Kummenti dwar l-Awtur 

 

Whenever I analyse a literary text coming from Charles Casha I know that this writer is doing his best to persuade me to share a particular view of reality for the duration of my reading adventure procuring a rapt immersion in an imagined world. His interest in the novels, however, move increasingly into a mental region which may be taken as the domain of a contemporary morality that often entertains a depressive feeling of failure that may be taken as human waste. Yet in Casha, despite the weary view of human fallibility, there is always an element of hope. Casha apprehends with distinct intensity the paradoxical strain which is a feature of our contemporary world – as depicted in Il-Ktieb ta’ Barabba, most particularly. The fiction of Charles Casha is permeated by a sense of story. He seems to believe that as a novelist he tries to tell a human story that may be an imperfect version of a larger pattern. And this leads him towards the importance of human action in terms of optimism and hope. His fiction responds profoundly and imaginatively to contemporary human implications.

 

Profs Charles Briffa

The Swans at St.Ives and other stories

 

 

WORKING ON THE TRANSLATION of this anthology of short stories, my first impression was of a psychedelic splash of random human experiences but, story after story, I detected some order, and it turned first into a  kaleidoscopic  presentation.  Finally, the pieces of mosaic came together to turn what had originally seemed to be a motley selection of sometimes improbable events, into a picture of deep insight of the human experience, with the stories showing a high level of interaction between themselves. Charles makes us encounter the characters he created, opens them up, and unravels their complications into something with which we can all relate. The stories flow, sometimes from singular events to culminations, and sometimes through a slower build-up of interpersonal connections. Objects, such as paintings, poetry pamphlets, candles and even a violin, feature very strongly not for their material worth, but more for the value and significance they hold for our characters. Within each story, the persons intertwine with the objects, the animate with the inanimate. This is perhaps best epitomised in the title piece to this anthology, by the subtle representation of the two main characters in the swans they loved so much, under the bridge that leads from one side to the next.

 

Martin Bugelli

Charles Casha hu meqjus mhux biss prolifiku imma wkoll eklettiku fis-sens ġenwin u mifrux tal-kelma. Għalliem, librar, midħla sewwa tal-Għaqdiet letterarji u tax-xandiriet letterarji, hu kiteb kemm stejjer għat-tfal kif ukoll għall-kbar. Kotba ta’ tagħrif u  tagħlim daqskemm ta’ divertiment. Stejjer realistici daqskemm mimlija fantasija li jmorru lil hemm mir-realtà ta’ kuljum. Kittieb ta’ proża kif ukoll ta’ poeżija. L-esperjenzi tiegħu ta’ tfulitu u ta’ għalliem tawh mhux biss ispirazzjoni imma wkoll stil li hu tipiku tiegħu. L-għażla tal-kelma hi dejjem sabiħa. Il-binja tas-sentenza timxi mal-istil. In-namra ta’ rakkontatur qieghda fih, sinonomu ma’ ismu.

Il-Ktieb ta’ Barabba

Min hu Barabba? Barabba huwa ‘aħna’ li b’diqa eżistenzjali qegħdin nippruvaw nisimgħu l-qagħdiet ta’ ruħna, forsi biex nagħmlu l-aħħar tentattiv u niġbru l-frammenti li għad fadal fid-dalma ta’ ġo fina, u nagħtuhom xi forma ta’ tifsira qabel ma ż-żejt tal-musbieħ jinħela u s-siparju ta’ ħajjitna jinżel għal dejjem. Kemm f’dan il-ktieb kif ukoll f’bosta xogħlijiet oħra ta’ Casha nsibu personaġġi anki radikalment sovversivi għadd ta’ drabi b’element psikosesswali. Fil-fehma tiegħi wieħed mill-għanijiet primarji għaliex Casha juża dawn il-karattri hu li b’mod Bakktiljan irid jaffronta sistema sħiħa li għandha għeruqha mqabbdin ma’ dak kollu li hu immorali u tipprojetta ruħha bħala verġni. Casha hu kittieb matur għax il-frażarju, is-sentimenti, it-tematika ġenerali, is-simbolizzazzjoni, l-aptit deskrittiv imħallat mal-aptit riflessiv jinħassu kontinwament ibaqbqu fil-proċess tal-kitba, li xi drabi hi wkoll paradossali.

 

 

Andrew Sciberras

Kritiku Letterarju/Poeta

Il-Professur Manwel Mifsud dwar Fra Mudest (f’għeluq l-40 sena)

 

Tul 40 sena li fihom id-dinja nbidlet bis-sħiħ, kull awtorità ddaħħlet fi kriżi, u l-fehmiet u l-gosti tal-Maltin inqalbu ta’ taħt fuq, Fra Mudest bil-karattru ferrieħi, b’dik id-daħka simpatika tiegħu, baqa’ jmiss qlub il-qarrejja, baqa’ jilħaq dik ir-rokna f’qalbhom li – minkejja kollox – tixtieq is-sempliċità, il-ġenwinità. Baqa’ xhieda ta’ kontinwità u punt ta’ riferiment iktar importanti milli naħsbu.

 

Ittra mingħand il-mibki Prof. Oliver Friġġieri, f’għeluq il-50 sena tal-Fra.

 

‘inti  wellidt  karattru  li  llum  sar  famuz  u  emblematiku,  u  li  nistħajlu,  bħal  Pinocchio,  jimpika  miegħek.  Għandek  tassew  għalfejn  tkun  hieni  u  kburi  li  rnexxielek  tul  dawn  is-snin  kollha  twelled  u  tagħti  lill-poplu  Malti  karattru  li  hu,  daqskemm  ma  huwiex,  tat-tfal. 

Persuna interġenerazzjoali li kiber ma ’ġenerazzjonijiet sħaħ. 
Fil-persunaġġ  tiegħek  nara   Malti  medju  oriġinali,  li  jdaħħak  u  ma  jifraħx  dejjem,  u  li  taħt  l-inġenwità  tiegħu  irnexxielek  tinserixxi  moħħ  matur  u  qalb  intensa.  F'dan  id-dawl  fil-persunaġġ  tiegħek  hemm  xi  ħadd  li  hu  u  ma  hux  'modest'.  Irnexxielek  toħloq  suċċessur  modern  ta'  karattru  klassiku,  bħal  Ġaħan,  imma  li  hu  wisq  aktar   kumpless  u  paradossali  minn  Ġaħan.’

 

Silta minn artiklu miktub mill-Prof. Ġorg Mallia fil-ħarġa speċjali dwar Fra Mudest (40 sena Fra Mudest) 2007

 

‘Nemmen ukoll li ma’ Fra Mudest qegħdin nikkommemoraw  it-twelid tal-letteratura moderna għat-tfal Maltin, għax il-ħolqien ta’ wieħed hu mżewweġ mal-bidu tal-oħra.’

In Ruħu Dejjem Tfittex,  I tried to explain how Charles Casha gives such a job to Maltese literature. He creates a poetic province through the art of language: all possible ideas, human actions, and feelings in the common world are placed in a fitting relationship with the readers’ general sensibility. When I read his poetry I frequently feel that my consciousness is being invaded by an existence that is similar to my state. Casha’s poetic function is not merely to experience the poetic situation, but to create it also in his readers. And in my book I touched on the transcendent assets of virtues and elegance that develop in his poetic mind.

 

Then in his creative prose (novels and short stories) Casha is mostly concerned with common contemporary reality to describe subjects and attitudes. Prose for him is a vehicle of the consciousness that must be directed towards assessing the quality of life in terms of the characteristics of the people found in the narratives. The whole range of his writing offers a valuing of personal life that attends to the general human life. Furthermore, his books for children are full of stories which provide a rich source for probing the young audience’s imaginative responses to literary situations. Even his humour, at times wittily compact, is a verbally elated flowering of comic situations – as found in the stories of the unforgettable Fra Mudest. I tried to show all these artistic efforts through language in Ruħu Dejjem Tfittex.

 

Charles Briffa

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