cheese Pastries of Sintra

David Leavitt’s original story about cryptography, espionage, and pastry-themed codes, read by Ed Herbstman.

 

U.S. Department of State Code D-1, issued for classified communication in 1929 (Ryan Somma/flickr)

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Contributors:

Sarah Lilley

Comments [3]

Sofia from London

Is there any way I can get the script of this story?

Jan. 14 2012 04:30 PM
Andrew from Cleveland

The cheese pastry bit is reminiscent of "The Godfather":

"Don't forget the cannoli!"

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

May. 09 2011 12:01 PM
Hannah from New York

This got me thinking about book codes in this day and age. How could the rise of E-readers change how codes are used? I just think it could be interesting if you didn't have to have a book. If all spy kindles were synced to the same account, all a spy would need to know is to use the code based on the last book downloaded or something like that. Having E-readers could make decoding that much harder to break.

May. 06 2011 04:15 PM

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