Author Frans Sammut passes away

Author Frans Sammut, 66, passed away in the early hours of the morning at Mater Dei hospital. Sammut first gained recognition in the late 1960s when he co-founded the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju – the Literary Revival Movement. Later he served as Secretary of the Akkademja tal-Malti – the Maltese Language Academy.

He has published numerous works, among which the best-selling novels Il-Gagga(1971), Samuraj (1974), and Il-Holma Maltija (1994) about which literary critic Norbert Ellul-Vincenti said that "there is nothing of its magnitude in Maltese literature.

Sammut also published Paceville in 1991 which won the Government's Literary Medal. He published collections of short stories, Labirint (1967), Newbiet (1998) and Hrejjef Zminjietna (2000).

He was also a passionate about the Napoleonic period and his relations with Malta. One if his greatets non fiction workd include Ir-Rivoluzzjoni Franciza: il-Grajja u t-Tifsira(1989) and Bonaparti f'Malta (1997) which has been translated in French too.

He also edited Mikiel Anton Vassalli's Lexicon (2002). In 2006, Sammut's translation of Vassalli's Motti, Aforismi e Proverbii Maltesi (1828) was published as Ghajdun il-Ghaqal, Kliem il-Gherf u Qwiel Maltin.

In 2007 his Il-Gagga was published for the fourth time and his Il-Holma Maltija in translation represented Malta in the Esperanto collection of classic literary books by Mondial Books of New York.

Frans Sammut ended his career as School Headmaster, though from 1996 to 1998 he was Cultural Consultant to the Prime Minister of Malta. He was also a good friend to many and a mentor on history and languages. His friends and colleagues will always remember Frans laughing and surrounded by books, as in the picture taken at his Zebbug home.

On Sammut's death, journalist Charles Flores commented:"Frans Sammut was a key figure in the creation and running of the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju of the late 60s. Many of us who were with him will always cherish his overwhelming enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. But he was not just a Maltese Language militant, but also a great author whose social commitment was evident in his very first great book, "Il-Gagga", and was still so this late in his career. He leaves a massive literary heritage, but also a void in the hearts of many who knew him.

In a statement the Labour Party said that Malta lost its modern national author. Labour MP Owen Bonnici described Frans Sammut as having earned for hismelf this title because of his stature in Maltese literature.




 

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Comments (13)

Michael Saliba

- Thu 05-May-2011, 09:28

Very very sad news that my old friend Frans Sammut is dead. Living for so long in Italy I had lately lost touch with him, but I had the intention to contact him the next time I came to Malta. Now this is no longer possible, I'm really very sorry.
For Frans was not only a man of great talent. He a was a fundamentally sincere man, always true to himself and to others. A very rare quality indeed.
For this reason nobody who has known him or who has read his books will ever forget him.

charles vassallo

- Thu 05-May-2011, 09:06

Malta tilfet personalita inteligenti li tul hajjitha ghenet
bis-shih il-letteratura Maltija.
Barra minhekk, jien tlift ukoll habib ta' veru.
l-ghomor lill-familja tieghu .

Manuel Micallef

- Wed 04-May-2011, 21:29

Grazzi Frans ta' kollox. Il-kondoljanzi lil familja. Zebbugi u kburi bhal Frans. Minn ghandek jiena taghlimt hafna - grazzi.

ALBERT LEONE GANADO

- Wed 04-May-2011, 20:05

A true intellectual never afraid to express his progressive ideas.
I was privleledged to get to know Frans Sammut and share and o enjoy his cultured company about ten years ago when we shared the same ideals and beliefs on a national campaign. One could always sense the cultured person in him always eager to search and imbibe knowledge. My deep condolences to his family on this sad loss when he still had so much to give to the intellectual community.

Carmel Grech

- Wed 04-May-2011, 18:15

May his soul rests in peace!

John Zammit

- Wed 04-May-2011, 17:15

I send my condolances to his family. Frans I miss you and I will not forget the times we passed together in the days of the Freedom Press in the 1960's and after at the Union Press with your articles published in the Labour Press and General Worker's Union Press.

Manuel Rizzo

- Wed 04-May-2011, 14:13

The passing away of Frans was a terrible shock for me. I have lost my second father. Personally I have share long glorious hours of instructive and sensible discussions. He was the father of contempory Maltese literature and furthermore a gentleman. May God and his humanitarian beliefs give him eternal rest.

Gregory Caruana

- Wed 04-May-2011, 12:57

ahbar li Frans Sammut halliena hasditni ,awtur ta setimenti nobbli ,li hadem kemm felah biex jgholli lil Mikiel Anton vassalli fill-post li jixraqlu u bla dubju wiehed mill-aqwa awturi moderni ta zminijietna .irnexxieli naghmel habib mieghu permess tal-habib tieghi Freddie Micallef ,kien propju mid-dar ta Freddie li kellimtu l-ewwel darba is-sena l-ohra meta kont Malta minn l-australia ,ghax ma stajtc insib nixtri il-kapolavur tieghu "il-Holma Maltija. Izda Frddie xtrajuli bhala rigal .

Pia Micallef

- Wed 04-May-2011, 12:45

Mr. Sammut was an avid contributer to Maltastar.com- and one of the most intelligent people I've ever spoken to. His contribution to Maltese Literature and his dedication to fair and democratic politics is what will keep him alive in people's memories for years to come.

Marthese Grech

- Wed 04-May-2011, 11:03

ix xukjati fuq lahbar, jidispjacini hafna, nibat il konduljanzi lil Mark, Jean pierre u il mara tieghu Cathrine
Tliefna Zebbugi ta veru, ragel li kien isamrek meta tisiemaw jitkellem fuq il letteratura Maltija.
Iz zebbugin Kburin Bik

saskia

- Wed 04-May-2011, 10:20

a man who did not go gently into that good night..he was feisty,spirited and lived every moment with passion..the loss of sucha personality in these days of personality less people is immense

Charles Flores

- Wed 04-May-2011, 09:52

Frans Sammut was a key figure in the creation and running of the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju of the late 60s. Many of us who were with him will always cherish his overwhelming enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. But he was not just a Maltese Language militant, but also a great author whose social commitment was evident in his very first great book, "Il-Gaġġa", and was still so this late in his career. He leaves a massive literary heritage, but also a void in the hearts of many who knew him.

RJ

- Wed 04-May-2011, 09:38

Really saddened by the news. His book 'Il Gagga' will always be remebered as a classic in Maltese literature.