This would never do; why could he not write like a writer of histories? Why could he not write without passion? Without anger? Without the sense of betrayal and oppression? He picked up the sheet...It was the title page: "The New History of Cephalonia." He crossed out the first two words and substituted "A Personal."
Do you think I don't understand economics? How many times do I have to explain, you dolt, that Fascist economics are immune from the cyclic disturbances of capitalism? How dare you contradict me and say it appears the opposite is true?
We were new and beautiful, we loved each other more than brothers, that's for sure. What spoiled it always was that none of us knew why we were in Albania, none of us had an easy conscience about this rebuilding of the Roman Empire.
I know that the Duce has made it clear that the Greek campaign was a resounding victory for Italy. But he was not there. He does not know what happened. He does not know that the ultimate truth is that history ought to consist only of the anecdotes of the little people who are caught up in it.
"I have always been a Venizelist; I am not a monarchist, and I am not a Communist. I disagree with both of you, but I cure Stamatis' deafness and I burn out Kokolios' warts. This is how we should be. We should care for each other more than we care for ideas, or else we will end up killing each other."
For Lemoni there would be no freedom until widowhood, which was precisely the time when the community would turn against her, as though she had no right to outlive a husband, as though he had died only because of his wife's negligence. This was why one had to have sons; it was the only insurance against an indigent and terrifying old age.
It occurred to Pelagia that perhaps the same scene had been enacted generation after generation since Mycenean times; perhaps in the time of Odysseus there had been young girls like herself who had gone to the sea in order to spy on the nakedness of those they loved. She shivered at the thought of such a melting into history.
(We lost the war and were saved only when the Germans invaded from Bulgaria and opened a second front that the Greeks had no resources to defend. We fought and froze and died for the sake of an empire that has no purpose...)
As she reached for it she realized for the first time, and with a small shock, that she had learned enough from her father over the years to become a doctor herself. If there was such a thing as a doctor who was also a woman. She toyed with the idea, and then went to look for a paintbrush, as though this action could cancel the uncomfortable sensation of having been born into the wrong world.
"It had 'To The Glory Of The British People' inscribed on the obelisk. I have heard that some of your soldiers have chipped away the letters. Do you think you can so easily erase our history? Are you so stupid that you think that we will forget what it said?"
"I just don't understand why an artist like you would descend to being a soldier."
He frowned, "Don't have any silly ideas about soldiers. Soldiers have mothers, you know, and most of us end up as farmers and fishermen like everyone else."
"You have to be firm with these people, or they start doing what they like...You won't believe this, but half of these peasants are Royalists. Just imagine! Identifying yourself with the oppressors!"
It had never occurred to Mandras to be anything other than a Royalist, but he nodded in agreement.
Weber was still a virgin, his father was a Lutheran pastor, and he had grown up in the Austrian mountains, capable of hating Jews and gypsies only because he had never met one.
It came to her that she could actually shoot him when he came through the door, and then run away to join the andartes with it. The trouble was that he was no longer just an Italian, he was Captain Antonio Corelli, who played the mandolin and was very charming and respectful.
We have lost one-third of our merchant marine because He forgot to order them home before declaring war, we have been persuaded that halving the size of a division means that we have double the number of divisions, we have been made to invade Greece from the north in the rainy season, without winter clothing...All of our Albanian soldiers immediately deserted, and we only know what is happening to us by listening to the BBC.
But on that evening, one of the Venizelists who was about to risk his life by defecting to EDES came up to him later in the darkness, sympathetically offering him a cigarette, and explaining, "Look, you don't have to understand all that jargon from our sesquipedalian friend, because all it boils down to is that you've got to do just as he says, or he'll cut your throat."
"I should have brought her up stupid," said the doctor at last. "When women acquire powers of deduction there's no knowing where trouble can end."
But I know that she will never tell me that she is waiting for a new world where a Greek may love an Italian and think nothing of it.
No one could recognize anybody else, and Italian and Greek peered into one another's faces, denationalized by coughing, by grime, and by mutual amazement.
"I don't have your advantages, Günter."
"Yes. I don't have the advantage of thinking that other races are inferior to mine. I don't feel entitled, that's all."
"If he had an impulse that quickened the seeds of his inactivity, it was foolish hope and the desperate need to spare the blood of the hapless men he loved. He took a sightless road and shortly condemned them to a grisly doom, failing to see in the Nazi promises so thick a mask of falsehood that by trusting them he condemned his beautiful youngsters to abandon their bones..."
The general had an obsession with Stukas. The thought of those crook-winged howling birds of destruction made his stomach turn with dread. Perhaps he did not know that from a military point of view they were one of the most ineffective weapons of war ever devised...
"I wish that you will have children together, and I wish that once or twice you will tell them about their Uncle Carlo that they never saw."
He did not know it, but he buried Carlo in the soil of Odysseus' time, as though he had belonged there from the first.
"You must allow Pelagia to become a doctor. She is not only my daughter. She is, since I have no son, the nearest to a son that I have fathered. She must have a son's prerogatives, because she will continue my life when I am gone. I have not brought her up to be a domestic slave, for the simple reason that such company would have been tedious in the absence of a son."