Landscapes of Revolution in Paris and Malta

Concetta Brincat | Landscapes of Revolution | Tfulija Mistura | Il-Ġrajja

This is the video of my talk in English on “Landscapes of Revolution in Paris and Malta, or In Search of a Lost Novelist,” which deals with Concetta Brincat’s first novel. My paper is longer but I couldn’t read all of it. The part I didn’t read deals (1) a bit more closely with Concetta’s text itself and how it relates to her possible sources and
(2) with the historical context of the development of the Gothic novel in Malta based on the work by Prof. Joseph M. Brincat in his quite monumental book on Maltese and Other Languages.
In the longer version I thank Maria Simiana for her excellent transcription of Concetta’s manuscript and Reno Fenech’s proof reading (to which Daniela Attard Bezzina also contributed).
This is very much a work in progress and I’m nowhere near the end of this project.

On Friday 7 May 2021 I will be talking about “Landscapes of Revolution in Paris and Malta, or In Search of a Lost Novelist” at an international symposium on “Malta and France – Shared Histories, New Visions” hosted by the Office of the Presidency of the Republic and organized in collaboration with the Embassy of France in Malta. The title of my talk imitates the kind of two-pronged titles typical of popular novels in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is the video of the session I spoke in.

This International Symposium on Malta and France: Shared Histories, New Visions will be broadcast on the Facebook page of the President of the Republic and on Zoom at…. Meeting ID: 967 7030 4050 | Passcode: 217921

This will be an excellent opportunity for me to listen to my Maltese and French colleagues talk about their research on the relations between Malta and France and to discuss with them my work on Concetta Brincat’s first novel set in Paris during the Revolution. I will be looking at Il-Familja de Valereux jew Louis Mitluf Ġewwa l-Bosk in the context of the year in which it was written, 1919, and the early years of the novel in Maltese, with special reference to Manwel Dimech’s Ivan u Prakovja published in 1905.

I would also like to discuss Concetta Brincat’s childhood in the city of Constantine in French colonial Algeria.

Hopefully this symposium will allow me to shed some light on the texts that the author might have used to write about the streets of Paris in the late 18th century, a city which, as far as I know, she never visited in person but that she must have walked through virtually through the books she read.

I would also like to know more about the perception of the French Revolution in Malta, not least in schools, in the early twentieth century in order to understand better Concetta Brincat’s stance in the novel.

Malta and France – Shared Histories, New Visions

Friday 7th May 2021, Office of the Presidency

9:00hrs: Opening

  • HE Dr George Vella, President of Malta
  • Hon. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs
  • HE Clément Beaune, Minister of State for European Affairs
  • HE Brigitte Curmi, Ambassador of the French Republic to Malta

9:25hrs – Introduction (Anne Brogini, historian, University of Côte d’Azur)

9:30hrs-11:30hrs – Through history (panel moderated by Joan Abela, University of Malta – UoM)

  • A Critical Look on the Archives: Nicolas Chibaëff, Director of the Archives, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Charles Farrugia, Director of National Maltese Archives
  • Bonaparte Years, the Great Misunderstanding: Alain Blondy, Historian
  • Relations between France and the Order of Malta in the 18th century. Presentation of the sources kept in the French National Archives and the Order’s Archives: Emmanuel Rousseau, archivist
  • Franco-Maltese Relationships during the British Colonization: Charles Xuereb
  • Discussion

11:30hrs-13:30hrs: Through arts, sciences and culture (panel moderated by Marilyn Mallia, French Literature Specialist, UoM)

  • Illuminated Parisian Books of Hours in Malta: Martina Caruana, art historian and heritage curator (UoM)
  • Legacy of the French Military Engineer: Claude Busuttil, architect (UoM)
  • Translating French Authors: Anthony Aquilina, Translator (UoM)
  • French and Maltese personalities in the 18th Century: Carmen Depasquale, French literature specialist (Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Discussion
    13:30hrs-14:30hrs: Break

14:30hrs-16:30hrs: Through individual trajectories (panel moderated by Liam Gauci, curator of the Malta Maritime Museum)

  • Maltese contemporary musicians in France: Karl Fiorini, Brian Schembri, Sandro Zerafa, (musicians and composers), discussion coordinated by Karsten Xuereb (research officer)
  • Journal of Théophile Gautier’s travel to Malta: Norbert Bugeja (Senior Lecturer, Comparative Literature, UoM)
  • Maltese Migration to France and North Africa: Geneviève Falgas, historian (University of Toulouse) and Carmen Depasquale, French literature specialist (Paris-Sorbonne)
  • Landscapes of Revolution in Paris and Malta, or the Search for a Lost Novelist: Adrian Grima, Maltese language specialist (UoM)
  • Discussion
    16:30hrs: Conclusion (His Excellency Carmelo Inguanez, Ambassador of Malta to France)

The Office of the President is launching a series of cultural symposia aimed at exploring and explaining Malta’s unique historical and cultural ties with important partners. The Presidency Culture Symposia Series will also endeavour to position culture as a diplomatic tool in the hands of the highest Office of the State, while fostering dialogue and cultural exchanges between peer experts and researchers in both countries and beyond.

President of Malta George Vella said: “The exchange of ideas, information, art, language, and other aspects of culture among nations and their peoples fosters mutual understanding. The arts, science, culture, and music have contributed both jointly and single-handedly at fostering common histories. Indeed, the legacy is indelible, albeit oftentimes occasionally shrouded in the mist of time. Most is known and published. Other facets, which these symposia hold promise to present and celebrate, are less known.”

The series will be opened with a symposium held simultaneously on a video conferencing service and on the President’s page on Facebook in collaboration with the embassy of the French Republic in Malta. Under the theme ‘Malta and France: Shared Histories, New Visions’, it will take place on Friday, 7th May 2021 at 9am.

Those interested in participating via the video conferencing service may register by sending an email at

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