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Post no. 52

June 20, 2011

I had never read anything by Immanuel Mifsud. I had heard of him because we celebrate our birthday on the same day, but I’m younger 😉

Last year my sister gave me 2 books he had written for my birthday – L-istejjer Strambi ta’ Sara Sue Sammut (SSta’SSS) and Stejjer li ma kellhomx jinkitbu (SliMKJ). Come to think of it, she hit two birds with one stone, because I’m sure that Mr Mifsud laughed all the way to the bank when he received the royalty cheque arising directly from my birthday present on his birthday. (I doubt it was intentional, though)

Long story short. I didn’t like the stories. The SSta’SSS were too “jokey”. You’re always expecting a punchline, sort of thing. Granted, they evoke imagery in the mind of a person growing in Malta between the late 70s and late 80s that is best left to lie. Horrendous times. But it was only the backdrop. I may have picked up on it precisely because those were dark days. I don’t think the stories would have made much sense extirpated from that “ecology”, but as I said, too jokey.

I turned to SliMKJ. An entirely different kettle of fish. But I still didn’t like it. Let me be fair. I had read the stories just after the Li tkisser sewwi episode. Now this story was old hat. I had read it in this now “private” blog  (http://pleasureislandmt.wordpress.com/) yonks ago. The blog was a  “let your erotica juices flow anonymously” sort of thing. There were the usual couple of dirty rhymes and this. Then some idiot decided to publish it in some sort of university magazine and all hell broke loose.

After having sat through a Xarabank episode (of course) about it, I turned my hand to SliMKJ. I was very disappointed. Like ordering penne all’arrabbiata and the chilli is nowhere near strong. I know it doesn’t make sense (because the timeline doesn’t fit), but my reaction was “Another wannabe who wants to ride the pornographic wave of fame”

My first reaction was that this is not a book that should be tossed aside lightly.It should be thrown with great force, like the lady said.

I looked up Immanuel Mifsud on the internet, and discovered that he had another “controversial” book called Kimika. Yeah, right. I forgot about him for a long time.

A fortnight ago I was trying to kill time at the hospital, while my wife was hooked to a foetal heart rate monitor and I wound up at the “convenience store”. And there it was. Kimika. Smiling at me. Winking. Come hither look. Warning sticker and all. I didn’t think twice about plonking €8.50 on the cashier’s desk. Uncanny thing is that on our way back I say Mr Mifsud paying his parking coupon at one of those machines at the hospital, and it crossed my mind to ask  him to autograph the book for me. I didn’t.

Read the stories in this order:

Zerafa

Angela, Jane u Lina

Sonia (will only say 6 words here: Therese Agius, God rest her soul)

read a third of the way through Trevor Zahra’s Is-sebgha trongiet mewwija

Laqgha ma’ Mara Morbi (pleasant surprise, that)

Kap I (another pleasant surprise – even better than the Mara Morbi one)

Can’t bring myself to read the other two, but I will for completeness’ sake. Don’t know when.

Looked up Immanuel Mifsud on Youtube, this time. Came across an interview by Saviour Balzan. Then it hit home. Delving into people’s lives and understanding what makes them tick – or their motivation, even – boils down to how they like their sex. We like to read about sex. Dressed up in fancy language  – or recounted disjointedly – it becomes art, apparently.

I don’t want to diminish any of Mr Mifsud’s achievements in any way, nor is any of what I said intended to cast a shadow on the artistic capabilities of Mr Mifsud. But the Reporter interview really shed light on why Xarabank felt they had to dedicate a whole “episode” to the Gay Picket at Pastor Gordon John Manche’s River of Love gathering hall (?)

Speaking of which, I have recently come across a production on Net TV called Quadro (same topic, no surprises there) and the host was one Bryn (Breen? Brine? – looked it up, it means Hill in Welsh) Manning. He was on the panel of the Xarabank episode that dealt with the gay picket. (See? I had told you in my previous post that if history was anything to go by, the other members of the panel had no right being there. Was I right or was I right?)

One last thing. I will come back to Immanuel Mifsud. Stay tuned for more gobbledygook.

Gosh. Look at the time.

Toodles.

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From → Misfires

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