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Title: In search of a personal and national identity : the English poems of Victor Fenech
Authors: Cassola, Arnold
Keywords: Fenech, Victor, 1935- -- Criticism and interpretation
Fenech, Victor, 1935- -- Themes and motives
Nationalism and literature
Poetry -- Explication
Issue Date: 1999-08
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Arts
Citation: Cassola, A. (1999). In search of a personal and national identity : the English poems of Victor Fenech. Humanitas: Journal of the Faculty of Arts, 1, 101-122.
Abstract: This article examines the English poems that the Maltese contemporary writer Victor Fenech (1935-) published during the 1970s. Fenech considers the Maltese language to be quite limited since it keeps the Maltese people "locked out of the mainstream of international literature". English thus becomes the international medium that has the power to liberate the author from the restrictions imposed upon him by the national Maltese language. This article highlights the fact that Fenech feels a deep sense of sorrow at the way human beings act. The writer therefore decides to distance himself in solitude from a valueless society. Solitude, however, does not necessarily coincide with contemplative life. So much so, that the poet even indulges in 'political'poetry. The key elements that surface in Fenech's poetry seem to be : lack of faith in human beings; lack of faith in politics; even of faith in God. However, the author does find some consolation in his ideal female figure and in the way of life in little centres : happiness, if this is ever found, lies far away from the hustle and bustle of the big metropolis. The author of this article reaches the conclusion that Fenech's poetry should not be seen exclusively as a transcription of the poet:S feelings: it is also, and more especially so, the faithful chronicle of the epic story of a people who are always "licking wounds sustained for others" and who continuously search for a proper fixed identity.
Appears in Collections:Humanitas : volume 1 : 1999
Humanitas : volume 1 : 1999
Scholarly Works - FacArtMal

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