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Charles Casha does not let the human heart die. And this feature is mostly the result of the fact that in his narrative, which often depicts aspects of human drama, there is a serious attempt towards a significant openness of outlook in the Maltese context. For instance, although in A Book for Amy we encounter love being repelled or rejected because of circumstances, somehow the contextual atmosphere still veers towards love and understanding, even when there is a negative item in the story like Amy’s father. Her father seems to have a heart that has become a glacial case because of his cruelty towards his own family. But this is surely overpowered by Ruben’s attitude and stance. Among other things, Ruben finally retains his friendship with Susan but he never casts aside his love for Amy (the mother) even after her death. And because of this we are not left with an unsatisfactory sense of emptiness.

In Casha humanity is never denatured, even when (among other subjects) he treats the argument of prostitution. For Amy prostitution (which the Maltese mentality looked at traditionally as immoral) is an essentiality to liberate herself from the hell she was experiencing with her relatives after her mother’s death. Because of prostitution her soul did not deteriorate: she remained human and loved her daughter dearly. In all this, Casha seems to imply that love is the main thing that gives meaning to human sorrow and distress. That’s why he does not let the human heart die.


Charles Briffa




Prof. Charles Briffa has translated a lot of works and is a literary critic. He wrote extensively on the stylistic qualities of Maltese literary prose works and on the theory of translation. Among his interests he has cultural linguistics and part of his research includes the compilation of anthropological material relating to the Maltese language. His publications include a wide range of studies on language, translation, and literature.

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