Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Malta Historical Society]. 6(1972)1(104-105)

INEZ SOLER: Mis-Smewwiet Feġġet Kewkba, Valletta, Guido Saliba, 1972, pp. vi, 42 pp. Printed at the Veritas Press, Malta.

Catholic Literature is often charged with the boring desire of edifying at all times, even at the cost of causing a rupture between thought and art. Nobody is expected to be as meek and mild as the authors who are guilty of writing such sugared and honeyed books, although that is what [p.105] such works seem to imply. Their aim is noble enough but the medium they use is feeble, maybe insincere. Inez Soler avoids all glossy and syrupy language. Her manner is direct and simple, guided by her taste of vivid imagery, and her balanced sense of poetical invention.

Her dialogue is as real a conversation as human beings hold among themselves. It opens out with vital ideas and glitters with sharp and bright words. Her characters are human: they are interested in their surroundings: they are inquisitive and enthusiastic.

In this drama St Dominic is shown as a saint and as man for in him runs the fire of many human passions and troubles. He was of medium stature, his health was delicate, his life was short but he enriched the world with the immortal Order of Preachers. Around him whirl a golden cycle of legend, stories, and actions natural and miraculous which impress man's imagination as did the light which dawned over Bethlehem twenty centuries ago. Despite his poverty the fullness of life blossomed in this humble man. I suppose Inez Soler was aware of this Dominican miracle when she wrote her drama.

By this slight glance of her play one can see how old stories are renewed. From an antiquated theme the author draws a fitting answer to those who judge catholic drama as lacking of the form of beauty that appeals to the modern stage.

F.D.M.