What they said about Giovanni Bonello’s Histories of Malta Confessions and Transgressions – Volume Nine –
A book can say as much about his author as it does about is subject. The subject of Histories of Malta Vol.9 is expressed in its subtitle Confessions and Transgressions, but where are the characteristics of Bonello to be found? Late last year, Giovanni Bonello was awared the accolade “Man of the year” by a local publication. This was a rare opportunity for some to get to know him better, thank to a follow-up interviem – an opportunity to asses how mmuch of an author’s character and life-story can be found in his writing. Bonello stives to fight historical injustice and discrimination by bringing out of oblivion facts and personages generally ignored by other researchers. This is a recurring theme in the series which delves into what at times seem trivial and inconsequential topics. But the brilliant intuition behind this is that, white history might be enacted by the great, their performence might be quite dull without colourful background against which it is enacted. It is this background that Bonello brings to life.When Bonello declares that he did not want to study law, but wanted eigther to study art history or live the life of a “vague and blissful vagabond”, he reveals a definitely romantic streak – in this sense, an awarness of his deeper emotions. Without this romantic side, he would never have decoded the hidden meaning behind what he himself refers to as “margin doodle”. There can be ni doubt that much of the authors is reflected in his writing. Giovanni Bonello carries his 72 years very well. He declares that he entends to keep writing and now that his work at the European Court of Human Rights is concluded, it is hoped he will find more time to dedicate to his writings. Joe Azzopardi in Vigilio.
Some weeks ago the ninth volume of the series of Histories of Malta, whose author is Judge Giovanni Bonello, was launched.By means of this book he is introducing more superlative work to all those who have at heart the history of our nation and our fathers. recently I met Judge Giovanni Bonello and we spoke at length about his researches that are leading to the writing of other innovative work which are filling up the gaps that still exist in the history of our country. These are all stories that are deing told for the first time, illustrated by hundreds of pictures the larger part of which have never published before. Joe Mikallef in In-Nazzjon.
Giovanni Bonello’s latest volume, the nith in the splendid series of his Histories of Malta confirms, if any confirmation were need, that the author has not lost his Midas touch. At one touch of his hand, dusty pages from heavy, almost illegible tomes, are transmuted into sheets of glistening gold. What makes them so popular is the writer’s elegant wit and that quality, alas too rare within our islands, that refuses to take oneself seriously. all to often, authors put on academic growns, straighten their looks before they lecture down to us from the jeights of Olympus. This is definitely not the case with Judge Bonello who has a most healthy attitude that refuses to see oneself as a Messiah ready with a pat solution. If only all the autorities around were to e infected with even a slight dose, Malta would be a far, bar better place to live. Unfortunatly most of us seem to have been too well inoculated against this condition. Nowhere more than here can Bonello’s gently selt-mockery be enjoyed better! With a luminous law career stretching over 50 years both locally and particularly in the European Court of Human Rights, anybody would be expected to ponificate and allow us to pick up the crums of his knowledge. Not so Dr. Bonello who sees his law career as possibly to due ‘flawed genetic engineering’ and ‘loving parental arm twisting’. Still, his epic contribution to the defence of human rights in times of democratic twilight will long be cherished by all men of good will. One feels that Malta would have been much different, and definitely not better, had there not been Bonello’s contributions. Bonello does the work of an alchemist by transforming dull base metal into gold. His keen eye led him to see method in this madness and his truly fascinating in the Order of Malta’s Legacy to the Maltese Language. This is a paper to delight all those with even a faint interest in the historical developments about this language of ourr … a paper rich in anecdotal descriptions which makes for easy and intringuing reading. Louis J.Scerri for The Sunday Times of Malta.
Another very good read. Following a formula well tried in the previous volumes, this consist of a collection of fifteen self-contained chapters which can be read on their own and in any order. First Sunday.