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By Grace L. Hudson

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Extra resources for Corsica (World Bibliographical Series)

Sample text

Page xxvii With regard to the development of the economy, and particularly to mass tourism, the Corsicans have been concerned to prevent the exploitation of the island and the swamping of its distinctive culture. Hostility to the buying up of long stretches of beautiful coastline, especially by non-Corsican developers, for it to be despoiled by vast, soulless tourist complexes has brought opposition, sometimes violent, yet in the main the island has managed to prevent this kind of construction.

However in 1970 it became a region in its own right within the very centralized form of government then in force and in 1975 it was divided into the two present-day départements. 500,000 with the result that the majority of the inhabitants would be non-Corsican; or the conservation and restoration of Corsica's cultural identity and traditions by developing the island's potential within that context. When the development plan which followed it was put forward, there was a fierce public outcry against the proposals which appeared to take precisely the line that the report had clearly warned would destroy the Corsican culture.

Where a murder was committed, a duty to avenge fell on the family and in particular the nearest male relative, and the tit-for-tat process continued until all were exterminated or a peace pact was achieved. Described thus, the custom sounds barbaric, yet in a terrain where communications were difficult, in unsettled and rebellious times and under corrupt régimes, the vendetta was in effect a code of law that enforced honesty and sexual morality with the threat of terrible consequences. Women were often instrumental in ensuring that vengeance was enforced and ultimately, for want of an appropriate male relative, have been known to take matters into their own hands.

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