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From John Le Carré's Smiley's People:

An abbey, the Superintendent decided. That’s what he was, an abbey. He would work that into his sermon the next time his turn came around. An abbey, made up of all sorts of conflicting ages and styles and convictions. The Superintendent liked that metaphor the more he dwelt on it.

Does that suggest Smiley have a complex character? Or does it mean he's a solitary man? Or something else?

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