What next? A raid on Agenda's fiction shelves?

Published: November 7, 2009 at 7:56pm

Times change, but not at the University of Malta

Times change, but not at the University of Malta

This is the piece of first-person fiction that led to student newspaper Realta being banned by the university authorities, and to its editor being reported to the police, questioned, and faced with the threat of prosecution.

Regardless of the merits of the story, I am publishing it in solidarity with the editor, a 21-year-old history student, and with the student newspaper, which like all student newspapers is there to experiment and push the boundaries – or should be.

If the police don’t prosecute me for publishing it, then they can’t prosecute him either. And if they prosecute me, we’ll all have a ball (and leave them just one, like Hitler, to be getting on with).

Yes, it’s coarse. Yes, it’s vulgar. Yes, it’s ugly. Yes, I didn’t finish reading it because I found it distasteful. But guess what? It’s exactly how many men here in Malta (and no doubt elsewhere) talk, think and behave. Or haven’t you been listening? It shocks because we know it’s true to life – and, at the risk of upsetting some champions of the national tongue, because in Maltese it just sounds so crass.

Li Tkisser Sewwi

Alex Vella Gera

Għall-Madonna fuckin disaster dak it-tifel man-nisa. Juriha wisq li interessat biss fl-għoxx. Man, ngħidlu, l-għoxx trid taħbieh sal-aħħar. Trid tuza’ l-ilsien man. Trid tilgħab bil-kliem, iddaħħaqhom. In-nisa mhux bħalna man. Trid tirkibhom, tilgħab magħhom, bihom, timmansahom. In-nassa, kien qalli missieri, li fuq nisa kien jaf sew, trid tkun taf tibni nassa ħelwa, daqs kemm tkun ħelwa lanqas jindunaw li hija nassa. Fuckin right, l-imħabba xogħol iebes. Imma għalhekk ngħix. Għan-nejk. Għidli ħanżir, maħmuġ, moqżież, li trid, l-aqwa li naħxi.

Għandi ħamsa u tletin sena u nħobb it-tfajliet ta’ sittax. Russi, Żvediżi, Maltin. Inhobb l-għoxx li jagħsrek u jħallik moħli, u ż-żejżiet li jippuntaw ’il fuq, żgħar u skolpiti. Xi tridu iżjed? Tridu tkejlu żobbi? 22 ċentimetru. Rajt żbub ċelebri, ta’ porn stars famużi, li huma iżgħar minn tiegħi. Fuckin ġmiel man ta’ għoxx bejn par koxox ileqqu bl-għaraq, jinfirdu, ilsieni jiġġebbed lejn id-daħla tnixxi. Fuckin right nagħmel minn kollox għal nejka. Għalija l-ikbar kundanna li twelidt Malti. Hawn f’dal-pajjiz tal-ħara ma ssibx għoxx mġiddem. Issib, mhux li ma ssibx, imma trid tfittex, u mbagħad hemm il-hesils ta’ boyfriend, għarus, ragel, missier, mummy, zijiet u nanniet għall-Madonna!.

Darba, m’ilux daqshekk, omm nejka ġriet warajja tul Triq Merkanti l-Belt, mhux bil-liba, ixxejjer umbrella u handbag, dan kollu għax ħxejtilha l-bintha. Sakkarni f’kamra ma’ ommha u naħxi lilha wkoll. Ma tridx wisq. Imma l-Maltin, sbieħ kemm huma sbieħ, dejjem issibilhom xi inkwiet. Ma ssib lil ħadd li mhux marbut. Anke tfajla ta’ sbatax daż-żmien, ittik blow job bil-qalb kollha, imma biex iddaħħalulha tiġi bin-nejk, għax hemm wieħed tħobbu u x’naf jien. Allura biex indaħħal ras żobbi f’ħalqha ma tinkwetax, u bejn saqajha tinkwieta. Ma taqbadx art.

Għalhekk nistenna s-sajf bil-ħerqa. Meta tasal fostna kull tjubija ta’ sess tivvibra fl-iġsma jfuħu tal-istudenti Żvediżi, Taljani, Russi, Ġermaniżi u x’naf jien. Anke xi suwed kultant għabbejt u bhalhom ftit ha jkollok nejkiet f’hajtek, tgħix kemm tgħix. U dawn l-aħħar snin anke turisti normali, bdejt ninteressa ruhi fihom u ħa ngħidlek man, huma l-iktar faċli. Nisa Olandiżi, Belġjani, Ingliżi ta’ erbgħin sena jkollhom saħna tad-dimonju. Qed ngħidlek, jgħabbu lilek mhux inti lilhom. Issa s-soltu iktar ma jikber ir-ragel iktar jagħmel għaż-żgħar u m’iniex xi eċċezzjoni, imma darba kultant nippreferi nduq l-esperjenza. Ħadt nejka ma waħda Ġermaniża li ssiefer tliet darbiet fis-sena biex taħxi. Mhux bin-nejk. Tħobb taħxi l-irġiel tal-Mediterran. Bil-qalb kollha baby! Darithom kollha l-gżejjer.

Mis-Seychelles sa Malta, il-Greċja, il-Hawaii. Miżżewġa xi negozjant miljunarju qaltli. Kienet orrajt imma wisq laħam. Bilqiegħda sormha kiber bhal ħobża fil-forn. Qed inkun poetiku. Għax ifettili. Mhux dejjem. Xi kultant naqbad inkeċċieha ’l hemm saħħa u grazzi. Pattejt qares għal dik in-nejka. Tatni marda man … ma nixtiqhiex fuq ħadd, ħa ngħidlek. Qatt ma weġġajt daqshekk. Ostja kelli qishom id-dud ħiereġ, titqalla’ man, imma worthed. Insomma, għalija l-isbaħ ħaġa hija l-addoloxxenza tegħreq ħamranija lixxa u għasra.

Dawk l-Iskandinavi fuckin strambi. Ngħid din fuqhom. Waħda minnhom, kemm kellha? Sbatax, mhux iżjed, suf mqaxxar, kif inħobbhom, qaltli li nistgħu nagħmlu kollox hlief bews. X’ala bieb! Jien l-għoxx ridt mhux ħalqha! Imma dak il-ħin, fis-saħna tal-mument ikollok aptit tbusha man, mingħajr ma ridt mort għal xufftejha. Iddejqet. Inżiltilha. Bdiet tolfoq bil-pjaċir man u tgħaffeġ rasi bejn saqajha, timbuttani iktar ’il ġewwa, b’imnieħri bdejt naħxieha, toqgħod tgħid imnalla writt l-imnieħer kbir ta’ missieri, swieli għal xi ħaġa. Wiċċi għasra spiċċa, ġennintha, reditni nidħol rasi l-ewwel f’għoxxha. Kelli pajp bejn saqajja man, kont se nisplodi, Alla żlaqt ġo fiha u ma ħassejt xejn man. Xejn. Nippumpjaha u għaż-żobb. Kellha għoxxha bħal ta’ iljunfant. Setgħu daħlu tlieta oħra miegħi.

Fl-aħħar daret u tagħtni sormha, xammejt it-toqba u fuckin dħalt mingħajr vażelina, sappun, xejn, man. Ġieli naħseb dwar l-AIDS. X’il-Alla tagħmel?! Il-lasktu ma nużahx. Ma jidħolx. Haw’, ridt ngħid, m’għandux x’jaqsam. Qisek qed tgħid, iddaħħal imqarrun fil-forn meta jkun għadu fil-plastik. Jien hekk ngħid … jekk kienet did-darba, talinqas kienet tajba. L-iktar li jbeżżgħuni t-Taljani, għax dawk, qed ngħidlek man, iduru l-irġiel qishom żunżan qalb il-fjuri, nittiena Taljana m’hawnx aħjar minnha. Man, ħnieżer! Kif inħobbhom jien.

Għandi siehbi jaħdem ġo lukanda Paceville. Jgħabbi bl-addoċċ minn hemm. Darba għabbejt dil-mara mill-Fgura, kienet taħdem ma’ sieħbi, kellha xi erbgħin u fuqhom. U din kellha saħna ta’ żiemel. Kellha raġel imma kien ilu ma jtihulha s-snin mid-dehera. Hekk qaltli insomma. Kienet tieħu gost l-iktar fil-karozza. U riedet tagħmel affarijiet li ma żewġha qatt ma għamlet. Kienet iddimunjata dik il-mara ostja. Narak tbaxxi rasek. Forsi tafha lilha? Niddubita. Darba spiċċajt ma’ oħra Maltija. Mingħajr ma ridt spiċċajna close. U ma reditx tħallini. Issa s-soltu meta jiġu bin-nejk nitlaqhom. M’għandix ħin nikkummiedja jien, f’xi restorant nixtrilhom xi ravjulata u x’naf jien.

Jew ġewwa jew barra. M’hemmx triq tan-nofs għalija. Imma man, ma dik kelli l-problemi biex nitlaqha. Sirt ostja nħobbha. Fl-aħħar spiċċajna naħxu, fil-ħaxix, u man ħaġa waħda ridt ngħid u nieqaf hemm, in-nisa, fis-sess isiru dak li misshom dejjem ikunu. Jirċievu man, xogħolhom jirċievu u jaqilgħu mir-raġel. U sabiħa wisq kienet man, jien u naħxiha ħassejtni qed ntiha dak li stajt, dak li kelli, u kważi ħarġitli demgħa dak il-ħin.

Qatt ma kienet ġratli qabel. Insomma, dil-Maltija kienet imhabba vera. Bdejt noħlom biha, u naħseb fiha, u newden u anke nċemplilha u mmur għaliha x-xogħol, bhal ma jagħmlu l-għarajjes. Wara ġimagħtejn hi taħti u jiena fuqha ridt nipprova xi affarijiet ġodda. Ridt nerdgħalha l-pussy, ridt inxommilha l-pipi u l-koko. Ridt niksi t-toqba bil-butir u nwessahielha ftit, inħammarielha. U din ma reditx. Xejn.

Kull darba li nibda nieżel twaqqafni u darba dawwartha fuq żaqqha u hi mill-ewwel donnha tilfet il-ħeġġa u l-interess. Kien is-sajf man u konna nintefgħu max-xatt Buġibba u jien naqbadha u ngħolliha fl-ilma u logħob hekk fil-baħar, inbabsilha għoxxha taħt il-wiċċ, u hi tgerrixli idi minn hemm mingħajr ma ttini ċans nuriha x’naf. Imma darba ħallietni man. Ċediet. Kien inżul ix-xemx, il-baħar skur ileqq bħad-deheb, u neżżajtielha l-malja u ffingerjajtha sa kemm giet, hemm taħt l-ilma, tirtogħod taħt subgħajja. Imma ridt iżjed.

Għamilnieha drawwa li nintefgħu nixxemxu. Darba minnhom domna iktar mis-soltu u meta tlajna mix-xatt konna bħal ġux tadamiet, man, ħruq tul dahrna kollu u wiċċna. Ħadtha d-dar u dellikna l-krema ma’ kullimkien, nidħqu bl-uġigħ u kelli żobb daqshiex imqajjem iħares lejna u jgħid, “se tibdew jew?” Mhux bin-nejk, hekk kien qisu. U dellikt il-krema fuq dahrha u hi tingħi ħelu ħelu. Meta wasalt għal sormha rajtu hemm jiċċassa lejja, x’iż-żobb reditni nagħmel? dewwibt ftit krema madwar it-toqba u mbagħad ġo fiha, subgħajja fetħu passaġġ. Bdiet tingħi daqsxejn. Kont iebes man. Iebes kif qatt ma kont qabel, fuq il-qabar ta’ missieri, ma kontx qed naħseb b’moħħi dak il-ħin. Intlift.

Ġibt ir-ras mat-tarf tat-toqba, għafast daqsxejn, żammejtha sod u qabel ma ndunat x’qed jiġri b’tiżliġa għaffiġt ir-ras fid-daħla u mbagħad il-bqija. Bqajt hemm, mwaħħal magħha. Ċaqlaqt kemm xejn u bdiet tokrob, bil-mod, tokrob bil-pjaċir u dik il-karba iktar ġennitni u minflok bil-mod bdejt intieha kemm niflaħ. Nofs minuta kollox, u bżaqt kull ma kelli ġo fija fiha. Ħriġtu, għadu sod daqs zokk, u nżilt fuqha biex inbusha, biex nirringrazzjaha. Taf int, in-nisa jieħdu pjaċir b’dawk iċ-ċuċati. Ngħidha mingħajr tlaqliq, kienet l-isbaħ nejka ta’ ħajti, anke jekk waħda mill-iqsar ukoll. U hi man, ma reditx taf. B’xejn.

Imbuttatni, qamet mis-sodda, tokrob bl-uġigħ, mhux biss fit-toqba ta’ sormha iżda f’żaqqha idejha rasha, ara x’għandhom x’jaqsmu! Bdiet tgħaġġibha ostja. Fuckin trabi dan-nisa. Malli tmisshom jibdew jibku. Lanqas li aħna miżżewġin għidtilha. Bdiet tgarrali l-ħwejjeg li waqgħu mal-art bejnietna qishom rix. Bdiet tilbes u fuckin ma tgħid xejn, u qgħadt naraha, hekk kif kienet quddiemi, tilbes, biż-żejżiet imdendlin, koroh man, tissoffja u tolfoq, qatt ma ħsibt li nasal biex ngħidha, qażżitni, qisha xiħa hemm. Alla mhux se nigdeb.

Ħassejt għaliha dak il-ħin, jiena u nħares lejha bil-moħbi mit-tieqa, mhux se nigdeb. Imma x’iż-żobb stajt nagħmel? Ma stajtx naħxiha bħas-soltu, fuq dahrha, maħruqa kif kienet. X’iż-żobb stajt nagħmel? Minn wara man. Hekk inħobbok għidtilha waqt li delliktha. Hekk inħobbok, u dik it-toqba qisha għajn qed tegħmiżni jew halq mejjet għal sigarett …


176 Comments Comment

  1. Steven says:

    Yes, that’s exactly how teenagers (and I include a lot of men a lot older than their teens into that collective) think, and talk. Having said that, there is a difference between what is said between friends, and what is published. I think in anyone’s eyes the above is pornography. And don’t get me wrong, pornography has it’s place, but not in a publication that’s read by those not looking for pornography.

    [Daphne - I happen to agree with you, but what you are talking about is an editorial decision. Editorial decisions shouldn't be imposed by the police or by the university authorities. There are libel laws, and that's about it. I mentioned Brett Easton Ellis in particular because he writes mainstream fiction, and not special-interest fiction for perverts. His books are replete with similar passages and worse, in a context - detailing the nihilism of some sectors of American society - which makes them crucial to the general picture. If Brett Easton Ellis is sold in Malta, and is probably also on the university's American literature bookshelves, you can't ban this story. It's as simple as that. As with the performance of that play Stitching, I've noticed that action is only taken against homegrown 'obscenities', while imported 'obscenities' are sold freely. To me that says that it's not the 'obscenity' that upsets us so much as the fact that it is Maltese. No Maltese obscenities allowed; imported obscenities - that's fine. It has a lot to do with shame and pride.]

    • Steven says:

      Exactly, this is an editorial decision, and a very bad one at that. This kind of censorship happens all the time, in democracies supposedly stronger than ours. One example is Jonathan Ross being banned by the BBC for four or five months for a prank call to Andrew Sachs (Manuel on Faulty Towers) about the sex life of his grand-daughter. Pretty tame stuff in comparison to the above. Ok, he wasn’t interviewed by the police, but censorship is censorship.

      [Daphne - That wasn't censorship. That was disciplinary action taken by an employer against an employee who brought the company into disrepute.]

      • Glen says:

        Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s mockery of Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter was insulting on a personal level. Vella Gera’s piece is not attacking anyone personally at all.

        [Daphne - Not just insulting, but deeply cruel and childish. Just to put people in the picture lest they don't read the British press: they rang the retired actor at home and gave him a graphic, giggling description of what they did in bed with his granddaughter.]

      • Valerio says:

        The same as you said it Daphne, it goes for this story too what is happening to Alex. Its pornography and should be under that title, so as one can read it at his will, if he likes those sort of stories, and only sold to adults. For a mature adult its okay to read but not for naive persons. Its like teaching someone to create profanity… Again a fine would be more than justified.

    • Fabio Imbroll says:

      Firstly, Maltese men do not all think in such a manner. Secondly, this article is morally disturbing but most of all an offence towards women. Should be we be liberal towards sexism? In the same way as should we be liberal towards racism? You cannot protect the right of freedom of expression in cases where it is violating other rights.

      [Daphne - When I started writing I was taken aback at the inability of many of my readers to grasp any form of irony. On average, they read things literally. This is what you have done with this story. It is an ironic piece and should be read as one. The author is not being misogynistic. He has portrayed the mindset of a misogynist.]

      However, I believe that imprisonment is not adequate. But such material should not be distributed freely because with all our freedoms we are going to end up becoming a society without morality, alienated from what is essentially right and what is essentially wrong.

      • Jeremy says:

        No, Maltese men do not ALL think this way – or they think they don’t. But many do. Anyway, dawn l-affarjiet tismaghhom kuljum jekk tintefa fuq seat hdejn id-driver ta karozza tal-linja jekk ikunn hemm xi siehbu mieghu.

        Accepting such a piece of writing is tantamount to admitting to ourselves that this piece of writing reflects the way of thinking of MANY men (and not just Maltese really). When we accept this we can deal with it. Acceptance is the first step, isn’t it so? Then comes healing. FIrst we must accept. That’s why places Sweden are far more ahead of us, even morally. You think Malta is some moral high heaven? You obviously don’t listen to the gossip.

        Don’t tell me you never thought of women, at least for one moment, just purely in terms of what you could do to them sexually. This piece of writing describes what goes through the mind of many men, albeit more vulgarly than most of us would put it.

        Anyway, my point is that such people exist and are common, and by not accepting a piece of writing about it, the editor is saying “No, no nobody has ever had such thoughts, except for some cirminal low-class ziblu, we’re too good for this”. The truth is we’re not too good for this, it’s everywhere (esp. in university – m’ghandekx widnejn biex tisma’?) and the quicker we face this truth, the quicker we can deal with it and make things better.

        I’m sorry I replied to you personally, but I’m telling this to all “Let’s not lose Maltese morality and become alienated bla bla bla”. We never had any morality. Malta’s probably one of the most immoral, unethical, backstabbing countries in the world, it’s just that we’ve got our heads too far oup our moral asses to realise it.

  2. Andrew Borg-Cardona says:

    Pretty foul stuff, frankly, but if the cops want to play, tell them that for this issue alone I’m your publisher and we can stand up in court together and see what balls they’ve got.

  3. A.J. Anastasi says:

    Do you call this “literature? This is nothing but sheer and crass pornography! Period. Is this the type of “literature” that our students are supposed to embrace? This type of pornography is not suited for the supposed “crème de la crème” of our citizens in our universities.

    I am in favour of free speech, but sincerely, I do not call this type of “literature” comparable to free speech.

    [Daphne - You are either in favour of free speech or you are not. There is no such thing as 'free speech but...'.]

    I agree with the Rector that this type of rubbish should never be allowed in our university and this rubbish should be thrown forthwith in a rubbish-bin, where it belongs!

    Can’t you see that what the editor of Realta is actually after is to shock, and make some cheap publicity for this “intelligent” pamphlet!

    [Daphne - Yes, and he's shocked you. I suspect one of the reasons that has happened is because you haven't read much and don't know that there's plenty more, and worse, on the shelves of every bookshop in Malta.]

    • Fabio Imbroll says:

      Yes, there is free speech but if I had to give a public speech inciting racial hatred I would be exercising freedom of speech to violate other rights. That must not be permissible.

      [Daphne - Inciting racial hatred is a crime for which you will be prosecuted. Freedom of speech ends where threats to others, libel, slander and incitement to violence begin.]

      If there is much worse on shelves in bookshops, it does not make this “article” sound any better. Two wrongs do not make a right.

      [Daphne - That's assuming that the books you can buy from a bookshop are 'wrong'.]

  4. Tony Pace says:

    You are so right D. It is over the top but not much different to stevedores’ conversations, bus drivers’ or indeed a few puliti who’ve had a drink too many on a night out looking for some ‘rough’.
    Sadly Mr Censor, like it or not……c’est la vie.

    • Steven says:

      I agree with you, Tony, but should it be in a student magazine? I believe that we should have the right to read whatever we want, including the above. I also believe that those who don’t want to read the above, shouldn’t unexpectedly come across it, just because it’s been published in the ‘wrong’ place.

  5. I’ve placed this link on my Facebook. Maybe I can get myself arraigned too.

  6. Antoine Vella says:

    Compared to that of most of his peers, Vella Gera’s Maltese is impressive but maybe he should get a real-life girlfriend and stop putting his wet dreams in writing: it’s embarrassing. I’m sure he’s doing it in the name of science, however, or for some other noble purpose.

    [Daphne - Alex Vella Gera is 36.]

    • ommok says:

      The name of science? What are you even talking about? At least read about the author before speaking. Some people would do better to defend a cause by not doing so.

    • Lara Calleja says:

      He’s married and has a son. Don’t mess up and assume things. You make baseless assumptions, and use them for baseless arguments, and baseless arguments are the tragedy of this decaying nation.

    • Glen says:

      Vella Gera is the happily married father of a young son. What an author creates as fiction is fiction. If every author were to keep invented characters close to his personal character in real life, what would fiction be like then?

      Probably literature would be ridden with characters who lead mostly boring lives who have nothing to look forward to but their end of month pay-checks.

      Creating characters is a flight of fantasy; sometimes it is even autobiographical, but then not necessarily literally.

      It is a sad to have these things spelled out like this, to supposedly educated people.

      The piece is pornographic, but it goes beyond the cheap thrills of conventional pornography. The narrative’s aim is not even erotic; it doesn’t seem to be aimed at making men horny. It is more a commentary on the fervently hedonistic lifestyle that some men and women lead. What I like about it is that the author goes beyond the mere judging of this promiscuous bloke. His presentation is not preachy or pitying, but realistic.

  7. il-Ginger says:

    Read it all word for word. As far as pushing the boundaries goes, I wasn’t really shocked, just revolted and it is an eyebrow raiser. The toilet-language makes it worse.

    Nevertheless I still don’t agree that it should be banned, but it’s not like it’s going to make a difference to me because I don’t read this kind of filth (it reminds me of those Scottish shock plays) and more than a man this character sounds like a sexual predator, a sexual addict or a really stupid hamallu. The thought it left me with, was that people without a moral compass are no better then animals.

    [Daphne - I think that was the whole point of the story, to get you to see that.]

    I disagree, with all men really think like this. There are some nasty pieces of works out there, granted, but “inxommilha l-pipi u l-koko. Ridt niksi t-toqba bil-butir u nwessahielha ftit” is more like a fetish porn film rather then what the average Joe thinks of.

  8. Carmel says:

    NOW YOU DID IT, YOU REALY DID IT, DISGUSTING.

    [Daphne - Really has two Ls, Carmel.]

  9. C Galea says:

    There was no reason to ban that paper.

    Tucker Max, a known young U.S. writer, has published books written in the same style.

    You can read some excerpts here http://www.tuckermax.com/archives/entries/date/tucker_tries_buttsex_hilarity_does_not_ensue.phtml#278

    Translated to Maltese, it’d sound very much like the article you quote above. But then, why do Maltese words have to be censored when the same words in English or Italian aren’t?

    Some people are just ashamed to be Maltese…

  10. Cassandra Montegna says:

    That story was awful! As noble as it is to defend an ideal, it’s always a little sad when the object of dispute fails to live up to expectations. Which seems to be the big problem with Malta…. all the censorship wars are waged over horrid bits of junk. It isn’t particularly inspirational. Maybe that’s a lesson in itself.

  11. Kevin Zammit says:

    Why are the police prosecuting this chap? It’s ages since I’ve had such a laugh! Thanks, Daphne, for publishing this piece.

  12. Sam Spiteri says:

    Interessanti l-bicca.

  13. H.P. Baxxter says:

    Erotic literature in Maltese. Disgusting. As are most things.

    • Maria Pia Meli says:

      ‘Erotic’ means ‘sexually arousing’. H.P. Baxxter, did you find this piece sexually arousing? I don’t think that was the author’s intention but anyway. What would be wrong with erotic literature in Maltese? That is quite a foolish thought and reminds me of the days when Italian was the only language considered fit for literary works.

      • H.P. Baxxter says:

        I found this piece infantile. Provincialism at its best. However, the author is 21 years old and the piece is published in an obscure University of Malta magazine, so let’s not make too much of it.

        [Daphne - The author is 36. The editor is 21.]

      • Warren says:

        What is wrong with Maltese erotica?

        For something erotic for the ladies, get a copy of the album “Stejjer Mill Bandli Tal-Mosta” by No B.S.

        P.s. Thanks Daphne for posting this as I have been trying to get my hands on a copy for a while.

  14. Mario De Bono says:

    First of all, you can agree with the piece or not, but you can’t fault the irony and the courage of someone who has done his research into the sad moral compass of many Maltese, not just guys but also girls. He describes reality to a T.

    This has degenerated into an attempt to punish the author and editor for pushing the boundaries. This is not right and proper. It’s rather unfortunate that irony is lost on the majority of our populace, which just goes on to show how ill-read we really are. For example, Tom Sharpe started this genre with his seminal work Riotous Assembly followed by his even more hilarious Indecent Exposure. These books has been available in Malta since 1971. I invite people to go to the airport on a quiet day and hear the conversations between taxi drivers. You’d think Alex Vella Gera’s piece is a “priedka tal-milied” in comparison.

    In my opinion, we are a sad race of intellectually challenged, stunted and infantile individuals, who hark whimsically to the good old morals of yesteryear, whilst secretly wishing we had the courage to be more adventurous in life and, dare I say, in our sexual lives, notwithstanding the fact that many have a bit of the side in the bargain. The only thing i can say is that Maltese is far more expressive and imaginative that we think. It’s a pity that we don’t use it well.

  15. Twanny says:

    Well done.

  16. John Schembri says:

    If Daphne wants to show real tangible support to Ir-Realta editor she should publish it on her Taste Magazine without any prior notice and without a warning that there is adult material inside the magazine.
    That’s what I call a challenge, use the printed media…….and without ‘Adult Material Warning’ on the front page.

    [Daphne - Don't be ridiculous, John. Taste is a food magazine, not a current affairs/discussion medium, like this blog. I never cease to be amazed at the poverty of understanding of the media.]

    • John Schembri says:

      So next Thursday cut and paste it on your Malta Independent column and for that day ABC will be the publisher and editor. The only condition is: no ‘Adult Material’ warnings.

      [Daphne - I am not the editor of The Malta Independent, John. Learn something about how the media work, for your sake. I can't understand why seem to believe that publishing it in a magazine or a newspaper is somehow more 'daring' than publishing it on this blog, which is accessible to anyone and everyone and gets several thousand views every day.]

      • John Schembri says:

        Ok, so before the police accuse the poor editor of not putting a warning “18 – contains adult material” or something to that effect on the Realta paper; go in front of or inside the Law courts and distribute a newsletter published by Andrew Borg Cardona and edited by Daphne Caruana Galizia with this article hidden inside. Important: don’t warn your readers about the adult material inside.

        [Daphne- Your thoughts on this one are a little chaotic, John.]

      • Andre Scehmbri says:

        sorry mhux artiklu, storja/proza …

      • John Schembri says:

        In other words, Daphne, the question is audience rating not censorship.

        [Daphne - John, don't make me lose my temper. Everyone at university is, by definition, an adult. You don't need to put 'Caution - Adult material inside' on the cover of a student newspaper, when all university students are 18+.]

        The police will do their duty, even though this could be a medieval law, it’s still the law. The poor inexperienced young editor hopefully defended by Dr Andrew Borg Cardona will be accused that he did not warn his readers about the adult pornographic story inside the leaflet and probably it was distributed for free in a place accessible to minors.

        [Daphne - I repeat: it is a university student newspaper, and by definition intended for people over the age of 18. It is not Dandy.]

        I suppose a person like you who wants to protect our children from gory crucifixes, would also want to protect them from this ‘distasteful’ material.

        [Daphne - Children do not read student newspapers. And it may have escaped your attention, but children are attracted to naughty words. They are not attracted to torture and murder, unless they are seriously disturbed and dangerous. My point is that children DON'T WANT to be made to look at crucifixes and ways of the cross. They are only persuaded, for which read bullied or forced, into doing so. On the other hand, children need no encouragement to read about bottoms and willies.]

      • John Schembri says:

        “Children do not read student newspapers.” I think you’re mistaken on this one Daphne. Teenage kids read everything their elder brothers or sisters bring from the uni and leave lying around at home.

        [Daphne - Your argument is a non-starter, John. With a sticker on the front saying 'warning, contains adult material', they're more likely to read it, not less. Also, by the same token, they can pick up and read their father's GQ (or something really naughty) or their mother's Cosmopolitan. They can find their father's condoms in a drawer or their mother's tampons in the bathroom. They can barge into the bedroom and find their parents having sex. They can raid the drinks cupboard or watch their parents smoke and follow their example. They can wake up while their parents are entertaining guests and see some of those guests smoking a joint, or try to go to the bathroom and find that some of the guests are in there, but no using the lavatory. The way around this is not a ban - telling people what to think, read and do - but the exercise of commonsense in the home.]

      • Grace says:

        All university students know that Ir-Realta is not a child-friendly comic. I have seen it lying around at home and read it many times. The articles in this paper frequently have rude words. Personally I always find something I don’t like, and read this paper with a pinch of salt.

        When I started reading the above story I stopped after the first few sentences, because it offended my morals. Had I any young kids at home I would have thrown it away as soon as I read it, and not left it lying around. People should protect their own children and not wait for others to do their work for them.

        By banning it the rector has rendered it more popular. This paper has been published before, it is popular with some students, but I’m sure many of those who have now read this story had never heard of Mark Camilleri or Ir-Realta before. I am also sure that come next publication many will be lining up to get a copy.

        It is silly to suggest Daphne should publish it in her magazine, because such language should not be published in daily newspapers or magazines.

        I hope that the editor will not be brought to court, because it would reflect badly on our courts. Just like it reflected badly when some youths wrapped some sheets round them and were accused in court of dressing up as Jesus Christ.

  17. Melanie Hart says:

    If anyone tried to properly read the story they’d notice it’s actually belittling such thoughts and actions. But the question here is not about the content or language of the publication but about censorship. Come on guys, wake up and smell the coffee – it’s 2009 and the police are getting involved (and possibly arraigning) a student editor who was trying to experiment and push the boundaries.

    So that’s how it’s going to be now: someone tries to innovate and they are condemned? Welcome back to the 1970s.

  18. Brikkun says:

    Idahhkuni dawn il-boloh li jemmnu li l-letteratura ghandha dejjem tincita xi forma ta ‘ispirazzjoni’ fil-qarrej. Il-letteratura qieghdha hemm anke sabiex isservi ta twejqa fuq il-hajja nobbli jew mizera ta’ individwi vari li jimirhu madwarna.
    Filwaqt li dan ta Daphne kien (ghal darba) artiklu f’postu li jista jservi ghal xi forma ta gid kollettiv ikolli nghid li ghandi riservi fuq il-punt li Daphne taghmel rigward il-merti ta lsiennha. Jigifieri li huwa, kif poggietha hi ‘crass’. Fil-fehma tieghi dan huwa xhieda ta njoranza kbira u mhux kwistjoni ta gosti jew fehma. Sicerament Daphne tahseb li xi scouser ilegleg il-birra go bar ma jinstemghax hamallu daqs Malti hamallu? Hemm Malti li indubbajment jinstema baxx u hemm Malti eleganti li kapaci jhabbatha ma l-eleganza ta kwalunkwe lingwa ohra. Nissottolinea ukoll li ma jienx dixxendent jew student ta l-ebda Temi Zammit jew Mikiel Anton Vassalli.

    Lil Hp Baxxter: Nahseb kollha qattajthom il-kotba tal-letteratura Maltija int.

    Huwa minnu li ghad ma kellniex xi Oscar Wilde lokali pero b’mentalita riduttiva bhall din wiehed ma jdumx ma jintebah ghaliex

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Lil Brikkun: Le, kultant ghadni naqra “Zmien l-Ispanjoli” bhala cracking bedtime read. U “L-istejjer tar-Ronnie” kien kapulavur.

      Int ma fhimtx x’ridt nghid bil-kumment tieghi. Kont qed nikkummenta fuq in-nuqqas ta’ vokabolarju “non-baxx” fil-lingwa Maltija.

      Barra minn hekk, mhuhiex il-fatt li xi student jazzarda juza l-kelma “ghoxx” f’pubblikazzjoni li se twaqqafni milli nikkritika l-qamel letterarju ta’ dak li kiteb. It-trasgressjoni mhijhiex sostitut ghat-talent.

  19. Cedric Mamo says:

    I read it and loved it. It’s not too often someone has the balls to actually express something like this, which is how a lot of people really think these days. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that a lot of people think like this, in fact quite the opposite. I think it’s sad, but at least this piece shows the situation as it is.

    That’s one of the things I hate about Malta: most people live in denial, and when someone has the guts to say something about it, he gets shot down.

    • Cassandra Montegna says:

      If you believe “a lot of people really think (like that) these days”, we’re living on different islands….. or moving in radically different social circles.

      • Steven says:

        Cassandra, I assume you are female. Men do not talk like that in the company of women. Well, most men don’t. Doesn’t mean they don’t think like that, or they don’t talk like that in the (male only) dressing room after the match. There’s nothing depraved about the piece really. It’s how teenagers (even old ones!) think and talk. Always has been, and always will, in Malta and elsewhere.

      • Cedric Mamo says:

        I really do believe people think this way, I think it’s a sad thing. Maybe this story shouldn’t have been published on that newspaper. I’m not going to be the judge of that, but as a piece of literature, I’m able to read between the lines, where most people just see the obscenities and say “x’gharukaza!”

  20. Mark says:

    Thanks for posting the piece. I wouldn’t have been able to read it otherwise.

    People who have remarked that this is pornography are missing the point. The purpose of the piece is not to get men, or women, all worked up, but rather to get them to think. Yes, the language is vulgar, but it is a question of life imitating art. That is one of the differences between art and pornography. Granted the lines are blurred but they always are – you cannot put art in a box. The moment you try to, you kill it.

    As a native speaker of Maltese it is refreshing to read something that I can relate to. Not just in terms of content but also in terms of style, syntax and vocabulary – it is contemporary Maltese. The vulgarity is just a tool, a means. It is not an end in itself, it is a snapshot of reality.

    What I find offensive is the stunted dialogue of Maltese telenovelas which are a parody, if not mockery, of the language. Qatt mhu ser ninsa din il-frażi minn telenovella Maltija: ix-xena, tfajla u ġuvni ġo disco; il-ġuvni jgħid, “Sa fejn naf jien kien hemm ftehimm li bejnietna ma jinbet xejn li joħnoq il-liberta ta’ xulxin.” I mean, really.

    I wonder if people have ever heard of, or read, “A Clockwork Orange”. And therein lies the problem. We, as a society have no problem in watching foreign productions which are full of obscenities, at times much worse than this piece. Imma alla ħares nisimgħu ħaqq bil-Malti, għax ommi ma, fejn huma tal-inkwiżizzjoni. Then again, I am sure this would make the subject of a very interesting PhD is sociology.

    • il-Ginger says:

      Mark, I disagree. Clockwork Orange was a very deep and violent book, set in the future. This is very shallow and pornographic.

    • Cassandra Montegna says:

      The Maltese hold themselves to a different standard than the rest of the Earth. That’s what comes of being an insular society in a country the size of a London borough….

    • Nokkla Safra says:

      Ok, I agree that this text does contain a certain amount of talent and insight and I have nothing against it whatsoever, but to dare to compare it or mention it in the same line with the masterpiece that is “A Clockwork Orange” would be unjust and highly offensive to the genius of Burgess.

  21. mary pace says:

    QABDA HMIEG!!!!!!!!

  22. Magrin says:

    Thanks for posting the piece that caused the rector’s heart to palpitate. I haven’t had such a laugh for ages. Really, to be offended by this you’d have to be living under a rock. This is 2009, for god’s sake. Henry Miller was pushing those kind of boundaries at the beginning of last century in puritanical America. Marlon Brando got away with Gera’s antics this side of half a century ago on the cinema screens in Last Tango.

  23. Daniel Schembri says:

    It is excessively generalizing saying that this is the way every male talks and thinks. I am the living proof of this.

    If the laws need to be changed, then let it be. One can find various profanities in stationaries and libraries and yet no action is taken. Hence, by what logic should action be taken now? Are some people privileged by being above the law and others below? Prosecuting Mr Camilleri is nonsense, just like prosecuting the guy who dressed of Jesus in Nadur’s carnival was.

    On the other hand, I can’t imagine the rector or chaplain being silent in response to such pornography on campus (which by the way, can be made accessible to anyone beyond the campus’s boundaries). Both of them have to keep up a form of standard in their own way, being secular or religious. It’s just normal they react.

    The victim of this harassment is society itself. And the weapon used in this two-way abuse is lack of a common understanding of what constitutes a reasonable law.

    The law on censorship is outdated. If the law is the problem, we will keep on throwing mud at each other for nothing. It’s a waste of time and another alienation from what really matters.

    Before being hostile towards each other, I think that it’s best to have a reasonable law which will form the basis of the stakeholders’ interactions.

  24. Alex Vella Gera says:

    Daphne, pity you broke the story up into paragraphs. There shouldn’t be any.

    [Daphne - That's to make it easier to read on line.]

  25. C Galea says:

    Is this newspaper sold or given for free? There would lie the problem. It’s one thing buying this publication (even if only for 5c) but at least you decide to buy it. And it’s another thing finding it in your mail or whatever, having no choice at all.

    I don’t mind reading this stuff, as long as there’s thought in the background and not just porn. But my seven-year-old kid came up to me and I had to tab out of the web-page since it’s not the most opportune time for her to learn what ghoxx and zobb mean and what one does with them with the opposite sex.

    • Grace says:

      This newspaper is left on campus. Anyone can take a copy for free. The people who publish this newspaper organise parties and such activities to finance its publication. All the work is done on a voluntary basis. Let me assure you you will never find it in the post; you have to pick it up yourself.

      With regards to your seven-year-old kid, I suggest you monitor all her time on the web, since she can easily find herself seeing pornographic pictures without even trying.

  26. Alex Carachi says:

    Hemm xi cans li l-pulizija jarrestaw lis-Sur Fenech jew lis-Sur Muscat wara dak li ha jghidu la jigi mhabbar il-budget, ghax sa fejn naf jien l-oxxenitajiet jinsabu fejn il-fjuri ma jikbrux anke jekk biex jiddemlu jkun hemm bil-bosta.

  27. Emma Calleja says:

    We have been living in a closed-minded society for far too long and what disturbs me most is the fact that the chaplain was the one to call for action against the editor. As expected, the Catholic charade took precedence at the expense of a fundamental freedom: that of free speech.

    I am in no way implying that the representatives of the Catholic Church should not have a say in this. On the contrary, they are entitled to enjoy those same freedom and rights as anyone else. When those freedoms are imposed to distort the rights of others, that’s when the matter becomes a problem.

    I really hope there are others out there who, with the same courage, keep challenging the system and expose our students to new, perhaps unconventional, horizons.

    The university as an institution should neutralize it’s space and should allow its students the freedom to choose what they want or don’t want to read. That is its obligation and this is our right.

    Thanks, Daphne, for the article.

  28. Marku says:

    It’s a little long-winded but I’m glad to have finally had the chance to read this. I found it more funny than shocking and mostly because it probably really captures how some Maltese men (still) think about sex. I’m 41 but it seems that maybe male attitudes haven’t changed all that much from my generation.

    • Steven says:

      Not just Maltese men, and men have always and will always think like that. You do grow out of it…probably just the hormones!

  29. C Galea says:

    OK, let me set facts straight. My family, myself included, believe in God but think the Catholic Church’s doctrines are … uh…. BS to put it mildly. So I’m in a minority here.

    I always tolerated crosses/crucifixes as symbols in my daughter’s classroom. Is this Christian majority here ready to tolerate my own religious symbol, being this one, https://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/images/dws-t-is-one-New-Age.jpg displayed next to the crucifix?

    Are Christians ready to tolerate all and sundry religious symbols? Is that even practical?

    What’s the best? Having a classroom wall-to-wall covered with religious symbols from all around the world or having one with none and one where the only religious teachings are those involving basic morality and basic teachings common to all religions (leaving aside not eating meat on Fridays, or not eating pork, or not eating radishes or tomatoes or whatever else).

    States are secular. If we’re in the EU then we have the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and the right of not feeling suppressed in speech or in religion in any way.

    Everyone is equal, and human rights don’t equal majority rights. If my family and my daughter are Buddhists, with the current reasoning against the ECHR’s decison we’d have the right to have a Buddha next to the crucifix.

    The ECHR’s decision was very reasonable. It’s best to have NO religious symbol, otherwise to please all one would end up with the entire classroom walls covered with religious symbols.

  30. Joe Borg aka Zuzu says:

    To say the least for those who said it’s vulgar/porn/hamalata, strictly speaking, I find it mild. I used to frequent the local village band/political clubs, and I can assure you that Mr Vella Gera, on this subject, is kindergarten level. Trid tkun hemm biex temmen.
    Min m’ghandux dnub jixhet l-ewwel gebla.

    • Jean Azzopardi says:

      I used to hear this kind of language when I was a student at St. Aloysius College. It didn’t shock me then, and it doesn’t shock me now.

  31. DX grech says:

    “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all. The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde

    Bukowski, Wilde, Thompson, Irvine Welsh, Kerouac, the list is endless. They are all authors who have made a name for themselves writing about the underbelly of their respective countries, about the flip side of “the American dream”.

    Free speech is complete. It does not stop when you do not like or approve of what you read. The only pity is that the story itself is really quite poor.

    • Conrad Aquilina says:

      Dear Daphne

      I concur with what DX Grech has written and in his allusion to Wilde I will simply add that one of the criteria by which art is measured is ‘gratuitiousness’, which can be simplistically read as a case of more being less and less being more.

      Basically put, one has to ask whether the line after line of sordid detail and descriptions that Alex Vella Gera pours out in his narrative are intended to accurately reflect a depraved psyche and whether the author achieves this. Or whether he simply wanted to sound cool and invite a response from provincial reactionaries – which he did.

      Having read the story, I somewhat felt that most details are gratuitously put, rather than an attempt to formalise the meanderings of a depraved mind. Even ‘one track minded’ chauvinists – to apply a loose cliche – follow other pursuits. Perhaps this story is to be read as a parody of such hollow personalities, which is reflected in the hollow quality of the story itself.

      This is a case where more has somehow achieved less, as the majority of readers were left ‘shocked’; shocked perhaps not by the relentless crudeness but the apparent pointlessness and vacuity of it all.

      Then again, perhaps that was the author’s objective from the start. Which I find necessarily demeaning not to women (as the feminists have pointed out) but to those men, who, while not always having the best intentions, are not
      necessarily as depraved as the fictional character in ‘Li Tkisser Sewwi’.

      Should we judge this piece as being moral or immoral? I would rather try to evaluate the aesthetic achievements of this story, where it fails and where it does not. The didactic achievements I will leave up to the Church’s ethicists and theologians.

      • Alex Vella Gera says:

        Fair enough. Less is more and more is less is an admirable principle when it comes to creating art, as well as when judging it. And I often follow it (“Li tkisser sewwi” is not the only thing I have written by the way).

        However, if you think my story is a case of more is less, I beg to differ. I could have really run wild here, and concocted all sorts of things just for the sake of it, but why should I? That was not my aim. I held back, because I do believe less is more. (But the thing is, when does “less” in my eyes appear to be “more” in your eyes?)

        As for the pointlessness and vacuity, yes you have a point. The story should have risen above its narrator’s predicament. And it didn’t. Not because I tried to and failed, but because I didn’t even try for that. I didn’t see the necessity at the time. Now, seeing the reaction of people, I have second thoughts. But my aim was to keep out editorial comment from the story. Introducing some form of rhyme and reason to the piece would have compromised this.

        But thanks Conrad for at least targeting the actual content of the story, and not all the madness that is surrounding it.

      • Frank says:

        Good job, Alex. The hypocrisy and ignorance displayed by many who commented in reaction to your story are a stark reminder of how long we have to go before we come out of the dark primitive woods of our blinkered Maltese mentality.

    • D. Muscat says:

      You all seem to be conoisseurs of obscene books. And yet NONE of you here mentioned Gaius Petronius’ Satyricon which is a latin fiction of poetry & prose about Encolpius (a former gladiator) & his lover Giton (a handsome boy slave aged 16). The Satyricon is ripe with depictions of sexual violence about the adventures.

      Nearer to us are the works of the French aristocrat the Marquis de Sade. He is known for his novels that combine pornography & philosophy while describing bizarre sexual fantasies putting an emphasis on violence & blasphemy against the Catholic Church. The Marquis de Sade was a proponent of extreme freedom unrestrained by religious morals or legislation.

      The term Sadism is derived from his name! After many years in prison & mental asylums he was freed by the anti-clerical Revolutionaries. He was elected in the National Convention to represent the extreme left & was notorious for his radical views. Arrested again in 1801 he died in a mental asylum 13 years later aged 74. The Abbe de Coulmier (a French priest & director of the mental asylum) took pity of him & allowed & encouraged the Marquis to stage plays with the inmates as actors to be viewed by the Parisian public. Unfortunately the Marquis in the last 4 years of his life the Marquis had a sexual affair with a 13 year old girl – the daughter of an employee at the asylum.

  32. Nicholas says:

    Better than that Dun Karm crap which has ruined the holidays of thousands of Maltese students.

  33. Andrew Borg-Cardona says:

    @John Schembri – I don’t need you or people like you to suggest how I conduct myself, professionally or otherwise.

    • John Schembri says:

      . @ Andrew Borg Cardona: I heard you on 101 twice pontificating against censorship, I read your piece on the TOM and now you offered your services free for this just cause to Daphne.
      I thought it would be the same thing if you defended this poor student instead of Daphne. Being one of the best lawyers on the island and believing in this just cause are two important ingredients to cut the head of this outdated censorship law, once and for all.
      You will still be the knight in shining armour for our Daphne.
      If you don’t want to take heed of what I’m suggesting, so be it,

  34. David says:

    Am I the only one who was neither shocked nor revolted by this short story? It’s pretty much Irvine Welsh, Maltese-style. Maybe it shouldn’t have been published in a student newspaper, true, but I’m more shocked to see so many people saying it’s crass, disgusting, awful, tasteless … is everyone so prude and sexually repressed?

  35. Marija says:

    Daphne, thanks for putting the story online. I wanted to read, react and make up my own mind.

    Details ‘gratuitously put’ tell us much about the character. You notice how he glosses over the very serious subject of the STD. No lesson learnt there. How he grossly generalises the story of the Scandinavian girl, which I take to mean he hasn’t bedded any other girl from Scandinavia. And finally how he sexually abuses the ‘special’ girl, and we see his incredible emotional obtuseness when suddenly she becomes unattractive as he feels her rejection. Then I realised the word ‘imhabba’ slipped in because he does not know the distinction, and never will. And this is where he differs from so many men who talk like this. Most men dream about such sexual adventures in their lives, but they still know a bit more about give-and-take, respect and the rules for keeping it ‘with-no-strings-attached’ from the start.

    The reader might think there is a vacuum in his life, but the character is totally oblivious of this and actually thinks he is simply free to seek and get what he desires most. So I think it’s a case of there being some more to shock the reader into realizing that the boundary between a sex obsession and psychopathy was crossed somewhere in the story.

    • Magrin says:

      Marija, stop analysing the character and author. Vella Gera didn’t write the piece as a serious information pamphlet about STDs, but only as a one man’s view of his sexual encounters. He had a story to tell. It was entertaining to read, even in the raw language it was written. The police should never have been called in the first, or last, place.

      • Marija says:

        I tried to target the content of the story in my own way, in reply to Mr. Vella Gera’s own post. Who are you to tell me how to react to the story?

  36. Kurt Mifsud says:

    If you really don’t like it you would stop reading it after the first paragraph. But in this country people want to dictate what others read as well. What next? Raid my home to check if I have any porn film (not that I have honestly)?

    I’m associating this case a bit with the carnival one that happened in Gozo. Why? Because some priests were better suited for politics instead of religion. With their public speeches they influence authorities to take action and worse of all will ruin these people’s personal life, career and reputation forever.

  37. Peter says:

    Mela jekk xi hadd ikun razzist jew jekk jitkellem kontra immigranti, gays, lesbjani, nies ta’ religjonijiet ohra jew nies li ma jemmnux, nghidulu kemm int intoleranti, nghajruh li mhux demokratiku, nghidulu li ma jafx x’inhuma drittijiet tal-bniedem.

    Imma li xi hadd (u ghal giehna fl-universita’ – il-benniena tat-taghlim u l-gherf!) jitkellem ek fuq il-mara, fuq il-mara bhala oggett, bla dinjita’, bicca toy li tuzah meta trid, naqbzu ghalih.

    [Daphne - In-nisa mhumiex minorita oppressata, almenu hawn Malta, Peter. Trid tisma n-nisa jitkellmu fuq l-irgiel biex tkun taf.]

    Addio kemm nisa jbatu minhabba li huma uzati fis-sess, kemm nisa huma mfarrkin u mweggghin f’qalbhom ghax haddiehor juzahom, jisfruttahom, u jarmihom. Dak ma jimpurtax – nappoggjawh, u nippromwovuh!

    Meta “freedom of expression” tibda tfisser li nista’ nitkellem fuqek kif gie gie, bl-addocc, noffendik, nwaqqaghlek id-dinjita’, ma tibqax “freedom”, tigi biss “power” minn min jista’ jesprimi ruhu. U l-iehor jispicca skjav, bhaz-zminijiet ta’ qabel!

    [Daphne - Nahseb li mmissjajt l-punt tal-istorja, Peter. Giet miktuba minn bniedem li jahsiba bhalek.]

    Ghaziza Daphne, jekk joghgbok aghzel fuq liema naha qieghda – ghax qatt ma nista’ naqbad tarf xi trid!

    [Daphne - M'hemmx nahat f'din il-bicca. Meta tghid li n-nisa ghandhom bzonn il-protezzjoni tal-ligi f'affarijiet bhal dawn, tkun qieghed taqa' fl-istess nassa ta' dawk li jahsbu li n-nisa huma inferjuri ghall-irgiel u ghandhom bzonn il-protezzjoni taghhom - u l-protezzjoni minnhom ukoll.]

  38. Spiru says:

    Thank God we have you, Daphne! What a story!

  39. Mar Tin says:

    The bottom line is that this is a badly written story. It has no artistic merits whatsoever. It certainly has pretensions to be ‘literature’ (see the point by the ‘author’ about Daphne’s paragraphing – as if this stylistic ploy is representative of stream of consciousness or godknowswhat), but it is not even good porn because it fails to elicit sexual arousal.

    It certainly is a good publicity stunt by a self-published writer (no, Daphne, he is not ‘a published author’). Nobody knew his name two weeks ago; now he will probably get published as a ‘recognisable’ author. Good for him.

    Only a naive 21-year-old would publish such a patently bad piece of writing. And no, he doesn’t deserve to be punished for such youthful folly.

    This event should be seen in the light of ‘Stitching’ and ‘Pornolitics’. The principles of freedom of expression and whatnot that are being bandied about are all valid – but the subject matter in question in all these cases is so pathetically lacking in artistic merit and taste.

    • R2D2 says:

      His books have been published so he is a published author unless you are using some other definition of “published author” which makes no reference to “authors” whose books are “published”.

      • Mar Tin says:

        I had written self-printed’ but Daphne edited that to ‘self-published’. Anybody can print anything anything out of their pocket. If that makes one a ‘published author’, with the implication that one has gone through the rigorous process of editorial vetting and editing, than our writer is indeed a ‘published author’. I wish him the best if luck.

        [Daphne - The correct term is self-published, not self-printed. It means that the author has paid for printing and publication. It's sometimes called vanity publishing.]

      • R2D2 says:

        I don’t think it is correct to equate self-publishing with vanity publishing as if they were mutually interchangable terms. While all vanity-publishing is self-published, not all self-publishing is vanity-publishing. This blog is self-published after all and very few are those who would claim that it exists solely to stoke the vanity of the blogger who owns it.

        Moving on quickly, self-publishing has been in existence since publishing began and it has produced some of the world’s greatest literature. To name but a few, Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence and Walt Whitman all self-published in their time. I would imagine that many authors would take the route of self-publishing if they could, for a variety of reasons.

        Besides, Alex worked as a journalist for two national newspapers and had his fictional work published by an independent publishing company almost two decades ago, where he would have undergone the “rigorous process of editorial vetting and editing” present in Maltese literature that Mar Tin seems to hold in such high esteem.

        While we’re here, the phrase “rigorous editorial vetting and editing” looks like it could do with some rigorous editorial editing of its own.

      • Mar Tin says:

        ‘Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, D.H. Lawrence and Walt Whitman’ may be ‘self-published authors’, but so are a million and one arses, mediocre cobblers, and aspiring writers.

        Judging by the quality of the techné and the pŏēsis of the ‘story’ under discussion (including title, paragraphing, and claims of hyper realism), I would categorise our self-published author as ‘pretentious’, which is further confirmed by your mention of Arthur Rimbaud and co. in this context. As if Alex Vella Gera is on the same level.

        It seems* that our self-published author is also a ghost writer; otherwise I cannot figure out the effort you are making to defend and justify our mutual friend.

        * ‘seems’ is the operative word here

      • R2D2 says:

        Oh dear. You are just too predictable Martin. I knew you would go down this route. I just knew it. I didn’t actually compare Alex’s work to Rimbaud’s though, did I? I merely used Rimbaud as one example of many to make a point about the term “self-published”.

        Neither of my posts, after all, referred to the quality of Alex’s work. I merely addressed your incorrect claim that the work of a self-published writer is somehow not published. Your claim that, by extension, Arthur Rimbaud’s Une Saison en Enfer and Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn were not actually published.

        Whether Alex’s two self-published works are entirely the product of his own vanity, conceit and hubris is for their readers to decide. I haven’t read them so I really couldn’t say.

        If you are suggesting that I am in fact Alex Vella Gera then I don’t know why you don’t just come out and say it. This silly pussyfooting around does you no credit.

        Also, despite your knowledge of some impressively accented words of Greek derivation you seem to be as confused about the term “ghostwriting” as you are about the word “published”. If Alex was to sneakily defend himself on the internet under the name R2D2 on this website he would not be “ghostwriting”. I believe the correct internet term for such insidious behaviour is “sockpuppeting”. If he were to employ me to produce written work that would then be published under his name then I would be the one ghostwriting. He wouldn’t be writing at all.

        So I will give you an A for your knowledge of words of Greek derivation but a C- in English. Must work harder.

      • Mar Tin says:

        What a loser. Your name really does you justice. So you remember what Alex Vella Gera wrote nearly two decades ago? When he was not even 20? Come off it.

        Instead of attacking the messenger, you should have addressed the message of my original post: his story sucks (like your name). Nothing you say will alter that fact. It is quite bad even for a part-time musician and full-time translator of red-tape.

    • R2D2 says:

      So you don’t like the name R2D2, Mar Tin? What a great, great pity that is. Really hurtful stuff.

      And a loser, eh? Well one thing I haven’t lost, Mar Tin, is my memory. Unlike you, I see nothing astonishing in someone remembering something from almost two decades ago. I remember things which happened two decades ago and more.

      Yes, Alex had his writing published when he was around 20 years old. Make of that what you will. It is a fact which can be very easily verified and which you would be foolish to dispute. Rimbaud’s Une Saison en Enfer was also published when he was around 20 but then I suppose that doesn’t count because it was self-published.

      How strange that a few days ago you claimed that “no-one had heard of Alex until two weeks ago” and yet here you are with knowledge of his job and his endeavours in other fields, not to mention your knowledge of how the publishing of his books is financed.

      I am not sure what point you are trying score with your bitchy remarks about Alex’s job and other interests anyway. That he is not a full-time author? Perhaps you could furnish us with a list of Maltese language authors who rely on no source of income other than their published fiction. Please exclude anyone who plays a musical instrument.

  40. Sufu says:

    Nahseb jien il-punt kien jasal xorta bla kliem vulgari. ‘Freedom of press’ ifisser tista tikteb fuq xiex trid imma mhux kif trid. Specjalment f’gazzetta pubblika. Forsi ninstema naqa antikwat flideat tijej, imma nhoss li waqqa l-universita ta’ malta ghac-cajt.

  41. Carmel Scicluna says:

    Jekk nghid li hi letteratura serja nwaqqa’ kollox ghac-cajt. Jekk nghid li hi kitba li taqa’ taht il-kappa ta’ divertiment irhis ma nkunx qed nghid il-verita’ ghax ma nafx liema pervers isib dil-kitba divertenti. Sincerament nixtieq insejhilha pornografija tal-iprem kwalita’ … imma … sorry, ta, ma nistax … jien lili ma qanqlitnix zgur u nirra jekk mhux veru ma nitqanqalx izjed … ma nafx … ghadni hafna esperjenza fil-qasam letterarju imma verament thawwadt quddiem dil-bicca … l-ahjar haga ssibu xi majjal sesswali feticista u ssaqsuh x’jidhirlu … forsi biex noqrob lejn is-sewwa: tahziz ta’ xi teenager jew xi ragel li ma jridx jikber, tahziz li joffendi zgur lill-cultural Christians u lill-mara u lil gisimha u d-dinjita’ tal-bniedem. Imma kkonsla, Alex, qalbi, jien kont hekk ukoll meta kont ghadni mohh ta’ tfal bhalek. Xejn gdid taht il-kappa tax-xemx.

  42. Ramon Casha says:

    So that’s it, is it? I must admit I was expecting something far worse given the reaction to it. Then again, when full frontal nudity in a shop mannequin (as anatomically correct as a Barbie doll) brings down the law on the shop in question, one shouldn’t be surprised.

  43. Melissao says:

    Daphne, thank you so much for posting the story online! What the chaplain and rector did was, funnily enough, good publicity for this short story.

    And Alex, don’t worry about all this brou-ha-ha. The public reaction to it was amazing, and that teaches us a lot about society and the misconceptions that people (may) have of what should be and what shouldn’t be, waking up people from their slumber. AND a great opportunity for (hopefully) debate!

  44. Kurt says:

    Bħala student li qiegħed nistudja l-Malti ġewwa l-Universita inħossni mċaħħad, li jiena, ma nistax naqra dak li nrid, speċjalment bil-Malti. Dawn x’iġifieri jaqbdu u jiċċensurawha? Għalfejn jiena m’għandix id-dritt li naqra dak li nrid? Għala nrid noqdgħod għal dak li jgħidul ta fuqi?Naqbel li hija storja li taħsed, għax rari naraw minhom, imma b’daqshekk ma jfissirx li tiċċensurha. Kieku veru Malta moħħna daqshekk magħluq, allura niċċensuraw il-parti kbira tal-films li jkun hawn fiċ-ċinema, għax illum il-ġurnata tista’ tgħid li f’kul film, hemm xena sesswali.

    Ċert li hawn nies jaħsbuha eżatt kif jaħsibha n-narratur . Kull m’għamel l-awtur ħa ritratt tas-soċjeta illum, għalkemm xorta waħda ma nistgħux niġbru l-kulħadd f’keffa waħda, għax nemmen li hawn żgħażagħ li mhumiex hekk.

    Punt li ma naqbilx fuq il-gazzetta realta, hija li fuq quddiem ma kitbux kliem espliċitu.

    Ma nistax nifhem ukoll kif f’din l-istorja ħadu aktar interess nies li mhumiex jistudjaw il-Malti milli studenti tal-Maltin stess. Studenti tal-Malti qumu minn dik ir-raqda li qegħdin fiha :)

    U Nicholas qal:
    ‘Nicholas says:
    Monday, 9 November at 1337hrs

    Better than that Dun Karm crap which has ruined the holidays of thousands of Maltese students.’

    li naħseb din meta għidta kont taħt l-effett tal-alkaħol, għax ċert li ma tafx x’inti tgħid.

    • Kevin Saliba says:

      Kurt,

      x’qed jgħidu l-għalliema tal-Malti?

      Kif kważi ħadd minnhom ma ndenja ruħu mqar joħroġ biċċa stqarrija kontra l-projbizzjoni fuq il-ġurnalett inkwistjoni?

      Niskanta jien kif wieħed mill-iżjed kittieba promettenti tagħna ma sabx appoġġ minn hemm ġew. Mela lanqas fid-Dipartiment tal-Malti ma jikbru l-fjuri?Jew għadhom jaħsbu li l-kitba ta’ Ġwann Mamo biss hi letteratura?

    • Albachiara says:

      Niskandalizza ruhi b’kemm jista jaghmel zbalji ortografici, student tal-Malti fl-Universita’, sakemm jikteb 14-il linja bil-lingwa li x’aktarx ghad jiggradwa fiha. L-istorja ta’ Alex dahhqitni tnejn, imma int kwazi bikkejtni.

  45. Frank says:

    By the way anybody out there ever read Anais Nin’s ‘Delta of Venus’. I wonder what our would-be moral brigade and self-appointed, half-arsed literary critics would make of it.

    • Kevin Saliba says:

      I did read it, and I enjoyed every little bit of it. She didn’t really intend to publish that material, but she changed her mind in the early 70s, and I’m very glad she did.

      Speaking of Anaïs Nin, recently I translated into Maltese some excerpts from Henry Miller’s literary work. If Daphne grants me the permission to publish my work on her space, I’d like to quote a little extract from Miller’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’. This is how it would have sounded like had it been written in Maltese:

      “Bil-lejl meta nħares lejn il-pizz ta’ daqnet Boris mitluq fuq l-imħadda nsir isteriku. O Tania, fejn hum’issa dak l-għoxx sħun l’għandek, dawk iċ-ċineg ħxajna u tqal tat-tajts, dawk il-koxxtejn rotob u mqabbża ’l barra? Hemm għadma ġo żobbi, sitt pulzieri fiha. Inwessagħlek kull tikmixa l’għandek f’għoxxok, Tania, imbezzen biż-żerriegħa. Nibagħtek id-dar għand Sylvester tiegħek b’weġgħa ġo żaqqek u bl-utru maqlub ta’ taħt fuq. Dak Sylvester l’għandek! Dażgur, jaf kif għandu jqabbadha ħuġġieġa dak, iżda l-għoxx jien naf kif inħaġġu. Nispara ġo fik sajjetti jikwu Tania, il-bajd inġibhomlok inkandexxenti. Jaqaw Sylvester tiegħek qed jgħir xi daqsxej’ issa? Qed iħoss xi ħaġa, hux? Il-laqx tal-kbir żobbi qed iħoss dak. Ix-xtut ġibthomlok naqr’usa’. It-tikmix għaddejtu wkoll. Warajja, ġo fik tista’ taqla’ stalluni, barrin, imtaten, papri, klieb tas-San Bernard. Tkun tista’ ddeffes żrinġijiet, friefet il-lejl, wiżgħat dritt fit-tirma ta’ sormok. Anke taħra l-arpeġġi jekk trid, jew tikkorda xi żittru ma’ żokortok. Qed naħxik Tania, qed naħxik ħalli tibqa’ hekk moħxija. U jekk tipprendi tinħexa fil-pubbliku naħxik fil-privat. Inqaċċat xi erba’ tentuxiet minn m’għoxxok u nwaħħalhom ma’ lħit Boris. Ingiddem f’dik iż-żibġa l’għandek u nobżoq bċejjeċ tal-ġixx franki…”

      Rings a Maltese bell, doesn’t it? What do you make of this, Karmelinu? Where are the national guardians of public decency now? Where are our puritan literary connoisseurs? I guess “the way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me…”

      • lamp says:

        Having read the full version I did not come across anything I had to look up in the dictionary. Nor was I intellectually, morally, socially or culturally enriched by the experience. It was just an experiment in transfixing the terminology that we have been accustomed to hear in bars, clubs and shady corners onto a piece of literature – and this is not a pioneering masterpiece either.

        Perhaps it may have caused sensation because it emerged from University. But such is the nature of “progress”

        And by the way, I think it was a bit of an exaggeration to involve the police and censor.

      • gahan says:

        @ Kevin Saliba: would you put an age limit on who should read this piece?

      • Carmel Scicluna says:

        Kevin,
        Il-letteratura hija jew tajba jew hazina. Kejk ivvelenat joqtol lil min jiekol minnu. Sia jekk il-kejk ivvelenat jaghmlu Henry Miller, Alex, jien jew int … kulma hu vvelenat se joqtol. Adulti, xjuh, tfal u l-bqija li se jduqqu t-tosku tal-kejk: kollha se jikluha. Mhemmx velenu li daqqa joqtol u daqqa le. Ghalhekk nghid li l-kurrent popolari ta’ zmienna, ir-relativizmu – il-kejk ivvelenat ituq lilek u joqtol lili -huwa qarrieqi.

      • Frank says:

        Lil Carmel Scicluna, bhalek kienu jahsbuha meta haduha kontra Galileo wara li stqarr is-sejbiet astronomici li ghamel. Bhalek hasbu li dak li kien differenti kien velenu. Il-vizjoni rigida tighek u c-cahda totalli tar-relativizmu hija simplistika, rigressiva u ma twassal imkien. Twassal biss ghal persekuzzjoni ta’ min ma jaqbilx mieghek.

  46. Joe Borg Camilleri says:

    I am a 35 year old man and a father of 2 boys. I would never dream of writing such an article, especially if the intended audience is in its late teens / early twenties. It’s humiliating. What is the article trying to preach? That all 35 year old men are maniacs? That all men see women are sex-objects? What a discussion between father and son about sex entails?

    Actually, I’ve searched for the article to see what is the fuss all about, so from that end, thanks Daphne.

    To be honest, I find the article offensive and disrespectful not just against men and women but also it offends the intergenerational relationships (the discussion between father & son, the relationships with younger and not so young women, etc). I’m not offended by the vulgar words which are being used but rather by the authour’s perverse self-glorification.

    • Kevin Saliba says:

      Joe,

      what article are you talking about? Why do people of your sorry ilk still insist on calling this short story a “letter” or an “article”?

      If there’s anything truly “offensive” about this farce is your “humiliating” inability to discern personal opinion from literary fiction.

      To be frank, I think that reactions such as yours confirm at least two points, namely that this piece has served its purpose well and that regrettably, the general level of education in Malta is next to zilch.

      • Joe Borg Camilleri says:

        Kevin,

        I always used the word “article” NOT “letter”. MY definition of article is “a nonfictional prose composition usually forming an independent part of a publication (as a magazine)”

  47. Joe Borg Camilleri says:

    Dear Daphne,

    you speak against censorship, yet you are the first to ‘censor’ opinions on your website….. so much for transparency….

    [Daphne - I don't censor. I edit. And sometimes that involves editing things OUT. Censorship comes from without. Editing is from within. Censorship would be somebody else telling me what I could and couldn't publish here. And then there is imposition, when complete strangers turn up and, using a false name and an untraceable identity, try to use me to get their sordid message across. I don't think so, honey. Start your own blog.]

    • Joe Borg Camilleri says:

      Dear Daphne,

      The aim of my comment was to provoke you. It did. It was an ‘innocent’ provocation in contrast with the ‘rude’ provocation of the ‘Li Tkisser Sewwi’ article. If we have to compare like with like you sent me off to start my own blog…..and that is a comment which you have 100% right to point out.

      So, if I may ask, why was the Uni Rector wrong if he sent the newspaper editorial to find their own market elsewhere?

      I enjoy reading your articles also because these provoke my thoughts. Your articles (which I read) were always ethically and morally correct. Albeit I cannot say the same of the article in question.

  48. Kevin Saliba says:

    @gahan:

    If you’re referring to my translation, the answer is a resounding no. If I ever decide to translate that novel in its entirety and publish it, I have no intention to put any age limit on who should read it. I have no rating specified on my English, Italian and French versions of the novel, and I don’t see why my Maltese translation should necessarily have it. The same goes for my forthcoming publication of my translation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “La Nausée” and for my original prose and poetry. Besides, I also publish lengthy excerpts of my work on my blog, so in my case, putting any age limit on my readers is at best superfluous.

    Furthermore, as far as literature is concerned, I reserve my right to write and publish, unashamedly and unapologetically, anything I like. The reading public, if there’s any, is free to disapprove of my work, but I can’t tolerate anyone banning literary works on such silly and dated moral pretexts. In a country where the temporal and financial difficulties of literary expression are already huge, the last thing aspiring writers need is a handful of morons getting in their way with their Victorian sermons on their twisted definitions of decency, decorum and what not.

    Regarding Alex Vella Gera’s story, I see no point in specifying any age limit on the newspaper in question, since legally speaking, University students are not minors. Given this state of affairs, the speculative justifications brought forward by the University Rector are next to asinine and downright lame. I believe the Rector has a lot of explaining to do for opting to treat University students as helpless toddlers. Regardless of the artistic merits of the story or lack thereof, the Rector had no grounds on which to interfere with the students’ right to publish and read. Why few students seem to have felt “offended” by this patronising attitude is still anybody’s guess.

    I had an article published about this absurd farce in it-Torċa last Sunday. You can also read it on my blog.

    • gahan says:

      “University students are not minors.” Just in case you don’t know: the Junior College is an extension of the University and junior college students have right of access to all university facilities like all university students, many go there to use the library services.

      At least you are honest enough to say that what you wrote is not for everyone’s consumption. Just in case you don’t know: students’ representatives are elected from the Uni and the Junior College.

      Should junior college students be kept away from the University Campus because some dirty minded bloke wants to distribute pseudo-literature to whoever pops in at Student’s House?

      If I tell you that Ir-realta is also distributed at Junior College what would your reaction be?

      [Daphne - Gahan, by the age of 16 most boys and many girls have actively sought out that sort of thing for themselves. A mind-numbingly dull day in the fifth form was once immeasurably enlivened by one of my classmates reading passages from - what was it , now, Valley of the Dolls? - particularly the bits where some woman gave her lovers bjs so that she could get hold of the sperm and keep it in the fridge to use as face cream. One of the nuns walked in and - in the way that teachers do - asked what was so funny and would we share the joke. We explained that there was a funny bit in this amusing piece of literature that X was reading, so the nun asked for the book. Shortly after, she left the nunhood. I'm sure it was an absolute coincidence.]

      • gahan says:

        So as far as the rector’s responsibilities are concerned, he did the right thing. If he closed his eyes he would have been shunning his responsibilities and approving. These responsibilities are similar to the responsibilities a cinema owner has when 16 year olds try to enter and watch an adult rated film.

        Naturally, Daphne approves of the distribution of filth to 16 year olds; her argument is that by hook or by crook they will read it just the same. This is like the approval of smoking to 16 year olds just because they were caught smoking.

        [Daphne - You can die of smoking. You can't die of reading smut.]

    • Antoine Vella says:

      Kevin Saliba

      “….If I ever decide to translate that novel in its entirety and publish it,”

      No offence, Kevin, but why on earth would anyone bother with Henry Miller in Maltese when they can read the original?

  49. C Attard says:

    Oh look! I wonder who they’re referring to:

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20091114/letters/culture-and-the-crucifix-2

    Have the police shown up yet?

    [Daphne - They show up all the time, to check that my house isn't being set alight by people like him.]

  50. Kevin Saliba says:

    I always used the word “article” not “letter”. MY definition of article is “a nonfictional prose…”

    “Nonfictional” you said? Who told you that the piece was nonfictional? “Oh well, whatever, never mind… “

  51. Kevin Saliba says:

    @Carmel Scicluna:

    Kif ġa għedtlek, ma tistax tiġġudika jekk letteratura hix tajba jew ħażin abbażi tal-kodiċi morali tiegħek. “Il-Lejl Mudlam tar-Ruħ” ta’ San Ġwann tas-Salib għalija hija letteratura sublimi, iżda b’daqshekk ma jfissirx li neċessarjament naqbel ma’ kull ma tgħid. Din qabelxejn hi kwistjoni ta’ stil, mhux ta’ morali. L-istess nista’ ngħid dwar “L-Għanjiet ta’ Maldoror” ta’ Comte de Lautréamont, illi, jekk niġu f’dan, tajjeb li tkun taf illi jagħmel parti mis-sillabu tal-livell avvanzat tal-Franċiż!

    Issa ma nagħmlux mod li qed tinsinwa li Miller huwa awtur “ħażin” hux? Nispera li le, f’ġieħ kemm hemm!)

    Carmel, il-fatt li ppubblikajt xi erba’ poeżiji u xi żewġ rumanzi ma jagħmlekx riċensur. Ma nimmaġinax kif xi ħadd jista’ jkun riċensur validu meta lanqas biss jasal jiddefinixxi x’inhi pornografija jew le. Min bħalek qed jgħid li dil-biċċa proża hi pornografika lanqas biss jaf x’qed jgħid. Oxxena forsi, bħal kitba ta’ Bukowski, iżda mhix pornografika.

    U m’iniex qed ngħid li kull l-kitba pornografika hija neċessarjament irħisa jew ħażina; kull m’hu qed ngħid hu li dil-istorja m’għandha l-ebda potenzjal pornografiku, u li l-ambizzjonijiet ta’ dan l-awtur imorru ferm lil hinn minn sempliċiment tqanqil sesswali tat-tip ‘disposable’ li s-soltu jkun maħsub għall-kosum immedjat.

    • Frank says:

      Kevin il-versi tieghek huma nifs frisk ta’ kliem bis-sens, f’nofs dezert ta’dikjarazzjonijiet bl-addocc, ghajjat bla sens u sentimenti nejja ta’ poplu fqir u izolat.

  52. Tim Ripard says:

    It’s women’s fault. Maltese women are so ravishingly beautiful men can’t help themselves. Your Italian friend would probably agree.

  53. Guza says:

    The piece resonates a bit with some of Xtruppaw’s lyrics … at first shockingly disgusting but then funny in a distasteful way … I’m curious what men out there REALLY think about this piece of writing.

  54. Steve, says:

    Would someone enlighten me on whether Lily Allen is heard on local radio stations?

    Take a look at the lyrics of some popular songs of hers like “Not Fair” or “Fuck You”.

    Maybe the police should set up IPOD checkpoints.

  55. Guza says:

    I don’t know much about Lily Allen on local radio stations but I’m sure many do know about Nanna Genoveffa’s sexual exploits … and we’re talking Maltese lit. on sale in local bookshops here and not The Wilt Alternative.

  56. Michaela Aguis says:

    It is more than a little sad that there has been little or no reaction from the students of the University of Malta. KSU, a student union which is supposed to defend student rights, has remained silent. In fact, they refused to read it. University students elsewhere would have staged some form of protest or debate by now.

  57. Duncan Attard says:

    A masterpiece of reality. This write-up is NOT intended for sexual arousal or erotic reading. It is a reflection of the guy next door on our island. It does NOT promote the guy’s perception on women and sex. Its such a good write-up thats stirs-up emotion and get the reader to form his own perception to this guy’s attitide on the issue. Let’s be open-minded critics and analyse such write-ups before hearing the word ‘zobb’ and scream ‘iiiiiii’.

  58. Franco Rizzo says:

    Hi Daphne,

    thought this might interest you and the readers/commentators of your blog:

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=178326704321&ref=ts

    Thanks for your attention.

  59. Tania says:

    Miskom tisthu inthom kollha insara kellha ghalfejn tissema il Madonna f dal hmieg ta artiklu. M inthomx xi erba li qed tiggildu ghas Salib u, ara vera imginen fadal f wicc di dinja ta

  60. toni cachia says:

    satira m’hijiex; kummiedja m’hijiex; rakkont m’hjiex; effettivament, m’hi xejn ghajr hafna kliem u sentenzi biex taparsi juri l-hsibijiet ta’ guvni t’issa. Ma fiha l-ebda abbilta’ ghax ovvjament l-awtur mhuwiex kapaci biex johloq xi haga letterarja. Aktar ma tinghata pubblicita’ u aktar ma jiktbu fuqha aktar ikunu qeghdin jaghtuha importanza.
    Kieku mhux ghal morali kulhadd kapaci jikteb bhal din il-kitba.
    L-awtur ma jaghmilx uzu mill-kelma ‘hmieg’. Forsi beza’ li tkun il-lietmotif tal-kitba kollha.

  61. Adrian Sciberras says:

    Xejn originali… ghal Malta skandlu. Mela ara din http://www.tuckermax.com

    The Maltese version is funny though.

  62. C.S.Lawrence says:

    Confession: unable to read the story – this is one of those times I deeply regret not having yet been able to master Maltese (blame it on my British colonial upbringing lethargy). All I can say is all hail Daphne in your uncontested reign as Malta’s Bitch Queen. May the Force be with you.

    This story is a small sample of Malta’s deep-rooted provincialism. Like many have said, anything goes if it’s authored by a foreigner, and lauded as the standard (be it any field of cultural expression-literary or artistic) to aspire to..YET when a Maltese ventures to emulate it…christos! The opprobrium vented. Shockingly insulting! Immoral! This is typical of the Catholic ‘do as I say but not as I do’, and which I suspect many of its adherents emulate.

    Such explains, in my personal experience, the fact that every morn and eve I see camel trains of people in my locality beating a path to attend Mass and yet, other times, I see or hear of brawls which would make a jungle bunny blush.

    What little I have learned in my seven years of domicile here is that the Maltese language is richly FULL of double entendres and joyfully indulged…and much hilarity it brings me (when explained). But it’s the darker undercurrent of double standards that disturbs me.

    What is this this emotionally loaded protectionist mentality trying to preserve, if not an artificial -and archaic-sense of country bumpkin security, when I teach art to 6-11 yr old boys who (given free reign to speak honestly) glibly speak of “cracks” and “big tits” when shown pictures in Maltese magazine publications?

    • Il-Manti says:

      “All I can say is all hail Daphne in your uncontested reign as Malta’s Bitch Queen. May the Force be with you.”

      ROFL
      sorry couldn’t help but laugh :P There’s too much drama on this thread.

      • C.S.Lawrence says:

        il-Manti..drama?? what, in Malta? get away! Glad i had you rolling-my comment was meant to generate such a response. Because when I come in here to read DCG I am high on the pure oxygen of her DGF (dont give a …). Everybody rants away on the hot topic(s) of the day, but at the end of the day..what gives? Nada. Gobsmackingly corrupt politicians who even after having their dirty Y-fronts exposed, still carry on business as usual; inept officials who (as in this context) dictate what is and isnt acceptable public consumption, i.e. literary censorship, when all that is being published is a candid, and graphic, reflection of the commonplace…and yet the censorship still holds.However at least there is someone like DCG who effectively sticks pokers up whatever she chooses, and clearly has fun doing it. Agree with her or not, on whatever ass she puts a poker up, its deliciously enebriating in its freedom of expression.

  63. Il-Manti says:

    It seems to me that, unfortunately, the constant flash of rude and crass words in the story seem to be the actual point of it all. Looking past the phrases and words used – which are actually part of our day-to-day conversations – the piece of fiction has no literary merit AT ALL.

    Unfortunately, everyone seems to be clinging on the whole “it’s rude” point of view, which, in my opinion, has no reason at all to be attacked – after all, as everyone seems to have understood by now, most foreign books include much worse use of their language. And if you grab a group of guys you’ll hear this kind of language all night long. (I find anybody who thinks s/he’s “above” this kind of language quite… hilarious.)

    Finally, the newsletter is distributed to adults. If you don’t want to read it, don’t. I don’t believe anyone’s forcing anyone to read it.

    [This story has received so much coverage that I think most people in Malta have read it. I guess the author has achieved his goal.]

  64. louise mallia says:

    u le jahasra!! much ado about nothing!! What’s really happened here is a lot of free advertising. Kieku tawha l’attenzjoni li tisthoqqilha, jigifieri xejn, ga ntesiet.

  65. G.C. says:

    Nahseb jien illi kulhadd ghandu d-dritt li jesprimi l-ideat tieghu u t-tieni nett jekk nigu f’dan hawn anki kotba maltin li qed johorgu b’temi ta’ sess,kliem vulgari ecc…u li qas gew ikkritikati b’mod negattiv!Nahseb jien illi dawn il-kittieba qed jaffaccjaw ir-realta’ u l-hajja attwali li qed nghixu fiha! Ma nafx il-ghala dal-hafna staghgib u din il-pressjoni kollha ghax li hawn miktub(jew vicin) japplika fil-hajja tal-llum.Oqghod innota naqra u tara jekk hux veru jew le! Nahseb jien li hadd qatt ma sema’ dan it-tip ta’ kliem jien-ghax ahna l-maltin ghadna INNOCENTI,u ahjar nifthu naqra mohhna u nindunaw li qed noqorbu lejn l-2010 u mhux l-1910!! Kittieba bhal dawn ghandhom importanza specifika ghax forsi fl-ahhar il-qarrej ikun konxju ta’ dan li qed nghixu!!!

  66. MrSpanky87 says:

    Someone told me that this piece of fiction was distributed in Junior College as well. Can anyone confirm or refute that?

    In terms of content it is really not at all shocking especially if one compares it to such socio-cultural trends such as South Park, (which is very popular among the youth). Many of my female friends were offended by it which is Ironic seeing as how the writer apparently sought to create awareness on sexist mentalities and individuals. I interpret this as a failing on the part of the writer. Personally I got it and thought it worked, but i thought the writer focussed far too much upon blasphemy and I suspect our sneaky scribe did so in order to capitalize on the shock factor that such writing creates. However women are not in need of legislative overprotection and so this does not justify the piece being banned.

    Most people I talk to seem to be all for this total freedom of expression. ‘I don’t believe in what you have to say but I would die for your right to say it’ – that’s one of my favorite misquotations which is often mistakenly attributed to Voltaire XD It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and flip the bird to the boring, censoring man, yelling slogans such as ‘You’re either in favour of free speech or not.’ However I can’t help but wonder if all the previous bloggers would be typing with the same fervour and confident swagger in defence of other characters such as our Friendly Neighborhood Fascist Mr Norman Lowell.

    There is a reason why speech is sometimes censored and that is because words are powerful. If they fall from the wrong lips and land on the wrong ears they can undo the work of many. And that is why NL is censored and that’s why some people think that certain writing should be censored. Personally I am still undecided over whether Li Tkisser Sewwa should be censored at UOM or not but frankly I’m bored of thinking about a work which is frankly undeserving of all this attention. I’m super jealous of Alex!

    This work should not be distributed at JC though. Feel free to answer back and constructively tell me that my arguments are BS :p And Daphne, when I grow up I want to be just like you!

    Peace and Light

  67. Elenia says:

    What’s the big deal? The language used by most men! Vulgar…true….annoying….true…but that’s what women really have to face! and if not said these things have surely passed from each and every mans’ mind. so don;t see why this fuss about it

  68. Alan says:

    Well, is this the sequel of “the Ugly Truth”? Seems to me something like that!

  69. Elaine says:

    Hmm… I enjoyed it. It’s like listening to the thoughts of a typical young Maltese nymphomaniac.

    Love how at the end, the ‘love of his life’ suddenly became horrible and disgusting because she didn’t satisfy his ego and say.. wow.. well done. You’re such a stud.

    The idea comes from real life. And this up here is complete fiction. Maybe not for students who under 16. But I’m also quite sure that the majority were shocked only because they’ve never seen it written.. not because they’re all thumb-sucking virgins! Kemm ha ndumu nattu l-verita? Truth of the matter is, none of this was new to many 16 to 18-year-olds. If you think it was.. then take your blinkers off.

  70. Smooth John says:

    Just wanted to mention that I read the article, had a good laugh at the imagery and promptly went on with my life. And yes it is thought provoking in the same way that watching the sun set over the sea in the evening is thought provoking, but just like the sunset, it is soon overtaken by other events. Maybe it should not have been made available (if it was, as I understand many are saying) to sixth formers, but this is only because some of them may not be mature enough to understand that is not meant to be a user manual. :-) Other than that.. keep pushing the envelope Alex!

  71. Concrete Feet says:

    Does anybody have an English version of this short story? My Maltese is poor as I am learning. The only parts I understand are the swear words and the nouns.

  72. Thomas says:

    This site is the pure example of freedom of speech i.e. the author writes, you read and leave a comment, and maybe someone else will answer. If you don’t like, don’t read it. You could also write a negative comment. If it were for the government and most of all the Curia, well you know what a nice country we would be living in. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and talk with your mates about it!

  73. pace says:

    What a fuss about nothing – I found the story to be refreshingly funny and definitely better than the usual boring drivel we have to put up with. The piece is a mirror of how most men have acted at some point in their life. Yes, it’s rude, derogatory and offensive. But Maltese people in general are rude, derogatory and offensive. We tolerate and accept blasphemy and smut everyday of our lives but never blink an eye. But if some student magazine decides to publish a story like this we go bananas and step into our time capsule and return to the 1800s.

    As regards it not being inspirational or of any artistic value….who cares? It was fun to read and I won’t be dwelling on it for days on end. If we really want to protect children we need to start in the privacy of our own homes. Password protect your browsers, block your satellite channels and keep your Playboys and Penthouses under lock and key. That’s not censorship; that’s protecting minors from seeing and doing things they are not mature enough to handle. Then again if you want your kids to see them thats your choice but then don’t be surprised if they turn out to be real-life versions of the man in the story.

    Daphne, although I am not your biggest fan (it’s political) I can’t fault your perseverance in standing up for what’s right. As an afterthought, you should write a female perspective on the same lines….

  74. B Galea says:

    Having finally gotten round to reading the controversial piece, all I can say is – what a (typical) storm in a teacup!

    As Pace here said, the piece is rude, crude, offensive, and degrading. So what? Maltese people are rude and crude, and the way we speak our language is revealing of our internal contradictions – pious and strongly Catholic, yet fantastically creative when it comes to including a saint or god in some convoluted swearing; highly strung when discussing sex, yet oh-so-eager to drive to Ta’ Qali for a backseat quickie.

    It is the same in pretty much every repressed society – see what’s happening in Northern Ireland at the moment, with Iris Robinson’s downfall. Public virtues, private vices.

    The piece itself is hardly a masterpiece, but that is neither here nor there. It does have one merit over most Maltese writing – it reads realistically. The literary voice is a genuine one – every young Maltese person knows at least one person who talks this way. The same cannot be said of many other Maltese books, plays or television programmes, where characters use grammatically correct language, to the detriment of realistic portrayal.

    We really have to rein in our moralising culture – it stifles our intellectual growth (if we are told that we cannot write what we think, it therefore follows that we shouldn’t think it in the first place) as well as any pretence of artistic creativity. After all, as grotesque as they may be, the writings of the Marquis de Sade can hardly be said to have had no influence on modern France.

    A quick postscript – describing the story as ‘pornographic’ is inaccurate, in my opinion. Pornography seeks to titillate and arouse: this story does neither (to me at least), nor does it seek to, as its dark conclusion demonstrates. I think labelling it ‘pornographic’ says more about those pointing the fingers than about the story itself.

  75. Analisse Cassar says:

    That is how most men think nowadays (teenagers probably still are a bit soft, but half of them will become this way in time) and girls had better open their eyes and listen.

    This piece is not meant to offend anyone; it’s there to depict what is real (much more than newspapers nowadays do) and the designated readers (university students who are 18 and over) should not be protected from hearing such things. I believe you’re old enough to get a sense of reality.

    Thank you Mr. Vella Gera for being honest!

  76. J farrugia says:

    I personallay think that the article depics how some men actually think nowadays. However, a lot of the women commenting above fail to realise how females have also changed. Gone are the days when just trying to get a date would mean spending a bloody fortune on drinks and club entrances and sweet-talking her just to get a dance forget even contemplating 1st base. The ladies like to be seen, they crave the attention and when they get it they either can’t handle it or become easy.

    The main point is that people’s values have dropped, women are easier, men have become bigger pigs and unfortunately babies are being born to both of the above, which is a frightening though about the future generation.

  77. Robert says:

    Let’s just say I didn’t read the whole thing, as it didn’t interest me. However, I think literature is art, and art should be appreciated in all sorts of way. Look up ‘dadaism’ and ‘surrealism’.

    Also, what the guy wrote, was how a lot of heterosexual men think (although, as a gay man, what would i know?!). Now if that is the way he thinks, we all have the right to think, “what the eff”, but it’s what he thinks, and whether it’s insulting or not, look up ‘urban music’. Surely, The Pussycat Dolls degrade themselves on stage (I’m no prude; I just believe in style!)?

    But if the writer is a complete geek (which i assume he is- excuse the generalisation, but isn’t he a history student?), or gay, or just a levelheaded man who doesn’t treat women as objects, good for him for doing a great job and stepping into a sex addicts shoes.
    Also, his writing is quite mild, compared to Marquis De Sade’s!

  78. Ger says:

    I am a woman and although this piece of writing is utterly disgusting I do not believe that this is an offence towards women. If anything Maltese males’ mentality in general is a sexist one.

    I believe that what is being written here is sadly a normal conversation between men and definitely should not be censored. It should be rated and a warning is to be issued that it contains offensive data – however if one is not interested one should just turn the page and not read it. It is shameful to the police who waste their time taking this student to court and then they are not even available when a proper case should be taken care of.

    People who got offended, the police and whoever agrees to the censorship of this text had better open their eyes and look around them. Or do they watch porn and talk in this absurd language themselves and blame others and censor such people to hide their own?

    I seriously believe that the police and local authorities should find a better hobby and leave this student and anyone of the sort alone.

  79. Neil Sammut says:

    Looks like something that Gordon Ramsay would write..

  80. O. Scicluna says:

    Artiklu tajjeb, jekk ma toqghodx tistghageb x’hin tara ftit kliem baxx li tisma tfal ta’ skejjel primarja jghiduh ghax semghu lil ommhom jew missierhom jghiduh. li dahlet il-puluzija fih dal-kaz, hija arukaza kbira u misthija lejn il-pajjizi kollha tad-dinja. ejjew niftahru li mxejna l-quddiem f’dan il-pajjiz, aghar minn granc morna lura!

  81. David says:

    Konna u ghadna nghixu f`pajjiz tal-Mickey Mouse.
    Possible ax bniedem kiteb u ippublika dan l-artiklu haqqu jigi imressaq il-qorti u sahansitra jaf jehel il-habs. Dal-kliem kollu li hemm fl-istorja ippublikata tismaw ma l-ewwel gurnata li tidhol sekondarja(11 il-sena) u mat-tieni gurnata issir espert. Huma affarijiet u parti rejali tal-hajja.
    Ha niskandalizzaw ax dan l-artiklu jaf spicca fidejn it-tfal? Zgur li dan l-magazine ma tqassamx fidejn it-tfal. Minn jaf kemm hemm tfal hemm barra li ghandom access tal-internet fpostijiet meta jkunu wehidom, anki id-dar u jafsu naqra fuq il-keyboard u jaraw minn kull tip ta hnizrija sesswali u minn kollox.
    U ghal kbar li qraw dan l-artiklu. Hadd ma ghandu jhossu offis jew jiehu ghalih ax l-awtur qatt ma qal li l-irgiel huma kolla hekk jew qal li in-nisa haqqom jigu trattati b`dan il-mod. Imma huwa minnu l-hawn percentagg ta irgiel li jahsbuwa hekk fuq in-nisa.
    Bhall ma hawn nies tajbin aw nies hziena u dan huwa karattru ta bniedem b`idejat hziena mahluq mill-awtur biex iwasal messagg tajjeb u rejali.
    Ma nifilhux naqaw iktar ghac-cajt(kont ha nghid ‘ghan-nejk’ imma bzajt li nigi iccensurat) f`dan il-pajjiz u vera m`ghandiex x`nghamlu.
    Jiddispjacini ghalik Sur AlexVella Gera u j`Alla ma tehel xejn u ma jahlulekx wisq hin u flus fil-vojt tiela u niezel il-qorti, ax hemm l-ewwel jiehdu…

    • melicas says:

      sewwa mela int taqbel li kullhadd ghandu jikteb dawk l-affarijiet bid-dettalji kollha?allahares naghmlu hekk ta sabih,ax umbaghad il-pajjiz ngibuh prono pajjiz mickey mouse pajjiz.mela tridx taghlaqlu hij u ma tparlax mill-ajru
      u iva tfal qrawh bhalma qraw magazines ohrajn ;l imma madanakollu ma jfissirx li ghax ga raw affarijiet ekk naghtuhom aktar ta.
      u iva hawn nisa li jingarru ma kull kurrent,ifihmni,imma mhux kollha,u mhux kull ragel jahseb hekk,ma niggeneralizzawx.
      jrid ikun hemm limitu.ma haqqux habs imma sospension jew tkeccija mix-xoghol haqqu ta ax ma jafx fejn huma limiti,ma jisthix

  82. Fabio Imbroll says:

    I must be humble and take back what I said. Unfortunately I made the mistake many people commenting are making, a mistake that is caused by the fact that one comments before knowing all the facts.

    Maybe, Mr Camilleri had to be more prudent and insert a rating in the article, as we must admit that there was no guarantee that the article would be circulated only amongst university students.

    However, I think that who is intelligent enough should appreciate that this piece of literature is using immorality to send a moral message. If one illustrates a cannibal in a book, mentioning the perverted pleasures the cannibal is feeling through eating the person, it does not mean that the writer is trying to invite us to do the same.

    Also, I take back my argument that it offends women nor men, unless the reader is shortsighted. When Borat went to America he was not offending the Kazakhstans, as most people thought (and in fact the russians censored it) but the Americans and their stupidity.

    As you said Daphne, the irony of the article is what people are not understanding. On my part I was misled because I did not know that it was written in a book etc etc….

    Please people get informed well before you speak… and most of all before you judge.

  83. Amanda Kidd says:

    The story in itself is shocking, but one must consider the fact that it is written from the point of view of a rapist, therefore, you cannot expect rainbows and flowers when you realise what the climax of the story is. I thought the author portrayed his subject very well. Had the story been written in a more diplomatic and politically correct manner, it would have fallen flat. It needed to be shocking, because at the end of the day, that’s what rape is.

  84. anonymous says:

    Such extremes, on both sides. I strongly believe that this is today’s reality amongst most teens. Despite this, it does not mean that one should follow this mentality, me being a teen myself and not having such of a mentality. One cannot not agree that this is the TYPICAL Maltese teen, its become a norm. Quite sad.

  85. Lino Bajada says:

    What are we going to do if Mark Camilleri is found guilty? Are we going to close the university’s library?

  86. anon says:

    I am 21, I’m a musician and I have nothing against Alex Gera for writing the article, because it is a form of art, even though it’s disgusting. But I personally think that there is a place for everything in life, and this article definitely shouldn’t have been placed on the university newspaper. This has nothing to do with censorship. It’s doing things at the right time and in the right place, and this article shouldn’t have been there.

    In my opinion the fact that it was posted is “qziez zejjed” from the editor’s side.

    I am a musician, I’m not going to write a song about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and go to Radju Maria and expect them to play it.

    The article was not meant to be on the uni newspaper because it was not the right place. Nothing against Alex Vella Gera for writing it.

    This is like photography is an art, but I’m not going to take a picture of two people having sex and then post it on the newspaper and then say because it’s art. Let’s get realistic here.

  87. Joseph Dimech says:

    normalment ikolli nghid ma tantx tinzilli bhala gurnalista, forsi anke minhabba l-ideat politici diversi, imma fuq din ninzalek il-kappell. prosit tas-solidarjeta u tal-pass kuragguzz li hadt.

    imma ma nahsibx li jekk kontrik ma jehdux passi hu minnhabba il-fatt li int DCG imma ghax ix-xokk u t-trawma li l-poplu miskin u nnocenti (ovvjament b’mod sakrastiku) ga hadu, allura ma jaghmilx effett. L-iskuza li nahseb issa ha jgibu.

    din kienet qisha, ghandek dar li fiha tghix familja bil-missier inizzel l’Alla l-Madonna u l-kumplament bid-dagha imma qisu mhux xejn, imma jekk it-tifel iz-zghir ta 5/6 snin ikun ilu jisma dak kollu u darba minnhom fit-triq jisimuh jghid haqq dak il-………. jaqilghu panik. dik id-daghwa mhix daghwa ghax tkun ripetizjoni ta dak li t-tifel ikun ilu jisma, imma n-nies fejn jaqbilhom huma torox u ghomja.

    din mhux kwistjoni li twaqqa il-livell tal-mara jew ragel skond is-self esteem tieghek u kif thares lejha, lanqas mhu ir-rwol tipiku MALTI. dak hu lingwagg li tisimghu kullimkien fil-hajja ta kuljum. kullhadd (irgiel u nisa) jirrakontaw avventuri sesswali bejnitom gieli anke b’mod li jismaghhom kullhadd imma hadd ma jwaqqafom. gieli biex nirrakontaw li kien hemm habta kbira nghidu “kien hemm habta kbira MADONNA” jew “il-ALLA x’gowl skurja it-tali player” HUma esprossjonijiet li nuzaw kulljum. kif qal Lino Grech m’hemmx ghalfejn tuza il-kelma HAQQ biex tkun daghajt, imma il-fatt li ssemmihom ghalxejn b’xejn huwa hazin.

    il-bicca kollha hi li qed nghixu f’socjeta marida li trid tibqa tghix marida truxa ghamja u muta. u ghax guvni kellu l-guts jurina il-poplu kif jitkellem dawwarna il-kanuni kollha kontrih. qisu il-poplu ma jitkellimx hekk, anzi minn l-ghada li deher l-artiklu beda.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Freedom of speech, and freedom of expression are just that, without ‘but’s, of ‘if’s involved. By censoring it, or by limiting it, it simply corrupts the democratic society we live in (as though it isn’t corrupt enough), though I see nothing wrong in what the author has written. It may be quite explicit, but as stated above, the University newspaper is written/made for University students. Now, whether brothers or sisters come across this newspaper is not the author’s fault.

    If we are to follow some statements and say that he should be ‘punished’ for it; the same goes for youngsters – under 18s, who search the internet for pornography, intentionally. In the end, it is their decision to watch it or not – or in this case, read it. I do not think that the author should be punished, or anyone involved in this for that matter. It is fiction – plainly stated. University students should not be warned; they are of age, and plenty mature to think for themselves.

    We – the public, find similar stories in parody’s such as South Park, Borat (as mentioned above), music, even. An article should not make much of a difference to movies, music, television, and even books. Some of the greatest literature has explicit, and some offensive ‘scenes’, which are not banned or censored. It is not erotic fanfiction, or would be considered erotic in my opinion. The aim is not to arouse the reader; but the autor simply played a part in the piece of fiction that he was writing.

    Plain and simple. And that is my opinion. I am eighteen and although I am feeling, no I am not offended by what was written; and yes, I would not appreciate my younger sister coming across this piece of work – it is far too hard for her, though I doubt it would affect her in such a way that she would act in an extreme way or irrationally, if she would read it. And anyone younger than that, would probably not understand three quarters of what was going on, and simply give up after reading the first two sentences.

    That being said, there are similar books studied in Sixth Form – books I am studying myself. The Handmaid’s Tale, for example. The author had written explicit scenes, some which were even (unrightly) banned from certain countries for offensive language towards God (in fact, she was accused of blaming Christianity for depicting a totalitarianist government who used religion as a means of control – for those who read the book) and even for explicit scenes and mentioning sex.

    I do not believe that this article should be banned, since Margaret Atwood (which was in fact one of her lighter works) – the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, would’ve written something similar had she been in the same situation, and in fact, had she been less classy when she’d written those scenes, they would be similar to the article written above. And even if the language is vulgar, the people who are SUPPOSED to read it – and them alone – are all of age, and older.

  89. Tumas says:

    Well, that was disgusting, and perhaps somewhat disturbing.

    Call it what you will, but you can’t convince me that this thing is acceptable in anything public.

    It’s no use saying that the imported stuff (South Park, Borat and the rest) is also availible … those are also filth.

    And that Malta is not like other places is not an excuse. If we follow everyone’s example on EVERYTHING (don’t get me wrong, on some aspects we can improve), we would have a free-for-all where no one is accountable for anything (“libertinagg”, which is different from “liberta’”).

    Freedom of expression is key for democracy, but come on, one also has a responsibility not to send any wrong messages or at least to send them in the appropriate channels. People today are only considering their rights … well, responsibilities also exist people!

    Anyone sane here probably grew up normally because his parents didn’t expose them to certain realities before they were ready. Putting up such material so easily availibile is a risk to anyone who doesn’t want to find such explicit material, to whom we also have a responsibility.

    A University is a place to foster the best ideas of a society’s generation, not for it to express its basest elements.

    Don’t get me too wrong though. That this story should not have been allowed there I grant, but the jail term being considered is probably too much.

    Ultimately the argument of what belongs in the public sphere and what should be restricted to the private sphere shall never end, so don’t hope that by all this useless commenting we’ll get anywhere. Besides, ultimately there is such a thing as public morality and right and wrong … everyone will get their just desserts in this life or the next.

  90. Pat says:

    With all the talk, how I wish there was an English version around.

  91. Me? says:

    At least his ‘article’ could be art,
    but the following, has no art to defend it:

    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Gozo

    and the internet is used by minors, unlike the University of Malta. It’s disgusting, look at the politics section!

  92. melicas says:

    disgusting…
    as if anyone care who he copulate with or how -_-
    down with these types of “literature” :G
    i`m not religious,i admit,in fact i dont believe in anything,and i swear,but jesus there`s a limit,you can`t just go and write bulls**t

    may the editor and the person who wrote this be well paid

  93. Etienne Schembri says:

    This is simply pornography! The author has the right to express himself, but having it published in at supposedly ‘highly respected’ university is a shame.
    Is this the campus that will give birth to tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers and specialists!?!?!
    I would expect to find this ‘literature’ in a whores house or porn site, not on a university campus!

  94. Aby says:

    When in the beginning I heard people talking about this writing and all the fuss they made about it, I thought that maybe this was the worst writing ever. Then I saw Xarabank and saw for the first time a piece of this writing. And I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s stupid how everyone wants to see boobs and d*cks on tv and probably also on porn, but when it comes to maltese literature, then it’s considered wrong. In the end, reality amongst young people is as this guy described it, and not as seen on tv/porn. And it’s also stupid if the editor [whom afterall didn't write it] and also the writer, were to go in jail or even get a fine. Maybe it’s some of the readers that need to be educated about the different art that is out there.
    People encourage freedom of speech, it’s a well basic right but nowadays if an idea is different than the rest, for some reason it gets banned. Some people have morals, they know what’s right or wrong but I guess everyone judges without even evaluating. Its just a story and a person can write whatever they want. If you are offended stop reading, but don’t harm other people’s views, It may not be literature to you but at least learn to appreciate it’s another form of writing, with a meaning that in reality some people do think that way.

  95. Corinne says:

    Thumbs up for the article.. couldn’t stop laughing!!! we’re still a close minded nation.. thank you for posting it.

  96. This short story was originally (and anonymously) published in a blog called pleasure island.mt (http://pleasureislandmt.wordpress.com/ – it’s protected now)
    It was (still is perhaps) a blog intended to let Maltese people’s sexual fantasy run riot. There wasn’t much in the way of content … a few “dirty” limericks, a couple of paragraphs – posts? – about sex in general – and this story.
    I think that the story is little more – if at all – than some of (or even the sum of) the author’s sexual fantasies – which is perfectly in line with the ethos of the blog in which it was published. I would hesitate to ascribe any lofty notions of social commentary, satire etc to it …

    I don’t believe that the issue should have resulted in a debate about censorship. It’s about what should be published where. was it a wise move to publish such a piece in a place where the the average reader is a bag of raging hormones.

    I can’t imagine what possessed the “editor” when he decided to publish the piece … did he honestly believe that it was radical? I mean … you can hear that and worse on any factory floor worth its salt.

    The sad thing is that this confused chap will end up in court, when a good pep talk by the powers that be at Uni would have done the job more effectively and would definitely have kept the story from reaching Xarabank – ergo the Maltese populace at large.

    What I find objectionable in the story per se is the strong allusion to sex with minors in a day and age where, even if you just think about it, everybody will come down on you like a tonne of bricks …not to mention the very bad advice of using after sun lotion as a lubricant for anal sex … *oh well*

  97. Sarah says:

    to all those people that said that this article is horny and all that you guys are wrong.

    get a life!
    were not living in gerusalem back in jesus days. were in 2010.

    the words the autor uses are the words 11 year old kids say.
    so shut up you idiots!
    hes being very realistic.. and let me remind you once again were in 2010 (:

    regards, sarah.

  98. Roland Wadge says:

    I personally believe that this is just a rude piece, intending to shock, to get readership. It has succeeded in this respect. However i cannot identify in the character. Men will amongst themselves say “tghidx kemm qlajtilha”, when they shut themselves off to the lack of morality as to what they do, and when boasting amongst themselves, but really i believe that this is going too far. Maybe i’m not as ‘progressive’ (or regressive) as some of the ‘men’ out there but honestly i think men like these would more probably be found in an American high security prison rather than in Malta, suffering from psychosis. Unfortunately such a piece would bring some of its male readers to accept and hence ‘normalise’ such behaviour to the detriment of our society, and our children.

    I know i will be derided for my ‘shocked’ stance, but i am really more shocked by the acceptance that such behaviour is considered by some to be the norm than what i think is actually the norm. Does anyone know anyone who thinks and acts like this, in reality?

  99. Paul Sammut says:

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100202/local/more-police-at-nadur-carnival-this-year

    Hi Daphne, I’m sure this will interest you. These kids are really doing something great in the name of anti-censorship.

    [Daphne - What I want to know is this: how many men at the Nadur carnival will be dressed as Consuelo? There are lots of size 16 Lycra minis in the sales right now, so they're spoiled for choice.]

  100. just me says:

    This article is distasteful, even boring to read, but if a person wants to write this he should be able to do so, he is not hurting anybody, if you don’t like it — don’ t read it. It’s this simple.

    Writers should be allowed to write anything as long as it’s not breaking the law; writing garbage is not breaking the law. If it were, most of the books in the library and shows on TV would be banned. Oh and music, so much crap on the radio nowadays.

    PS: all these girls/women fighting for freedom of speech are so sexy. Keep fighting!

  101. Angele says:

    I’ve been trying to find this article ever since they did a Xarabank program on it….it might be vulgar and distateful, true, but the Maltese language in itself is vulgar…. as for prosecuting the editor, it’s ridiculous!!!!!! Has the Rector and Police never heard of Two and a Half Men? Any mature, or immature mind for that matter, can watch it, and the main character in the series is one such man….just out for sex and fun. I know more than 1 maltese man that behave in such a manner…one also cheated on his gilrfriend while on a picnic (he just went behind a bush with another girl just there and then)!!!!! So yes, some men do really behave like that!!!

    ALso, if you go to any Agenda bookstore, you will find stacks of books from Mills & Boon and SIlhouette filled with much more descriptive intimacies…..and believe me, I read my first M&B book when i was still 14 – and let’s just say that that was the start of me learning to like reading, a lot…

    Anyone who condemns this author and the editor is just hiding behind the old maltese extreme religious mentality of x’gharukaza, dawn l-affarijiet ma jsirux….i have news for you, hadd m’ghandu subghajh dritt u qabel ma tikkundannaw lil haddiehor, ahsbu naqra fuq kif iggibu ruhkom inthom jew nies li tafu…….

  102. M says:

    I have just finished reading, and as a Maltese guy, I do feel that it is exactly the language that we speak here between us. I was shocked to see the extremity of it and as a true libertarian condemn the prosecution. However, a line has been crossed and there must be limits on what is written, especially written on a non pornographic magazine. But if we really delve into our culture and history, I would like to point something out. We have (and still are) been a supressed population ever since a guy named Paul decided to crash onto our little island. Divorce is not legal, Porn and other sexual items are not sold freely yet and other endless circumstances make us think (and act) like animals.
    I have been missing from Malta for 6 years and finally came back. I have left Malta as a true catholic, u kont nhawwad kull m hemm…I come back as an atheist, and a decent human being that regards women as beings not objects. I rest my case, I have been cultured… I have been reborn.

  103. charlene says:

    This is brilliant work… shocking at the same time. Not shocking because of the way it is written- we hear such words every day in malta. Shocking is the fact that THIS describes the typical Maltese guy. Vella Gera couldn’t have described it more real!

    • Stefan Cutajar says:

      Let’s not generalise, Charlene. It is undeniable that there are many men in Malta with an abnormally high sex drive, yet I disagree that the ‘typical’ Maltese bloke is so one-track-minded.

      This story is so effective because it delves deep into an extreme personality. I’m sure that the average man’s thoughts are much more controlled, thus much more boring. Exaggerations are always captivating.

  104. Dude says:

    To think a story causing so much controversy could be so BORING. Maybe this is because of the years of possible desensitisation from using the internet ever since I was 15 that makes me feel this way. It’s not even detailed enough to be called pornographic like some commentators were saying.

    Regardless of personal opinion, this definitely should not have been such a huge issue. Here’s hoping that in the future Malta can feel more open minded.

  105. Self Sideshow says:

    This whole issue has been useful in that it’s helping Malta to undergo the type of internal debate that was prevalent in most of Europe during the sixteenth century.

    Better late than never!

    Peter Grech, you’re an embarassment to the nation!

  106. Karl says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you here, Daphne.

    However I would change one small thing to your text:

    “Or haven’t you been listening?” should be changed to “Or haven’t you been listening TO YOURSELF?”

    It’s funny how many people act all holier than thou when it’s convenient for them, but do the polar opposite otherwise. I’m pretty convinced that many of the “saints” pointing their righteous finger at this young man spice up their conversations with the very same words published on the story. As one old lady once told me “dawn in-nies jibilghu l-ostja u jahraw ix-xjaten”.

  107. Stefan Cutajar says:

    I actually think it’s quite an intriguing piece of literature, the way he exposes the thoughts and way of life of this narrow minded sex addict is brilliant.

    Altough I am not a misogynist and I believe in equality at all levels, as men we must admit that our sex drive does push us to think the ‘unthinkable’ sometimes.

    Humans are sexual animals after all, and the male penis has the exceptional ability to obscure our rational thought and turn us into brute monsters.

    This shocking stream of consciousness makes a lot of sense, people like this do exist, and proper literature deals with the realities around us, it does not escape such truths but tackles them head on, no matter what.

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