Wrong move, Mr Rector, sir

Published: November 8, 2009 at 10:21am


When he reported the editor and publishers of a student newspaper to the police, the university rector may have been motivated by genuinely respectable concerns, like the need to uphold the dignity of women and fight against misogyny. His wife, after all, is a very prominent gynaecologist – my gynaecologist, as it happens.

But whatever his motivation, and however decent it might have been, he misjudged the situation sorely.

Perhaps he didn’t think about it enough, and failed to assess the likely consequences of his action, most probably because he didn’t consider the matter in a wider context and looked only narrowly at the literal letter of the law.

Malta, with its very recent history of oppression, political and religious censorship and strict limitations – through the use of violence and archaic laws – on freedom of expression, is a curious mix. On the one hand, many people remain raw and sensitive to behaviour such as this, and bridle at it.

On the other hand, there is a significant number of people who, because of the island’s difficult relationship with democracy well into the present, believe that if the perceived majority disapproves of something, then this gives them the right to suppress it.

Mark Camilleri, the 21-year-old history student who edits Realta, the student newspaper in question, has been summoned for interrogation by the police, and was told that he may yet face criminal prosecution. This has led to a flurry of protest and condemnation.

I am not at all surprised. What surprises me is that nobody in the rector’s office appears to have said: “Look, it’s really not a good idea for the university to ban a student newspaper and report its 21-year-old student editor to the police for investigation and prosecution.

That’s the sort of thing that happens in China, and people will almost certainly react badly to it – far worse than they reacted to the story, which few will have read anyway.”

I am surprised, too, that neither the rector nor his advisers appear to have understood that the piece is not an opinion column written by a sub-literate, raging, gutter misogynist who treats women like trash. Why would such a person be writing for a student newspaper in the first place, and why would a student newspaper – a left-wing student newspaper, what’s more – have commissioned the opinion of somebody like that and framed it as something positive and worthy of promotion?

The author’s name should have given the game away: Alex Vella Gera is a published author. His very short story is written in the first person, as a brutal man who hates women and who uses sex and rejection as a power game.

It is obvious that this is what it is, and that it is not an opinion piece – and not because it isn’t well written, but because one assumes that people who read student newspapers have a certain IQ and are educated in the use of irony as a literary device, and with the idea of fiction being written in the first person.

Let’s say that this student newspaper had published instead the text of a hate speech by Norman Lowell, inciting readers against African people, agitating for their ill-treatment and comparing them to beasts, and framed it in such a context as to encourage others to sympathise with him rather than to disapprove of what he says.

In that case, yes, the rector would have been legally, and even morally, correct to report the matter for further action, because race-hate speech is against the law.

But even then he would have been ill-advised to do so. Police action against student newspapers, banning student newspapers, is always going to come across really badly, no matter what they publish. When you’re a student, when you’re young, you push the boundaries.

It’s what you do. Society has a much higher level of tolerance for students doing naughty things than it does for middle-aged (or even, as in the case of Lowell, elderly) people doing the same thing. The forces of law and order should simply not sit on student newspapers. That’s it. Let them experiment. It’s what they’re at university to do, whether you like the results or not.

What if the story was truly a hateful opinion piece against women, rather than just fiction written to highlight how some ghastly men think of women and how wrong and hateful that way of thinking is? Should the rector have reported it to the police? Well, as with the ‘blacks’ example, yes, strictly speaking he would have been correct to do so. But again, it wouldn’t have been at all wise.

For a start, unlike black people or Africans in general, women are not a minority in this or any society. Nor are we in a weak position any longer. We can look after ourselves well enough, thank you, and don’t need university rectors to ban stories that might upset us. I am not going to speak on behalf of all women. I can’t do that. But I for one find this attitude more than a little patronising, sheltering the ‘little ladies’ from harm, as though the little ladies are not capable of throwing more than a few punches themselves.

The situation is rendered all the more ridiculous when you consider that this is not an opinion piece but a piece of fiction. Before the university authorities realised that it is fiction, and not opinion, they banned the newspaper for promoting hatred of women.

Then a light went off in somebody’s head – oh gosh, it’s a story. But by then the authorities had painted themselves into a bit of a corner and probably felt they just had to carry on with the persecution instead of admitting to error and climbing down. So the police report was filed on the basis of some arcane and archaic law that forbids the publishing and distribution of obscene material, which is really only used for hard pornography nowadays and nothing else.

This only served to make the university’s stance seem even sillier. It bans a student newspaper with an ‘obscene’ story when the shelves of its library are laden with some rather more remarkable pieces of obscenity – to use the university’s own definition, which is not one I would use myself.

I am to conclude that nobody in the rector’s office reads contemporary fiction, and that the university actively discourages its students from reading some of the world’s major authors on the grounds of obscenity. How can you study contemporary American literature without reading Brett Easton Ellis?

When Alex Vella Gera, who has also been questioned by the police (really, how Chinese), was interviewed by the press about the controversy, he said: “I never imagined that the story would create such an extreme reaction. That is why I had it published at the university, where I thought the largest concentration of intelligent and discerning individuals could be found. I never dreamed Realta would be banned (because of it). The fact that reactions have been so strong shows that it’s time for the Maltese reader to grow up.”

Vella Gera misses the point. Reactions are not strong because the Maltese reader needs to grow up, but because the Maltese reader just doesn’t exist. Deprived of contact with the world of fiction, with trends in contemporary writing, with all that is out there and in the mainstream, Mr and Mrs Little Islander are simply not in a position to pass judgement on the contents of student newspapers.

In solidarity with the student newspaper Realta and with its young editor, and to highlight just how ridiculous the ban and the involvement of the police is, I have published the troublesome story on my blog. I have no rector to request police action, and in any case the police know they would find me a lot more difficult to deal with than a history student who is half my age.

If they don’t prosecute me for publishing this story, then they can’t prosecute Mark Camilleri either – unless they wish to commit an injustice. And if they prosecute me, it will turn into a jolly old circus and much fun will be had by all. I shall greatly enjoy reading out in court ‘obscene’ passages from any number of books and magazines freely available in any Agenda bookshop.

Perhaps somebody should sell tickets at the door.

This article is published in The Malta Independent on Sunday today.

37 Comments Comment

  1. Lino Cert says:

    Daphne, I think you have misinterpreted Vella Gera’s story. It is not the women who are being abused, but the man who is being used by women for their own gain. He is just a puppet in their hands and his despair is evident at his hurt when even the one woman he really loved turned out to be using him.

    I think you should read the story again, more carefully perhaps this time. Definitely a well-written and thought-provoking piece, miles ahead of any of the Maltese pseudo chick-lit that fills Agenda’s bookshelves. Why the rector should censor this piece when his university library’s bookshelves contain copies of that book littered with violence, hatred, paedophilia, infanticide, genocide and rape (also known as the Bible) is beyond me.

    • Vittorio says:

      To try and make it seem like the man is being used by women for their own gain is a pretty self-absorbed opinionated perspective.

      It could be that the writer wanted it to be open to interpretation but it’s pretty evident that the man is so delusional and self absorbed that he considers his feelings and personal views as the only “right” ones. Just because his feelings/impulses tell him to do something he HAS to do it and objectionably makes it ok for him to do them without any negative cause or effect completely disregarding the opinions/feelings of the other people involved.

      If anything, it’s the state of the person’s mind abusing itself into thinking that it’s either his way or the high way, not being able to differentiate between what in a society we deem as good or bad.

      • Lino Cert says:


        “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”

        Clearly, this guy was heartbroken. He could not separate love from sex. One came with the other, so he could not understand why the one woman he loved was “rejecting” him. Also, he was inhibited. He could not bring himself to accept that their relationship was other than sexual. He seemed to be in denial, although he would call for her at work like the other “gharajjes” that he looked down upon. Seems to me the protagonist was a victim and not an aggressor. Maybe Alex Vella Gera can clarify.

  2. OOOOOOHHHHHH! This would make a great script for a play. Maybe Vella Gera could write it for me . . . Or I could ask Anthony Neilson (author of Stitching) to write it for me , , , and have the play released al over the world . . . what would I name it?

  3. Twanny says:

    I know it’s a bit out of subject – but did any one watch Xarabank last Friday?

    It was the first (and I hope the last) time in my life that I felt completely in synch with Mgr Anton Gouder.

  4. Steven says:

    So you think the Maltese are conservative? Guess how many complaints the BBC (in the UK, of course) got when they aired Titanic before 9 o clock? And why? Because you see a little bit of Kate’s breast. You probably didn’t even notice, did you?

  5. Steven says:

    Oh, and it’s funny how censorship always has the opposite effect than that intended by the would-be censor. I guess their intention is to stop people watching/reading whatever it is they want to censor. But by trying to censor something, a lot more people always get to see it.

  6. Mat Deplum says:

    The attempt to condemn and censor Realta’ particularly this piece (too late, it’s only publicity now) is a very good example of the typical Maltese mentality: denying reality and insisting on imposing the distorted, optimistic and archaic Catholic view of what one would like society to be like.

    Condemning this kind of thing makes me think that some people have no idea of what progressive literature is. You are free to turn the page but some of us sinners might be interested in reading this piece and coming to whatever interpretations we think fit.

    Understanding that some of us see meaning in this work might make these people realise they are still stuck with the Qawsalla idea of what literature is. I invite them to read the short blog “Evolution of Sex in Literature” http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/434.

    Young people in Malta today are not strangers to casual sex. Is this news to their parents?

    “I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs” – William Shakespeare, Othello, c. 1604

  7. Frank P says:

    @ Twanny

    I have to agree with you wholeheartedly, for once I was impressed with Mgr Gouder. He should think the same way about the issue of divorce and other major topics.

  8. Leonard says:

    People may find Mr. Vella Gera’s story disgusting but it’s not pornography. The purpose of pornography is to generate sexual excitement. I’m sure this was neither Mr. Vella Gera’s intention nor that of Realta’s editor, and I doubt whether anyone reading it will get excited one millimetre.

    So Realta’s editor may face criminal prosecution. Shades of The Times and “Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?” Jesus, that was more than 40 years ago.

    • Steven says:

      I was one who called it pornography, but I guess you are right. Having said that, I don’t find it disgusting, just not something I particularly want to read. It’s what you might talk about with your close mates when you’re 17/18, but literature? I think not!

      • Steven says:

        I need to add that it doesn’t turn me on either. In fact guys don’t talk like that because it turns them or whoever is listening on. It’s just the ‘mine is bigger than yours’ syndrome. ‘I’m better than you’. Men just need to big themselves up. Puff up the feathers, so to speak. It’s part of our mating ritual. And it’s not just a Maltese thing. It happens everywhere. It just sounds cruder in Maltese.

  9. Are you sure the rector called in the police? As far as I know, he only owed up to the ban.

    [Daphne – The newspaper reports say that it was the rector’s office which notified the police.]

    • Lino Cert says:

      If the rector wanted to keep pornography out of the university perhaps he should have started by removing the figurines of a near-naked man crucified provocatively to a cross, this offensiive figurine is hanging obtrusively in a prominent location in most lecture rooms, and is much more offensive than a short story written on a sheet of paper, that can easily be thrown into the bin if one wishes.

      • Bambie Smith says:

        Lino cert get your mind checked by a physchologist. You are immoral and offensive and vulgar at that. Arrogant and stupid.

  10. Giordano Bruno says:

    The police are not to blame: if they receive a complaint, they must investigate and, if need be, prosecute. I have just finished watching a half hour satire by Anna Marchesini on Rai Due between 19.00 and 19.30 all about vaginal, oral and anal sex includuing lubrification, “fellatio et eiaculatio in ore” (better leave it in Latin for my safety), G spot and all sexual activites one can do or think of. This was on a national channel at prime time. Imagine this in in our medieval country. But then we have a history of religious persecution.

    To me, it is immaterial if misogyny or philogyny or whatever was in the writer’s mind. It’s the fact of censorship and, what is truly more infuriating, at the instigation of a cleric, that alarms me. I’m afraid that the Holy Inquisition has reared its ugly head once again in Malta and seems to be finding support. Torquemada is alive. Perhaps the Vatican will once again promulgate the “index librorum prohibitorum”, initially published in the early 16th century and repealed in 1966. But this time it will be valid only for Malta, of course, the last theocracy in Europe.

    No wonder we are so backward and our children, not to mention adults too, find it so difficult to think critically for themselves and are inclined to accept everything they are fed without question. They are used to being gagged. Nothing has changed in 40 years. In my time, our version of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale (then in the English ‘A’ level syllabus) had two lines censored out because it had been edited by an English professor working in Malta. He obviously did not want to risk ending up roasted in “an auto de fe'” on the Tal-Qroqq campus.

    Who knows, maybe this case will be a “cause celebre” like the Penguin Books trial on Lady Chatterley’s Lover (on reading it today, I find it so innocuous that I laugh at my frantic attempts to find a copy to read in my teenage years – in Malta, the book was forbidden along with scores of scientific works like The Naked Ape whose author lived in Malta and was not allowed to import his own book).

    The Church knows that it is in its death throes in Malta as elsewhere. In two generations’ time, the Enlightenment will finally make it to Malta and churches will be empty. These are only the last desperate attempts by an institution condemned to extinction.

    • Steven says:

      Medieval country? That may have been OK on a national television station in Italy at 19:00, but it would never have been OK on a British station, be it national or private. Is the UK a medieval country too? I’ll not compare the UK to Italy in fear of offending someone.

      [Daphne – The UK has a 9pm watershed, Steven. Much worse than that is aired after 9pm.]

      • Steven says:

        Yes, and that watershed is closely monitored by a load of old fogeys (all probably from Tunbridge Wells). A lot of violence is aired after 9pm, but sex is still a taboo subject for the British. You won’t get many discussions on anal sex on the BBC.

  11. Lino Cert says:

    In the 1980s we studied the ‘tales’ written by Chaucer for English literature O-level, and this in a religious school in Malta. The tales were full of frank pornography and yet were not censored in any way. Now 20 years later the university is censoring much milder literature. This from a university that is financed out of our taxes, and yet still appears to be controlled by the Catholic Church.

  12. Giordano Bruno says:

    The story is vulgar because it is about vulgarity and written in a style close to “verismo” or realism. It is by no means pornographic because it fails to arouse. Now consider these lines from an ancient beautiful poem which is, in my view, one of the most erotic in all literature:

    Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet,
    and thy speech is comely:
    thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.

    4 Thy neck is like the tower of David built for an armory,
    whereon there hang a thousand bucklers,
    all shields of mighty men.

    5 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins,
    which feed among the lilies.

    6 Until the day break,
    and the shadows flee away,
    I will get me to the mountain of myrrh,
    and to the hill of frankincense.

    7 Thou art all fair, my love;
    there is no spot in thee.

    Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb:
    honey and milk are under thy tongue;
    and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

    A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse;
    a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.

    13 Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits;
    camphire, with spikenard,

    14 spikenard and saffron;
    calamus and cinnamon,
    with all trees of frankincense;
    myrrh and aloes,
    with all the chief spices:

    15 a fountain of gardens,
    a well of living waters,
    and streams from Lebanon.

    16 Awake, O north wind;
    and come, thou south;
    blow upon my garden,
    that the spices thereof may flow out.
    Let my beloved come into his garden,
    and eat his pleasant fruits.

    For those unfamiliar with the Bible, these lines are from the Song of Songs (King James version), an erotic poem similar to others found in ancient Mesopotamian literature. To avoid embarrassment, Christianity interprets the love of the groom for his bride as the love of Christ to his Church – a concept totally alien to the writer of the poem in about 1000 BC.

    [Daphne – And his spouse is also his sister, a point we choose to overlook, even though the poem comes from the days – and the place – where dynastic brother-sister marriages were permitted. Essentially, the Song of Songs is about a man having sex with his sister, though excuses have often been made by saying that ‘sister’ was used then in pretty much the same way as it would be today in exclamations like ‘You go, sister!’ I hardly think so.]

    • Bambie Smith says:

      Eh when a person doesn’t know anything about what she is trying to piontificate, its truly ridiculous. Stupid arrogant vulgar and ridiculaous. get a life.

  13. Silvio Farrugia says:

    I do not see our thousands of students protesting in the streets about the rector’s and police reaction. What a difference our students are from their contemporaries in Europe and elsewhere. Not only don’t they have to pay to go to university, but they get paid to go, and they’re selfish and passive mummy’s boys.

    • Steven says:

      That’s not really anything to do with students pay. It’s just our natural reserve, which we inherited from the British. They don’t take to the streets that often either. The French on the other hand are a different kettle of fish. That’s why we had the French revolution and not the British one, and why the 1968 riots started in Paris and not in London. We (the Maltese) are more like the British than the French.

  14. Carmel Scicluna says:

    Il-hila letterarja tohrog meta taghmel il-punt tieghek b’mod sottili – f’dan il-kas li l-kotra l-kbira tal-irgiel jaraw il-mara bhala oggett ghall-gratifikazzjoni sesswali taghhom biss. Mhemmx hila letterarja meta l-awtur jaqa’ fl-istess grad baxx u bassezzi tal-karattru vulgari li johloq. Awtur ta’ hila letterarja liemabhalha li holoq karattri oxxeni u vulgari minghajr ma tpastaz u offenda lill-Madonna u waqa’ fil-baxx kien William Faulkner li ha l-Premju Nobel ghal-Letteratura. Jigi f’mohhi fis The Sound and the Fury. Il-letteratura tghollik ‘il fuq. Letteratura mill-aqwa tista’ tinkiteb fuq karattri mill-iktar vulgari. Awtur tajjeb joffendi bl-ideat; awtur hazin joffendi mod iehor.

  15. Alex Vella Gera says:

    Carmel, il-fatt li kont offiz (bhal hafna nies ohra) huwa problema tieghek, mhux tieghi. L-istorja ma ktibthiex biex noffendi.

    • Carmel Scicluna says:

      qed tghid li l-istorja ma ktibthiex biex toffendi … u qed tghid, fl-istess nifs, li hija l-problema ta’ hafna qarrejja li gew offizi … u mhux il-problema tieghek. Allura, jekk qed nifhem sewwa, u nemmen li qed nifhem sewwa hafna, hemm loophole logiku kbir fid-diskors kontra dan il-valur ghaziz, li ghalija la huwa ghaziz, u wisq anqas valur – il-liberta’ tal-espressjoni. Jekk f’valur, ikun xi jkun, hemm imqar loophole wahda dan ma jibqax valur: Min se jirkeb fuq vapur imtaqqab? Jien ma nirkibx.

      Min hu tabilhaqq hieles? Inti, l-awtur li ma jridx joffendi b’kitbitu … imma offenda lil hafna u hafna? Il-persuna li rrapportat il-kitba in kwistjoni biex tigi ccensuratha ghax il-valuri taghha huma t-tajjeb u l-hazin? Ic-censur li ccensuralek kitbitek biex ma joffendix lil hafna … u offenda lilkom li tirkbu fuq dan il-vapur imtaqqab tal-liberta’ tal-espressjoni li tfisser ghalik: ma rridx noffendik, jirnexxieli noffendik, u nigi naqa’ u nqum li offendejtek? – dan x’valur hu, habib tieghi?
      Il-Madonna. Omm Alla. L-Omm ghall-bnedmin kollha madwar id-dinja kollha. Taf xi ktibt, Alex, fuqha. Fuq Omm Alla. Mhemmx ghalfejn tkun a literary connoisseur biex tifhem li ”ghall-” hi ewfemizmu minflok ”haqq ghall-” li t-tifsira letterali taghha bil-Malti hija: ”nishet”.
      F’dan id-dawl, mela, kemm fil-fatt l-awtur ma riedx joffendi … u kemm filfatt kien qed joffendi?
      Jien ikbar minn Omm Alla biex noffendi lil Omm Alla? X’inhuma l-konsegwenzi spiritwali ghal min joffendiha independentement ghal min jemmen jew ma jemminx?
      Biex norbot mal-bidu: hi ggustifikata logikament li nghid: ma ridtx noffendi … u offendejt hafna u hafna … u l-problema hija ta’ min gie offiz? Fi kliem iehor, b’ezempju analogiku: Jien ridt naghmel kejk tajjeb, il-kejk ittiekel minn hafna u qatel lil hafna, jigifieri kien kejk ivvelenat, imma jien naqa’ u nqum li l-kejk kien ivvelenat u mietu n-nies bil-kejk mohmi tieghi.
      Ta’ min tabilhaqq hija l-problema, Alex?

      • Kevin Saliba says:


        għalik, il-Madonna hija omm Alla u omm il-bnedmin kollha. Emmen li trid – s’hemm kollox sew. Imma jien – li minkejja li m’iniex materjalist/fiżikalist, b’alla tiegħek ma nemmen xejn, u allura, aħseb u ara kemm ser nemmen illi għandu ommu (?) u li għaldaqstant tiġi wkoll ommi (!) – ma narax għala għandi bilfors inbaxxi rasi għat-twemmin tiegħek.

        Iżjed u iżjed meta nqis li dan tiegħek m’hu xejn għajr twemmin, u li m’hemm xejn konkret, lanqas storikament, illi jissuġġerixxi li huwa tabilħaqq minnu. Int semmejt li dan huwa relattiviżmu. Bħal dak li qallu, li t-twemmin li tgħadda lilek dwar il-Madonna huwa xi fatt xjentifiku assolut li dwaru ma jista’ qatt ikun hemm diskussjoni! Għalik dan fatt sogrosant, għalija hu mitoloġija.

        Allura inti fuq din qed tibbażaha l-kritika letterarja tiegħek? Fuq domma ta’ fidi suġġettiva għal kollox? Għalik l-awtur kien qed jidgħi, għalija kien sempliċiment qed jittraskrivi idjoma li ssibha f’ħalq eluf ta’ Maltin, iżjed u iżjed fi kliem karattru bħal dak. Fl-aħħar mill-aħħar, jekk qatt ma nnotajt, id-dagħa f’ħalq in-nies iżjed huwa espressjoni slang bħal “fuckin” fl-Ingliż, jew saħansitra punt t’esklamazzjoni jew t’enfasi (“give me that fucken/bloody phone”), milli xi stqarrija riżoluta ta’ saħta kontra xi simbolu reliġjuż.

        U jekk il-karattru li jkolli f’moħħi jinzerta midgħi, x’ser nagħmel jien? Niċċensura l-immaġinazzjoni tiegħi semplċiment għax inti ser titfantas? Le. Is-soluzzjoni hi sempliċi: kemm-il darba dit-tip ta’ letteratura tħossha toffendik, taqrahiex! Kemm-il darba l-kejkijiet tagħna tgħoddhom b’valenużi, tikolhomx! Ħadd m’hu jisfurza lil xi ħadd jaqra ta’ bilfors. Issa jekk int tagħmel ta’ rasek u tagħżel li taqra xorta waħda, allura hemmhekk il-problema hi tiegħek, u tiegħek biss.

      • Alex Vella Gera says:

        Carmel, il-problema hija tieghi, u tieghi biss, ghax sibt ruhi niffaccja argumenti bhal tieghek minghajr lanqas hjiel ta’ kif ghandi nwiegbek minghajr ma noffendik, ghax milli nista’ nifhem inti persuna tal-affari taghha u nirrispetta li ghandek kodici morali partikulari li biha tghix hajtek. Imma bil-problema nibqa’ ghax nies bhalek jahsbu li dik il-kodici trid tghodd ghal kulhadd u jdeffsu l-opinjoni taghhom kullimkien, u xi kultant anke jiddettawha. Problema tieghi dik, mhux tieghek, ghax kull meta t-twemmin tieghek offendini qatt ma ftaht halqi, u accettajt l-affarijiet kif kienu. Hassejtni fil-minoranza f’pajjizi, imma xejn gdid hemm. Problema tieghi. U bil-problema bqajt, ghax twelidt bis-sahta tal-kitba, u b’xejn ma nista’ ninjoraha, u biex tghaqqad, il-kitba bil-Malti, ghal dawk l-ghexieren ta’ Maltin li jifhmu xi rrid nikkomunika. Xejn gravi, hadd ma miet, imma problema xorta wahda. Mhux qed inwahhal fik Carmel. Imma meta naqra kumment bhal tieghek hawn fuq ikolli nammetti li l-ewwel hsieb li jigini huwa li

      • Bambie Smith says:

        kemm intom bravi ma thallux lil min iwiegeb lil dak il-hamallu ta’ Vella Gera. Jidher li ghandhu problemi kbar li difficli li jsolvihom ghax mhux kapaci. biex taghmel bhalu hija l-ehfef haga fid-dinja imma biex tgharaf li zbaljajt u sirt vulgari u hamallu u trid tibqa f’dan l-istat dik allura hija hag’ohra. u sewwa ghamel li telaq minn Malta u nittamaw li ma narawh qatt f’pajjizna ghax diga hammigulna l-pajjiz bil-kliem vulgari, l-insolenzi kontra n-nisa u l-haqmmallagni tal-karattri tieghu. Mhxu ghax minn dawn il-karattri m’ghandniex f’pajjizna imma li tipprova timitahom u taqa’ fil-bazezzi taghhom hija tal-misthija.

  16. I’m sorry to say this ..but the famous letter didn’t impress me in the least bit…it’s just plain vulgar however I must admit it is humurous at times…no offense but it just seems like a letter from a desperate guy for sex …It did not impress me becuase I used to chat on mirc and the letter was typical of how desperate guys used to chat there…wether censoring it or not..I can’t say…I don’t think it was school material really. Maybe one could say it is a way of showing the stark reality of a guy in desperate need for sex haha.

    • Kevin Saliba says:


      First of all it was NOT a letter. Secondly, borrowing from J. G. Ballard’s comments on his novel ‘Crash’, I must say that your comments might well prove that Alex Vella Gera’s piece is “a complete artistic success.”

  17. KVZTABONA says:

    We are all going to burn on an auto da fe’. Read Vincent Agius in today’s Times

    • Bambie Smith says:

      Kevin jekk minghalik ser iddahhak b’li kiteb l-artikolista sejjer zball. Tiehu qata kieku taf kemm nies jidhku bik meta jarawk imgezwer qisek xi artist tal-antikalja.

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