World: The Corsican Curse

Nothing much had happened to Corsica since Napoleon left home in 1779. The island's haughty, hawk-nosed men still rode off sidesaddle on their donkeys to fight vendettas. Their wives still milked the native sheep to produce a cheese with the clout and consistency of a plastic bomb. The sun still sank blood-red behind the Sanguinary Isles, while local folk singers recalled the prowess of Bonaparte in their atonal anthem, L'Ajaccienne. A calm enough scene—until early last summer, when the somber, somnolent island awoke to the 20th century. Suddenly, bombs exploded in the night, and walls proclaimed the scrawled slogan: "Corsica for...

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