Ensafh publishes Maltese literature

Il-poeżija “Kullimkien ir-Ritratti Tagħha” ppubblikata bil-Frisjan, traduzzjoni ta’ Hein Jaap Hilarides, f’ħarġa speċjali fl-Olanda tar-rivista Ensafh dwar il-letteratura Maltija.


Special thanks to Janneke Spoelstra for this translation of the editorial of this special issue:



‘Life on any island – be it Malta, Sint Helena or Madeira – is streaming along in dignified expectation. This has its beauty and inconvenience. Anyway, everyone is busy all the time, everyone tempers his voice a bit and is a bit more attentive towards other people as on the mainland with the wide coat of its roads and its denying freedom. The ear shell is getting finer and is getting a new rounding.’

Osip Mandelstam wrote this in his Journey to Armenia. In the summer of 1930 he stayed on the island in Lake Sevan, in the highland on the other side of the Caucasus. An island in an inner sea is Malta as well, – be it in the biggest inner sea of all, on the hinge of Europe and Africa. A fortress for one, a life buoy for the other. And simply home for who is from there.

We are glad that we can present this Maltese theme edition of Ensafh. The little Malta is wayward in language, and the island republic has an interesting literary life. The poetry of Malta came to our attention for the first time through the potato bags with poems that travelled with the ‘Maltese’ to the North. Through this wonderful project, Poetic Potatoes, we have contacts with Rita Saliba, Leanne Ellul, Antoine Cassar and Adrian Grima. We owe them a lot with regard to composing this edition.

This edition has a lot of translations. Training for the ear shell. With an island story of Maarten Asscher as introduction the excursion along the works of present day Maltese poets and authors begins.

Goeie reis / il-vjaġġ it-tajjeb!

André R. Looijenga



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