Innocence of Ina
21 short stories, often based on truth, compromising ignorance and wisdom, unawareness and hair raising sentimental destinies in a background of old fashioned Malta.
If this is a work of fiction, then there is very little invention. All twenty-one stories are loosely based on fact from rakkonti of a previous, and sometimes two or even three previous generations. Of course names have been changed, but the periods are authentic. The stories ramble through from the 1870s to the late 1940s. Ideally they should be read in order, as some continue into a following chapter even though the characters have new names.
These accounts bear testimony to another set of standards. We must remember that what strikes us now as being hair-raisingly naïve, unfair and sometimes cruel, was a system that usually worked quite well; it certainly survived for countless generations. If our hackles are raised and we protest that it did not function successfully, we should ask ourselves whether the new structures and methods we have now have done a good job in replacing the old. Is what we have now causing less turmoil and heartbreak than that which existed before?
Innocence in a number of cases did actually triumph, and the innocent in hindsight would not have had it any other way, mostly thankful and respectful of parents’ love and wisdom. Innocence in the past was prized in all classes of society.
It was always the case that our grandfathers, grand or not, rich, poor, proud, vain or humble, all wanted to marry girls who were innocent and pure as snowflakes or new-born babes.
This little work is an observation and record of how times have changed. We can choose to be amused or we can choose to be alarmed. We can also choose to meditate on the strange experience of life as it manifests itself at different times in different places.
By: Nicholas De Piro
No of pages: 121