The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Writer Oliver Friggieri dies, aged 73

Saturday, 21 November 2020, 13:16 Last update: about 2 months ago

Writer Oliver Friggieri has died, aged 73, his family said.

Friggieri was born in Floriana in 1947 and studied at the Seminary and the University of Malta, where he graduated BA in Maltese, Italian and philosophy in 1968, MA in 1975 and Ph.D in 1978.

He was secretary of the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju and co-founder of the editorial board of the magazine for students, Saghtar. Together with Paul Mizzi he established the Klabb Kotba Maltin in 1971.


Friggieri taught Maltese and philosophy in secondary schools before being appointed assistant lecturer and later lecturer at the University. He was nominated associate professor and became head of the Department of Maltese in 1988 and full professor in 1990.

Friggieri was awarded various prizes and awards, both in Malta and in Italy.

In 2003, he was awarded the gold medal of the Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in recognition for his outstanding contribution to Maltese culture. He was also awardd the Premio Internazionale Trieste Poesia, granted to writers for the contribution to poetry.

He translated works from Latin, Italian and English, and was a regular contributor to Il-Mument and presenter of radio programmes.

He organised the first ever national congress on Maltese culture in 1989, wrote the first Oratorio in Maltese in 1985 as well as the first cantata in Maltese in 1989.

He edited and co-edited various anthologies and many of his works were translated into 16 foreign languages, including Engliah, Italian, French, Urdu, Greek, Macedonian and Romanian.

He has contributed many critical works dealing with literary theory, critical studies, stylistic analysis and literary biographies.

He has also published several poetry books, short stories and other literature, among which "Fil-Parlament ma jikbrux fjuri".

The government, paying tribute, said Friggieri was one of the best writers the country ever produced. He will be remembered as a Maltese patriot who loved and celebrated the Maltese identity.

The Labour Party and Nationalist Party also paid tribute to Friggieri, saying he was a great writer and poet.

Source: Dictionary of Maltese Biographies, Michael J. Schiavone 

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