Ninsabu assedjati minn propaganda politika u soċjali li tridna nkunu “pożittivi”. B’hekk, igħidulna, nagħtu kuraġġ liċ-ċittadini tagħna. Se jagħrfu l-isfidi quddiemhom u jaffaċċjawhom.
Forsi għandna bżonn nagħrfu wkoll madankollu l-qawwa tal-ħsieb negattiv. M’inix nifhem l-argument li awtomatikament b’mod għami, jkasbar dak li qed isir jew sar.
Bil-ħsieb negattiv, li lest jgħid le, nistgħu nqisu xinhu jsir ħażin u għaliex. U nipproponu alternattivi li jistgħu jkunu aħjar mill-arranġamenti tal-lum. Matul is-sekli, l-protagonisti tal-ħsieb negattiv makinux biss xjaten. Kienu wkoll qaddisin, bħal Thomas More. Biex joħloq l-Utopja li ħassel hu, tellaq ħarsa negattiva lejn id-dinja ta’ madwaru. Għaliha ried jipproponi alternattiva.
M’inix kompetenti biex nagħti ġudizzju fuq l-utopja ta’ More. Imma nemmen li l-ħsieb “negattiv” jixraqlu aktar stima.
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MACRON QUDDIEM L-AKROPOLI
Ġimgħa ilu, taħt l-Akropoli f’Ateni, deċennji wara li Andre Malraux kien għamel l-istess, il-President Franċiż Emmanuel Macron ta indirizz interessanti dwar kif jara hu l-futur tal-Ewropa, speċjalment iż-żona tal-ewro.
Issa li għandu poter kważi assolut f’pajjiżu, Macron irid joħroġ bi proposti konkreti għat-tmexxija futura tal-Ewropa. Qal li l-ġenerazzjonijiet il-ġodda, li tagħhom bir-raġun iqis ruħu wieħed mill-mexxejja, għandhom opportunità liema bħalha biex isaħħu l-binja Ewropea u għandhom jużawha b’effett. Imbagħad ġie biex jiddeskrivi l-miżuri li skont hu għandhom jittieħdu.
Forsi ma setax ikun mod ieħor. Ma tistax tgħidilhom ħobż mimgħud għax għadhom ma ġewx attwati. Imma l-proposti tiegħu ma kellhom xejn li stajt tgħidlu “ġdid”. Kienu repetizzjoni ta’ x’qalu l-ġenerazzjonijiet (Franċiżi) ta’ qabel Macron. Nies bħal Moscovici, l-kummissarju Franċiż fil-Kummissjoni Ewropea. Għalhekk id-diskors ta’ Macron, interessanti kemm kien interessanti, ma fetaħx prospetti “ġodda”.
U l-mistoqsija fondamentali baqgħet l-istess bħal qabel: x’se jgħidu l-Ġermaniżi?
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RUMANZI MILL-ITWAL
Kelli diskussjoni dwar ir-rumanzi twal, twal ħafna. M’għadhomx aktar moda, qaluli. In-nies imgħaġġla wisq. Tiha l-qosor. Se tiflih u tibqa’ għaddejja. Kemm hu minnu dan? Għal pajjiżna u lil hinn minnu?
Għax fit-televixin illum, rumanzi ma jispiċċaw qatt jibqgħu għaddejja bħala telenovelas, mill-Ġermanja sal-Kolombja. U r-rumanzi Ewropej tat-tul hekk żviluppaw, bħala rakkonti li jsegwu minn puntata għal puntata. Ħaġa li tgħodd għal Charles Dickens daqskemm tgħodd għal Eugene Sue. X’differenza kien hemm fit-tiswir tal-kitbiet tagħhom, minn dak li qed jiġri llum bit-telenovelas?
F’dal-qafas, hemm mela m’hemmx spazju għar-rumanzi li ma jispiċċaw “qatt”, kif kienu jinkitbu anke f’Malta fi żmien meta kienu jinbigħu faxxiklu faxxiklu b’rakkonti melodrammatiċi li ġieli jwasslu sa elf paġna. Għandi xi wħud minnhom!

English Version – Negative thinking

We are continuously surrounded by political and social messages which bid us to be “positive”. In this way, we’re told, society will be enabled to recognize and face arising challenges.

But perhaps we also need to understand that there is a lot of value in negative thinking. Which does not refer to an attitude that automatically and blindly seeks to belittle all that has been or is being done.

Given negative thinking that is prepared to say no, one can distinguish what is going wrong and why. One can thus think about alternative arrangements to those currently in force.

In the past, the protagonists of negative thinking were hardly devils. Some like Thomas More turned out to be saints. In creating the Utopia which was his vision, he considered negatively the world in which he lived. He wished to propose an alternative to it.

I am not competent to give a judgement about More’s utopia. However, I do believe we need to appreciate negative thinking much more than we actually do.

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Macron at the Acropolis

A week ago, beneath the Acropolis in Athens, following the example of Andre Malraux decades earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron gave an interesting speech about his vision for the future of Europe, especially vis à vis the eurozone.

Now that he has practically secured overriding power in his country, Macron needs to flesh out concrete proposals about Europe’s future direction. He claimed that the “new” generations – and he rightly sees himself as one of their leaders – have a golden opportunity to strengthen European structures and they should seize it to deliver results. He then went on the describe the measures that in his view, need to be adopted.

Probably it could not have been otherwise. Even if one cannot label his proposals hackneyed for they still have to be implemented, they certainly cannot be called “new”. Indeed they amount to a repetition of had already been said by representatives of (French) generations previous to Macron’s, people like Moscovici, the French member of the European Commission. So even if Macron’s speech was quite interesting,it did not open any “new” prospects.

And the fundamental question has not changed either: what will the Germans say?

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Long long novels

I was in a discussion about very long novels.

They’re no longer in fasion, I was told. People are in too much of a hurry. They look for brevity in order to hurry through a text and then move on.

How true is this, in Malta and beyond?

For in contemporary television programming, never ending novels in the form of telenovelas go on and on, across a wide range of countries, from Germany to Columbia. That was how the voluminous novels of Europe developed, as stories that would carry on from one magazine issue to another. It was a method of composition common to writers like Charles Dickens and Eugene Sue. Is the way by which they wrote so different from how today’s soaps are put together?

Given such a context, yes of course there exist margins for “never” ending novels to find a public, as in the past used to happen here too when they were printed and published episode by episode, featuring melodramatic plots that sometimes would stretch to a thousand pages. I have some of those volumes, actually.