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De Bernieres describes History as 'Hearsay tempered with myth and hazy memory.' How does the author present historical fact within the novel?

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Introduction

De Bernieres describes History as 'Hearsay tempered with myth and hazy memory.' How does the author present historical fact within the novel? An interpretation of a person or event is an opinion based on evidence. The same evidence can be used to support many different interpretations, which often results in diversity and conflicting views between historians. In the novel 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', de Berni�res offers his interpretation of the events in Cephallonia during World War Two. As Dr Iannis quickly discovers when writing his 'New History of Cephallonia', "it seemed to be impossible to write it without the intrusion of his own feelings and prejudices". De Berni�res faced a similar challenge when writing 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', yet this is unsurprising as no historian can claim to be objective; they are all a product of their times and their beliefs will be shaped by their education, social background, political sympathies and current world events. Historiography is the study of the changes and developments of historical interpretations over time. The Victorians had a fascination with 'Great men' and many interpretations around at the time focused on figures such as Napoleon, but were more akin to adventure stories than historical criticism. As Historians became a profession, many critics managed to escape propaganda such as the Napoleonic Legend for the first time. ...read more.

Middle

He knows that sometimes he High Command will sacrifice him for some greater interest without informing him of the fact, and this makes him contemptuous and suspicious of authority." The indignity of communal living is perfectly described in chapter 42, where Carlo tells of his first encounter of the La Scala boys in the latrines of the camp and how their singing means that the "indignity of communal defecation was minimised. We see a very different picture of life in the army during the scenes with Carlo and Francesco in Albania From the outset, de Berni�res presents a biased view of the communists and more particularly the Greek partisans. The opening chapter with the pea in Stamatis' ear is perhaps symbolic of the one-sided nature of the novel and the "facts" that it relates. The introduction of ELAS in the novel gives a picture of unintelligence, where "intelligent people realised immediately that any group with such credentials must be Communist, and that the purpose of having such attenuated chains of control was to disguise from ordinary citizens that they were a Communist organisation", with the 'ordinary people' being "duped" into joining. From this less than favourable introduction, we go on to see how de Berni�res portrays them as a "gang of torturers, ignorant demagogues and cowards, who spent the war doing "absolutely nothing"4". ...read more.

Conclusion

On the 29th, he released political prisoners who had been rotting in jail without charge." This disguises the author's view and passes it off as 'fact'. Iannis, from the start had the problem that "Objectivity seemed to be quite unattainable". This is a problem faced similarly by de Berni�res. Eventually, Iannis and presumably de Berni�res also, come to the conclusion that "it was not that it was impossible for him to write a history, but that History Itself Was Impossible". On the invasion in 1941, Iannis is possibly surprisingly, excited to be involved. He says to Pelagia, "all this time I have been writing history, and now history is happening before my very eyes. This shows de Berni�res view that history is something to be experienced rather than written and supports the title quote that history is "Myth tempered with myth and hazy memory". Word Count: 2237 1 http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1373/9_49/55721641/print.jhtml 2 http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1373/9_49/55721641/print.jhtml 3 http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1373/9_49/55721641/print.jhtml 4 'Greek Myth', Seumas Milne, Saturday July 28th 2000, The Guardian 5 'Taking sting out of Captain Corelli', Fiachra Gibbons, Friday April 20th 2001, The Guardian 6 'Greek Myth', Seumas Milne, Saturday July 28th 2000, The Guardian 7 'Greek Myth', Seumas Milne, Saturday July 28th 2000, The Guardian 8 'Taking sting out of Captain Corelli', Fiachra Gibbons, Friday April 20th 2001, The Guardian 9 'Greek Myth', Seumas Milne, Saturday July 28th 2000, The Guardian 1 1 ...read more.

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