De Bernieres takes revenge for review
Saturday 31 July 1999
Captain Corelli's Mandolin has sold over 1m copies. The circulation of the Morning Star is around 5,000. Thousands will be taking Captain Corelli's Mandolin on their summer holidays. Airport sales of the traditionally communist-leaning Morning Star will be less brisk. Many will be surprised to know it still exists.
But the author takes it very seriously indeed. Mr de Bernieres, praised by literary critics for his "elegant Latinate constructions" has written to the Morning Star a letter replete with constructions of a less elegant kind. "How long are you people going to sit in the dark in an air-pocket, wanking each other off?" he inquires.
His letter, published under the headline: "Literary gent tosses off criticism", continues: "Your ship has sunk, brothers. It was historically inevitable and just now the historical conditions have been fulfilled. Goodbye to the biggest failure and disappointment since the non-return of Christ."
What prompted a normally mild-mannered author to throw a wobbly was a review earlier this month headed "The poison of Louis de Bernieres", published to coincide with this summer's holiday season.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which is about to be made into a film by Roger Michel, director of Notting Hill, is the story of an affair between the daughter of a patriotic Cephalonian doctor and a captain in the Italian occupation army. Alongside is an examination of the role of the Greek communists who led the wartime resistance against the Italians and Germans and later fought British and American-backed forces in the civil war.
But Mr de Bernieres' view of history is not the Morning Star's. The review's writer, Andrew Murray, former TGWU communications head, accuses the author of being an "apologist for the excesses of the right in Greece", trying to "portray the Greek dictator Metaxas in a sympathetic light", painting the Greek communists as "dehumanised sadists" and, not least, of presenting the "Italian fascist army - the force which exterminated one third of the population of Libya, to name but one of its crimes - as a collection of aimiable buffoons".
Mr de Bernieres said he was "delighted to receive a hostile notice from your paper" and was writing to "thank you for this indirect vindication". John Haylett, editor of the Morning Star, called him a "spoiled brat who doesn't like having his mistakes and prejudices exposed".
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The magicians using online collaboration to push boundaries
lifeIt takes year-long dedication to get Selfridges ready for 25 December. And they're already working on plans for 2015...
Jennifer Lawrence attacks mass media again over body image
Jennifer Lawrence: 'It should be illegal to call someone fat on TV'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
Devyani Khobragade: India-US row escalates over arrest of diplomat in New York
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Ian Watkins: Paedophile Lostprophets singer sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as judge labels him a 'dangerous sexual predator'
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber announces he's 'retiring from music'
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Business Analyst - Banking...
£21999 - £27001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have exten...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£42000 - £51000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Are You Receiving...