Chetcuti, Guze (11.8.1914-)

Poet, novelist and playwright

Born at Cospicua, Chetcuti studied at St Albert's Central School, Valletta and the teachers' college at Valletta. In 1936 he entered government service as a primary teacher. Two years later he was appointed store officer with the Medical and Health Department. In 1940 he joined the editorial staff of the Information Office as translator. He also worked as radio announcer during the war years.

Chetcuti re-joined the Education Department and he taught Maltese at the Lyceum (1956-74), and lectured in Maltese at the Mater Admirabilis Training College, at the sixth-form and at the Upper Secondary School (1964-74). He also taught during the emergency teachers' maturity course and acted as an examiner of Maltese on various examining boards.

Chetcuti was actively involved in the Akkademja tal-Malti's affairs. A member since 1937, he was Secretary (1939-48), Vice-President (1990-92), President of its sub-committee for orthographic matters, and Honorary President (1998-). He is also a life member of the Ghaqda Poeti Maltin, council-member of the Malta Drama League, and co-founder of the Xirka ghat-Tixrid ta' l-Ilsien Malti (1939). He was awarded the Cittą di Valletta in 1986, and was appointed member of the National Order of Merit (MOM) in 1996.

Chetcuti's publications include novels - Id-Dawl tal-Hajja (1957), Imhabba u Mewt (1961), L-Isqaq (best novel of the year, 1962), It-Tnalja (1963), Nirien ta' Mhabba (1967), Qabel Telghet ix-Xemx (1987), Manwela (1993), and It-Tezor ta' Dun Natal (1996); poems - Poeziji (1945), Melita Invicta (1945), Poeziji Marjani (1953), Il-Hajja Nzul u Tlajja' (1964), Il-Lingwa ta' l-Imhabba (1993) - Oratorju Muzikali 'Marija Immakulata' (1994), Poeti Maltin (anthology, 1973); plays - Il-Kerrejja (1963), Imhuh Morda (1965), tele-serial Manwela (1979), 1919 (1987); short stories - Fra Martin u Novelli Ohra (1991), Il-Mandraggara u Stejjer Ohra (1980), L-Imhatra u 24 Novella Ohra (1991), It-Tabib Fonzin (1994); criticism and language - Dwar il-Poezija Maltija (1946), Studji Kritici: Giovanni Curmi, Ninu Cremona (1956), Traduzzjonijiet u Komponimenti (1959), Tahrig ghall-Ezamijiet tal-Malti (1973), Tghallem il-Malti f'Ghoxrin Lezzjoni (1982), Nirien ta' Mhabba: Noti ghall-Matrikola Avvanzata (1984), Stilistika Maltija u Movimenti Ohra (1985); and translations - Irmied (G. Curmi's Italian poems, 1965), Epistolarju Romantiku (G. Curmi, 1965), Il-Martri (V.M. Pellegrini, 1967), L-Ghadu tal-Poplu (H. Ibsen's play, 1987), Hrejjef ta' Gahan u Stejjer Ohra (1997) (Aldo Farini's Fiabe tradizioni e leggende maltesi)

L-Isqaq was translated into English by Maud Ruston as An Alley in Malta (1971), and into Arabic by Ibrahim Irnigami (1978). Ruston also translated It-Tnalja as The Snare (1978).

Source: Maltese Biographies of the Twentieth Century (1997), editors Michael J. Schiavone and Louis J. Scerri

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