Requiem for a Malta Fascist (or The Interrogation)
11 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 2
Diez, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Saturday, April 02, 2011
This novel will be an international ray. The participants:
, Selm, Germany
, Oberhausen, Germany
, Heidelberg, Germany
, Berlin, Germany
, Cambridge, UK
, Liverpool, UK
, Hämeenlinna, Finland
, Athens, Greece
, Smiths Lake, Australia
, Artarmon, Australia
, St. Albans, USA
Journal Entry 3
Diez, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Sunday, May 29, 2011
Released 7 yrs ago (5/30/2011 UTC) at Diez, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to holle77.
Journal Entry 4
Selm, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Sunday, June 05, 2011
The book is now in Selm. Thank you!
Journal Entry 5
Selm, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, July 02, 2011
I did not know much about Malta and before reading this book I thought more about the crusades and the fraternities of Malteser and Johanniter.
So I was quite astonished to read about the siege and the air-raids over Malta in Second World War.
The book was very interesting.
Journal Entry 6
Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Now with me, will start reading it right away!
Journal Entry 7
Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, July 18, 2011
Well, yes, the part on Malta itself was quite interesting. But this Lorenz! I don't like characters (neither in books nor in real life) who behave knowingly as complete idiots. I don't mean his affair (not to talk of love) with Elena, but his friendship with Paul, even with the small hints on some special ... attraction between them. I guessed this end before it was actually reached and I was only shaking my head about it.
Journal Entry 8
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The book arrived today. Thank you!
Journal Entry 9
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I'm sorry for keeping the book that long. But I had somehow difficulties to get into the story. Even though it was interesting to read a book about Malta which I visited two times in the past and didn't know anything about its role during World War II, the story was not very captivating to me. During the first half of the book I thought about breaking off reading several times, but then I wanted to know the end of the story. Maybe this was simply not the right time for me to read this book.
Journal Entry 10
per Post geschickt in -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Monday, September 26, 2011
Released 7 yrs ago (9/20/2011 UTC) at per Post geschickt in -- Per Post geschickt/ Persönlich weitergegeben --, Baden-Württemberg Germany
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
The book is now on its way to sedna5213. I hope, she will like it better than me. I'm curious about further opinions of the story.
Journal Entry 11
Charlottenburg, Berlin Germany on Monday, September 26, 2011
Picked up the book from the post office today. Have got another book to finish, but I've got holidays coming up and I intend to relax and read a lot!
The book was easy to read and it was certainly very interesting to learn about Malta during WW2. Like it was said be before, the main character's obsession with his friend is strange.
Journal Entry 12
Charlottenburg, Berlin Germany on Saturday, October 29, 2011
Released 7 yrs ago (10/29/2011 UTC) at Charlottenburg, Berlin Germany
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
The book is on its way to the next reader.
Journal Entry 13
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 03, 2011
Just arrived. Thanks for sending it through, sedna5213! I'm reading two other bookrings at the moment, though, so will have to finish at least one of those before I can start on this one. I'll probably start on this book after the weekend.
Journal Entry 14
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, December 01, 2011
I'm not really sure what to make of this book. I agree with Aldawen that there are quite a lot of hints that there's more between Lorenz and Paul than mere friendship; it could've (should've?) been explored more, maybe.
What really annoyed me about the book is this Kos character, who's hauting Lorenz, but is never explained. What exactly is his significance and why are we reading all about him in the first third of the book?
Having said that, it was quite interesting to read about Malta's experience in the War. I did (vaguely) know about the siege, but not in much detail; so it was quite interesting to read about it. I'm not sure I would recommend this book, but it was certainly an interesting read. Thanks for sharing it, Urla!
I've contacted shovelmonkey1 and will send the book on soon.
Update 08/12/11: sent to shovemonkey1
Journal Entry 15
Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Monday, December 12, 2011
Arrived today -thank you very much to everyone who has kept this book heading in my direction ! Will probably read this over/before christmas but Christmas holidays for the post office mean that it is unlikely that this book will be travelling before the new year. My Dad works in Malta so i'm interested to learn about another perspective of the island.
Journal Entry 16
Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
I received this book just before Christmas and in the pre and post Christmas madness i've not gotten around to reading it, for which I apologise. I have pm'd Ruzena for their address so this book will be travelling again this week and maybe i will find another copy of it in the future. Thank you all for your patience.
Journal Entry 17
Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Saturday, February 04, 2012
Released 6 yrs ago (2/4/2012 UTC) at Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
This book is now travelling on to Ruzena.
Journal Entry 18
Vantaa, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, February 13, 2012
Arrived - thank you, shovelmonkey!
Journal Entry 19
Vantaa, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, March 16, 2012
It took some time to read this book. Here and there it felt a bit sticky. But afterwards I appreciate it more. It was also interesting as the first novel about Malta and the first Maltese writer I ever read.
I very much agree with RonOren and others. There seems to be hidden subjects and it is a bit annoying to try to get to the point. On the other hand, Lorenz, a person full of contradictions and difficult to understand, kept me alert and haunted. The full role of Kos remains a mystery for me too. All in all, I think this book would deserve to be discussed in a readers’ group.
I was astonished to find out that the novel was published as late as 1980, and that makes me believe that the story was ambiguous on purpose.
Thank you Urla for sharing! The book is already travelling to Greece.
Journal Entry 20
by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Friday, March 16, 2012
Released 6 yrs ago (3/15/2012 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Journal Entry 21
Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Book arrived in Athens late last week, and I am already several chapters into it.
Thanks Urla for organizing the bookray, and ruzena for posting the book to me!
Journal Entry 22
Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The first section (the Twenties) is written in a detached and abbreviated manner. Lorenzo, the first person narrator and protagonist talks about his childhood and early youth. He refers to specific events that marked him and haunted him later in life, but the details surrounding these events, or how/why they were important to the narrator, are not clearly expressed. He is concerned for but also repulsed by his cousin Kosimo; yet we don't really understand why this is so, as Kos's peculiarities (is he mentally challenged in some way?) are not fully explained. He seeks to isolate himself from his mother and his step-father; again we are not given the details of what's wrong within the family dynamic.
In the following decade/section of the book, when Lorenzo has moved to attend school in Valletta the capital city, we are introduced to his friend Paul, for whom he has a conflicted attraction. Lorenzo admires the maturity, manliness and decisiveness of Paul, but is concerned and dismayed over Paul's ideological convictions. It's obvious that this push/pull dialectic echoes the complex relationship with Kos, yet Paul and Kos have nothing in common. There's not much revealed about Paul, his past, his present, what the relationship with Lorenzo entails, except for Lorenzo's obvious infatuation with Paul.
From this point onwards, as the storyline begins to include the events leading up to WWII, the reader begins to interpret Paul not as a character, but as a symbol - representing Italy and the rise of Mussolini's Fascism.
Malta is not independent; the British control the local government (annulling the constitution) and the (maritime) connection of the island to the outside.
Historically, it would make sense for Malta/Lorenz to view Italy/Paul as a vital ally/brother against the stepfather/Britain. Previously, Paul had been engaged to Ester, a young Jewish girl. Now, Paul has had a change of heart, breaks off the engagement, and moves closer to Italy. Lorenz is upset with Paul on two accounts: the betrayal of Ester (representing Malta's Semitic history) and the dangerous association with Italy/fascism. Yet Lorenz realises that Italy, even though a fascist power, is the only currently available alternative card against British domination. Lorenz must choose between two evils: the British or the Italians. Lorenz, now a young man, is driven to choose a side, and he decides on what he assumes is a morally acceptable position: to be true to friendship/fraternity/national unity, even if the friend has chosen the wrong path. He decides to stick with Paul, acting as a protector to his excesses, and doing what he can to keep Paul safe from the authorities, even if it means betraying Paul's comrades.
When Paul is imprisoned, Lorenz's political conflict shifts to the equation between the Countess Elena (representing the seductive/maternal/protective aspects of fascism) and the demands of Superintendent Cefai (the agent of British colonial/paternal control of the island). Lorenz/Malta allies himself with both; each side offers him something, either security or succor (in this time of food shortage). Autonomy/independence from either parent is impossible.
The Forties section takes up the half of the novel, and it relates the heavy bombing the tiny island suffered during the war, first from the Italians and then by the Germans. It's only here that I began to develop an interest in Lorenz as a person. I found Lorenz's responses to these events more authentic, he is more forthcoming about his feelings, and this helped to imbue him with a palpable dimensionality.
When the who/what/where/why of the interrogation becomes evident, the story takes on another level of complexity. I am a bit apprehensive about the message implied in this passage, and I am not sure if I'm interpreting accurately (ie, that the victims of fascism became themselves oppressors).
Journal Entry 23
bookray, By Post -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Released 6 yrs ago (4/17/2012 UTC) at bookray, By Post -- Controlled Releases
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
On its way by post to PJLBewdy. Enjoy!
Journal Entry 24
Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia on Monday, June 04, 2012
Returned from holiday to find this book waiting for me. Thanks for sharing. I will look forward to reading this book.
Journal Entry 25
Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
An interesting read. Lorenz and Paul are naive juveniles in the much more sophisticated world of pre-war and wartime Valetta. Their promise is blighted by the whirlwind of happenings that sweeps them up. Glad I read it.
Journal Entry 26
Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, July 21, 2012
Released 6 yrs ago (7/23/2012 UTC) at Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Off to New Orleans as the next leg of the ray - enjoy!
Journal Entry 27
New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Saturday, August 04, 2012
Journal Entry 28
New Orleans, Louisiana USA on Sunday, September 09, 2012
This was a bit of a struggle in places. As a war memoir it's interesting. I don't know much about Malta and had never thought about it in terms of WWII. It's a fascinating dynamic with the island having such a long history and connections to both Italy and the UK, then everyone suddenly being forced to choose sides. But some of it I don't understand. What is the deal with Kos? The narrator makes such a big fuss over him in the beginning then he vanishes for so long. It was almost as if Ebejer kept remembering Kos was supposed to be important and just felt he had to throw him into the story occasionally. Very weird.