Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I’ll waste no time reading it. –
Lorna’s column oon today’s Times is devoted to an auto-crit of her first publication that is apparently entitled “Il-Ktejjeb tal-Hrejjef” (wrongly translated by the dame to “The Booklet of Legends” instead of what would have been a more appropriate “The Booklet of Tales”). Having probably given up hope that any book critic would one day review her collection of tales, the Dame embarks on a profound analysis of the purpose of the book, the message and the subtleties involved. The reason she gives for this self-indulgence is that some of those who purchased her booklet are “getting back to me with their comments”. We are of course gifted with an early Christmas present. So here for you all is another confabulatory discombobulation of the first order by the Dame of the Gramatically Incorrect.
Through My Eyes [The Inevitable First Person Returns to Haunt Us]
Some of those who had purchased my first publication Il-Ktejjeb tal-Hrejjef (The Booklet of Legends) are getting back to me with their comments [It’s a miracle that they are not getting at her with blunt, heavy instruments]. This is the reason why I decided to reply to all at one go through this article. [And not because no one else seems to be talking about the little booklet of Legends/tales].
It seems as if there was actually some space for political satire in the Maltese market. [Sandwiched between the stand of the fake cds and the one selling pancieri for that oversized backside – Thank God She Noticed]. The same applies to all the caricatures that accompany the tale [So it is a tale – erm “the same applies” does not really fit here], credit going to young artist Mark Scicluna, exclusively inspired [Exclusively inspired? As in without any competition?] by the most recent political history of our Republic [The Most Recent, today the synonym / antonym book is not quite doing its job when looking for superlatives].
Why go some 400 years back? [Why Indeed?]
Temporal detachment leads to emotional detachment. [Of course. All roads lead to Rome and the Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions and Leeds United (sorry for the childish pun)]. Today’s people speak impartially of yesterday’s generations [I love to speak impartially about my Granny, God rest her soul], no matter how heinous, immorally unacceptable or detrimental [Detri-fuckin-mental?] their actions were [Nasty granny in her panciera heinously snogging grandpa under the fig tree on a summer’s eve]. This brings about rational judgement [No it doesn’t. You’ve already lost us. Don’t give me this talk about rational judgement] usually supported by proof that is put together “only too late” [Ok. Now we are really on a different planet. What proof? Is it heinous?] and substantiated with knowledge only afforded by “hindsight” [Hindsight affords knowledge. How rich is hindsight?]. We, as subjective observers of our times [You as the most confusing writer in the history of English as it is bamboozled], are naturally hindered from such objectivity [That there is some kind of natural hindrance comes as no surprise] and shrouded in a thick [Hmm. Thick. Just the adjective I had in my mind] sense of denial of truth itself. [Right. Now read this paragraph again ignoring my comments. Does it make sense? Do you feel a sense of denial creeping on your brain?]
Therefore the détachement in time in Il-Ktejjeb tal-Hrejjef is done on purpose [Q.E.D. note the subtle accent on the “e” in détachement – le touch Francais de la Dame]. The more painful it is the better [In the case of her painful grasp of logical sentence construction, this must be magnificent]. The more unfit the adaptations of today’s events to yesteryear’s scenario the better [So basically if I get it.. .you write an anachronistic set of legends and then justify the ill-fitting result by grasping onto some possible shocking effect on the reader… wasn’t your writing enough? Potevamo stupirvi con effetti speciali… invece scrive Lorna]. The more the presumptuous reader [ Yeah baby… tell them… presumptious bastards] denies it, the more the author confirms the above-mentioned sense of denial [She cannot lose can she? It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes all over… only its the Pemrepors Ewn Tholces and they’re King Size Lorna Mould].
In Il-Ktejjeb tal-Hrejjef my/our story is made “his story” also known as “history”. [ A prize of Lm100,000 to anyone who can decipher this sentence probably written in the code of Labourite Freemasons and Michael Jackosn]. The overwhelming sense of denial of nations en masse still occurs today [Do I sniff the scent of Alienation here? Matthew Dimech where are you when we need you?]. For those who may have wondered how nations live through times of misery, they ought to know that usually one is likely to find a people divided in two [mostly schizo’s]: The critics, rebels or adversaries (most of the time ignored for a long time until proven right [Guess under which category TGIL falls?]) and the unconditional political/religious devotees [For those who are still having trouble of picturing this scenario just look at Malta under Mintoff].
Soon, we’ll realise that we are like our forefathers. Like them, sometimes we’ve acted foolishly. They must have believed in witches and broomsticks; we believe in virtuosity and virgin politicians. [No. I believe in a good rest, good food and plenty of humour.. and I couldn’t give two hoots if Alfred Sant is a virgin or not]. However, we could say that their means were limited [Whose means?]. At least, their means of communications were definitely much more limited [I guess it is the forefathers then]. However, that comes as no consolation. Rather, it may show we are the more pitiful as, with more means of communications and ways of verifying truth, we fall into the same trap of deceit [Yes. It is alienation. We let ourselves be decieved!]. In fact, the book attempts to build up somewhat of a “the emperor’s new clothes” [See! I told you!] scenario where the more intelligent you are, the more you can understand it. The prouder you are, the more hindered you are from reading into it. That, at least, should put stupidity and pride on the same level. [A bit like what Lorna does every other week. – Incidentally she is building a defence from criticism… if you do not like the book then you are stupid and proud. If you like it then you are Lorna.]
Some commented on me being biased [In the words of the poet: It wasn’t me]. Of course I am. At least I don’t try to look that I’m not [to look that I’m not? Loverly]! I never purported to be what I’m not. I’m just amazed at their amazement at discovering the bias [And we are amazed that there was someone to be sufficiently amazed to make you amazed]. Don’t they know everybody is? [Erm. I’ll skip this one]
And as to leeway for interpretation, well, interpretation yes and how [I love this one. Yes and how?]. That’s what it was all meant to be about. [The meaning of Life and all] I hope the debate and discussions the book triggers take much longer than the time one takes to read the book itself. [She would probably be better off hoping that any debate is triggered in the first place] The fact that some of the people who approached me on the subject either spoke about it at length or went on to speak about current politics [As in avoided the subject?] is satisfactory enough and shows that the primary goal has already been reached.
Is it real or fictitious? [Is it a bird, is it a plane?]
Some people also asked whether all characters were meant to represent real characters or if some were fictitious. Well, the female characters are the only totally fictitious ones. Unfortunately, we have no influential matriarchs involved in politics and were it not for the two fictitious females introduced at the last minute before publication, the book would have been too sexually biased. [Way to go. Give us a matriarch or two otherwise Hsejjes would be disappointed!]
All the male characters, on the other hand, are inspired by a real, current key player in the Maltese political scenario. The characteristics of the character [ehe], the relationship with the other characters and the narration should readily reveal to the knowledgeable reader and current affairs enthusiast the identity of the politician “the way I see him”, that is, “through my eyes”. [Let me see. There must definitely be a superhero who is the messiah, the saviour and the toupeed musketeer all in one. And his name will be some kind of anagram for A L F R E D.]
Criticism is one of the aims.
One cheeky [I want to be cheeky too!] person who commented on the book asked if I’d mind too much criticism. I don’t really know why he sincerely thought this would put me down [Duh! He should have known better]. But, out of mere respect, my answer was that “criticism is one of the aims” [The Oracle at Delphi is known to have emitted less vague pronouncements]. If I didn’t expect any criticism, I wouldn’t have invested in the book at all.
However, first and foremost, the first aim is political education through satire. On the book I mention an author’s name. And that is Francois Rabelais [Here begins the usual name-dropping witnessed last time with Vinaver].
Those who’ve read some of his lines [ Like for example from a book fo quotes] would know what education through ridicule of the political élite means. [This is offensive. Why read Rabelais when you could log on to J’Accuse daily?] The unconditional acceptance of the allegedly corrupt political behaviour of our times will be tested at the next general election [By being given a choice between the allegedly corrupt and the potentially equally corrupt]. That will be a national thermometer that will gauge a hotchpotch [I prefer the HODGEPODGE spelling] of excessive tolerance [She means tolerating the intolerable], a sense of denial and unconditional partisanship on the one side and unshackled political thinking on the other [Being a nashinalist is being unconditionally partisan, being a lejberist is being an unshackled political thinker].
People grumble for reform but, to quote Francois Rabelais himself, applying it to political change “I have known many who could not when they would, for they had not done it when they could”.
[And to quote J’accuse: “We have read one who could not when she would, for she had done disastrously when she did”].