story by Giovanni Guareschi, translation by Anthony Santella.
For those who haven't heard of him, Giovanni Guareschi was well
known in Italy as a political cartoonist and humorist, best know for his tales of Don
Camillo, small town priest and his continual duels with Peppone, the towns communist
mayor, (his worst enemy and best friend) many of which are available online.
This story, written while Guareschi was interred as a prisoner of war, is a simple
story and I'll try and be simple introducing it. I think it's a beautiful story.
Those who know me can imagine that its fairytale treatment of the tragedy of
war would appeal. As far as I can tell it has never been translated into English. So
I decided to do it myself, to share with friends who don't read Italian. For that
matter my Italian isn't the greatest so it has been a challenge. I hope my clumsiness
doesn't detract from the story. I have a love of convoluted sentence structure, and a
patchy command of even English grammar so I have probably erred quite a bit on
the side of a literal translation. If you like the story, go and buy the book
in the Italian, if only for the amusing illustrations of happy little evil Germans. I hope
this translation provides enjoyment, and something to think about. It is a reminder that
the God of Peace and the god of War are continually reborn, and it always remains for us
to choose which is ours.
Anthony Santella 10/7/2001
An additional good quick intro to Guareschi, in his own words, How I got this way, from
The Little World of Don Camillo.
Legalish stuff: Rights to the Italian text belong to RCS Rizzoli Editore S.p.A, Milan,
this translation has been produced purely for my own perverse amusement, and is not
intended to infringe on any copyrights, if a copyright holder objects to my posting of
this text, they can contact me and I will remove it.
Comments, commissions offers, death-threats, etc to firstname.lastname@example.org