Asterix in Corsica (1973)

Astérix en Corse

Presenting a pretentious thematic undercurrent…

Analysis of the seemingly trivial issues underlying clan warfare.

Notable Nomenclature…

  • Boneywasawarriorwayayix: Corsican chief. (His name inspires Cacofonix to compose an epic ballad prefiguring history’s best-known Corsican).
  • Courtingdisastus: over-keen legionary reminiscent of Oleaginus in Asterix and the Normans.
  • Lethargix: Corsican druid.

Some Corsican names with a pasta twist…

Vermicellix, Potatognocchix, Seminolagnocchix, Spaghettix, Raviolix, Tagliatellix, Cannellonix, Lasagnix, Tortellinix, MacAronix, Fettucinix, Rigatonix.

And the rest…

Mortadella, Olabellamargaritix, Violoncellix, Chipolata, Carferrix.

Continuity; lack thereof and other gaffes…

  • First story to show Gaulish children role-playing Gauls v. Romans (p1).
  • Vitalstatistix unsubtly falls off his shield when the bearers stoop to check its shine (p2).

Cleverness and Contemporaneity…

  • There in an illustration of many Corsican Roman forts – all named in the manner of Totorum etc (pre-title page).
  • Unhygienix Jnr. contests the sell-by-date of his father’s wares with Fulliautomatix Jnr – with the usual result (p1).
  • Dogmatix enjoys a Corsican dog’s life (p22).

The reunion…

The story opens with a feast to celebrate the Gaulish victory at Gergovia, to which past friends are invited. There is therefore a re-union of characters from previous books:

  • Petitsuix: Asterix in Switzerland.
  • Heuvos Y Bacon: Asterix in Spain.
  • Instantmix: Asterix the Gladiator.
  • Anticlimix: Mykingdomforanos, Overoptimistix, McAnix, Dispsomaniax: Asterix in Britain.
  • Jellibabix, Drinklikafix, Seniorservix: Asterix and the Banquet.
  • Winesanspirix: Asterix and the Chieftain’s shield.

 

More British ghastly gastronomy…

Mrs Heuvos Y Bacon: “Hombre: I use Olive Oil for all my cooking.”
Mrs Mykingdomforanos(?): “Don’t you say! Fancy that! I use boiling water. It gives everything a lovely flavour don’t you know!” (p5).

Non-PC World…

Boney’s clan is bone-idle…

  • Boneywasawarriorwayayix won’t escape from Romans before he’s had his siesta (p8).
  • Corsican druid gathers mistletoe by lying inder tree and waiting for it to fall off (p20).
  • One suspects that Spare Rib magazine will not be a seller in Corsica: there it is considered disrespectful (to the man of the household) to talk to, or even smile at, a woman (p22).
  • Corsican villager complains that his fishing trip has been disturbed after six months (p25).
  • Corsican prisoners detailed to road-building have completed maybe a square yard (p31).
  • Corsicans slow work-rate (This is likened by a legionary to civil service practice – about the only satirical part of the book) (p33.)
  • The Corsicans engage in clan feuds about very little. Boneywasawarriorwayayix’s optimistic prediction that Asterix has ended this is premature (p43).

Devastating Dialogue…

“This is mutiny! You can’t force your leader to lead the way!” (p37).

For once the African lookout out-Peglegs Pegleg…

  • O tempora, o mores. = O the times! O the morals! (From Cicero’s first oration against Cataline). (p14).
  • Errare humanum est.=To err is human. (Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism l.525.) (p15.)

Classic Pegleg…

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas = Lucky is he who has been able to understand the causes of things. (Virgil, Georgics ii.490)(p18).

Chubby-cheeked bloke…

He’s Centurion Hippopotamus. First appears on p3, is subsequently despatched by Obelix on p9 but claims the last laugh on p10.

This is the c-c b’s most sustained outing.

Good or What?

More good than what.

Pleasing portrayal of lazy Corsican society and the drawings of Uderzo are fabulous. However this is an insular story about a region of France and it takes a lot of effort from the translators to make it relevant in English.