Ġorġ Mallia

Author, cartoonist, and instructional technologist

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My first "official" collection of short stories, many of which had been previously published on literary pages in various newspapers and read on national radio.

Mill-Art ta' Qatt u Qatt (From Never Never Land) first appeared in leaflet format in the newspaper Il-Hajja, eight pages appearing every day for a number of weeks. A VERY poorly printed  limited edition of the collated leaflets (or flyers) was then produced with a cover pencilled by long-time friend (fellow comic collector, painter and now general secretary of an employers union) Joe "Spider" Farrugia. I inked over his pencils - a system beloved of the the American superhero comics we both collected avidly at that time.

"That time" was 1977. The billing on the back  was "Rumanzi
il-Hajja Nru. 36".

Some of the last short stories published here were of the stream-of-consciousness type that led to the phase of stories published in
Zaghzugh bla Isem (in fact, two of these were reprinted in Zaghzugh

The following is a translation of the introduction to Mill-Art ta' Qatt u Qatt:
From the author to the reader

I am not about to write some eulogy about my writings. It would be reality and not modesty on my part if I were to say that they don't deserve it.  But I did not want the reader to read what I've written these last three years without first showing him orher the roads s/he must go through to get at the end to the meaning of my writing.

There are in total twenty five short stories in this collection which I chose to call
Mill-Art ta' Qatt u Qatt. And that is a fitting name, because Peter Pan's "Never Never Land" that J. M. Barrie created, is specifically the land of dreams. It is there where you find all you fantasise about. There which is one step away from the reach of reality. The short stories vary from those very short ones to those reasonably long ones. The very short ones are "images", a few selected from a series of situations often symbolic, but sometimes also realistic, taken from life and showing every time an individual aspect of it. That life which is both extroverted as well as introverted, because quite often they analyse some feeling or other. They are short because in them there is no total development of a thought, but simply the presentation of a situation. The long short stories are more elaborate, but I do not feel that there is any reason why I should explain them here, because whoever reads those well should understand them with no difficulty.

I love stylistics. I become ecstatic over words and there were times when I spent half a day over a paragraph until I had the exact choice of words needed to convey an atmosphere or sensation. So I beg the reader not to look only at the "story" but also at how it is narrated. Here too I admit to the influences of modern writers like Joyce and Woolf, and of contemporary ones like Vonnegut and Bradbury... although certainly not just those. I really like science fiction and I think that is what contributed most to my writing.

As I have said somewhere else before, thematically I am mostly in the rut of the relation or lack of it, between reality and the imagined, so much so that I am constantly leaping from the enchanted world built around the fairy tale of my childhood, to breaking my neck against the solid concrete of the latest cross-way. That is to say, my world is full of beautiful princesses with golden tresses, with cars sporting two carbourettors that will tear you to bits if you dare cross their path, with the joyous song of the harp emanating from the bejeweled  sea born at the bottom of the river of life, and with the old man living at a corner who has nothing to eat tonight and will die of hunger.

That is all I can say. About any merits (if there are any) only someone else can speak. The reader knows what he or she likes. I can only give you what affects me, and hope that it affects you too.

Gorg Mallia

November, 1977


The contents page for Mill-Art ta' Qatt u Qatt:


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