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Research on taboo in contemporary Maltese narrative

Leanne BajadaLeanne Bajada

Leanne Bajada recently graduated from the University of Malta with a distinction in Master of Arts in Maltese.

Her thesis, entitled Reġistru, Temi u Xbihat Tabù fin-Narrattiva Kontemporanja Maltija, explored and analysed taboo in Maltese narrative in the 21st century, particularly its relativity to time and place, formal and informal social institutions, the ephemeral nature of taboo, censorship and freedom of expression, explicit content and images and the various levels of provocation in literature.

Her research focused not only on the texts themselves but also on local and foreign censorship cases, such as the Realtà court case that sparked huge controversy in Malta.

Although her research concentrated on prose published during the past 10 years, her reference to different periods and movements in history proved that provocative images and obscene language did not start in the 21st century. On the contrary, art has always explored new territories that have shocked or scandalised with its innovative and deviant ways.

Transgressive characteristics did not start with the 1960s social, literary and music revolution, but were built on the recurrent artistic impulse of a literature which, irrespective of time, always had the urge to cross its boundaries.

Her research was funded by the Malta Government Scholarship Scheme.

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