Captain Corelli’s Mandolin5/by Louis de Bernières/E/D/I

(A terrific quotation about real love by the author, see below!/Zitat von mir auf Deutsch übersetzt.)


(Vi do magari una piccola introduzione sul contenuto della storia in italiano. La storia si svolge a Cefalonia, nota soprattutto per l’eccidio di migliaia di soldati italiani durante la seconda guera mondiale, quando i soldati della Divisione Acqui, dopo l’8 settembre 1943, non vollero arrrendersi ai Tedeschi, combatterono valorosamente e, dopo la resa, furono trudicati a migliaia. Lo scrittore, con la sua potenza della parola, ci presenta tanti momenti che ci fanno ridere malgrado la tragedia e ci spiega con le sue parole l’essenza dell’amore vero.)

Here is a trailer of the film with Penelope Cruz and Nicolas Cage with “Pelagia’s song”


You can also listen on BBC to a discussion with the writer about the book:

Below you can read a short summary of this very touching book of which I also very much enjoyed the humour and comedy especially of Dr. Iannia, Pelagia’s father, despite this terrible situation. I hope you don’t mind filling the following words (prepositions and verbs) into the gaps!

by      in      by      in      of      of      of      on

 In 1993 this writer was selected as one of the “20 Best of Young British Novelists”. It was  written b__________(1) Louis de Bernières, which takes place o__________(2) the island of Kefalonia during the Italian and German occupation o__________(3) World War II.

The main characters are Antonio Corelli, an Italian captain, and Pelagia, the daughter o__________(4) the local physician, Dr. Iannis. An important event i__________(5) the novel is the massacre o__________(6) Italian troops b__________(7) the Germans i__________(8) September 1943.
Please fill the following words into the gaps

viewed      carries      is      follow      tarnished      is      having      killing      portrays      committing      engages      takes
De Bernières __________(1) an ambiguous attitude toward heroism and villainy in the novel: many of the characters, despite __________(2) atrocities, are __________(3) as human victims of bad circumstances. For example, the character Günter Weber __________(4) a great degree of sympathy from the writer, even though he fully __________(5) with the Nazi ideology and __________(6) guilty of taking part in the __________(7) of an entire Italian regiment. Despite __________(8) become friends with many of the men, he must __________(9) orders. Similarly, Mandras __________(10) guilty of murder, torture and rape, yet the author __________(11) him sympathetically: “just another life __________(12)… by war.”

This story blends, comedy, action, tragedy, cheerfulness, romance, homosexuality, love and, for me, above all  language confusion.

The language is therefore a real challenge because throughout the story the characters seem to make a real potpourri of it. This is probably due to the fact that Kefalonia had been occupied for 600 years by the Italians, with a twenty-year Turkish interlude ,the Napoleonic presence and the heavy British influence certainly contributed to this and were also the reason why the people on the island saw each other as aliens.


“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush,

I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

The rose, sign of LOVE! "It's better to write about things you feel than about things you know." By L.P.Hartley
The rose, sign of LOVE!
“It’s better to write about things you feel than about things you know.” By L.P.Hartley

Meine Übersetzung auf Deutsch:

Liebe ist eine vorübergehende Verrücktheit, sie bricht aus, wie ein Vulkan und flaut dann ab. Und, wenn sie abflaut, musst du eine Entscheidung treffen. Du musst dir klar werden,  ob eure Wurzeln sich so verstrickt haben, dass es unvorstellbar wird, dass ihr euch je trennen werdet. Das ist wirkliche Liebe.

Liebe ist nicht Atemlosigkeit, es ist nicht Erregbarkeit, es ist nicht die Verlängerung eines Versprechens ewiger Liebe, es ist nicht der Wunsch jede zweite Minute des Tages  Sex zu haben, es heisst nicht nachts wach zu liegen und sich vorzustellen, dass er  jeden Winkel deines Körpers küsst . Nicht rot werden.

Ich sage dir einige Wahrheiten. Das ist nur „Verliebtheit“, die jeder  Verrückte  erleben kann. Die LIEBE selbst ist, was bleibt, wenn die Verliebtheit vorbei ist und das ist beides,eine Kunst und ein glücklicher Zufall.“


Last but not least I am adding a great video, where you can listen to the book’s content with subtitles

2 replies »

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