Monday, September 2, 2013

Guze Chetcuti - Poet, Novelist, and Playwright

Novelist, poet and playwright Ġuże’ Chetcuti will be remembered for his significant contribution to the Maltese literature scene, as well as for the love for his country’s language and his involvement in the Akkademja tal-Malti (Maltese Language Academy).

Ġuże’ Chetcuti, was born into a generation of other deeply influential contributors to the Maltese literature scene such as Malta’s National Poet Fr. Karm Psaila, Rużar Briffa and Ġuże’ Aquilina.

Born on the 11th August 1914, Ġuże’ Chetcuti spent several years teaching the Maltese language in schools, while writing a number of novels, including “L-Isqaq”, which formed part of secondary school’s Maltese curriculum for a number of years. Ġuże’ Chetcuti also wrote a number of poems, along with plays for both the stage and television.

Ġuże’ Chetcuti’s prose is realism-based and he used literature to move forward the cause of the poor and uneducated. In his novels, Chetcuti shows clearly the consequences of poverty on humanity. Novels like “It-Tnalja” , “Il-Kerrejja” and a large number of short stories all dealing with a clear and realistic manifestation of victims of social change.

Ġuże’ Chetcuti was also an important producer of Maltese romantic poetry. He wrote about Malta’s beauty and loved farms and the simple life. He also wrote about love and its power, troubles and the joy in life as well as patriotism and faith.

He was a member in the Għaqda Poeti Maltin (Maltese Poets’ Group), the Malta Drama League and a founder of the Għaqda Xirka għat-Tixrid ta' l-Ilsien Malti (Society for the Promotion of Maltese Language). The Maltese nation recognised his work when in 1996 he was honoured with membership in the National Order of Merit.

The National Book Council, on behalf of all writers and those who love Maltese books, paid homage to the writer. It also sent its condolences to the relatives of the writer and encouraged all those who work in Maltese to reflect about their work, in the shadow of Chetcuti, a literary giant who will remain present amongst the Maltese through his writings.

The Council explained that Ġuże’ Chetcuti worked for the Maltese language and literature in very difficult times when to love the Maltese language was considered a dishonour. He also worked to promote the language during the World War II. 

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