The description of Valletta, and especially Strait Street (the Gut), in the final chapter of Thomas Pynchon celebrated book V (1963), is graphically depicted in such accurate detail which suggests that the elusive Thomas Pynchon must have physically been in the capital city in the mid-fifties and actually based his descriptions of Valletta on his own experience as a US marine. Strait Street bristles with its exuberant nightlife and subverts, in carnivalesque rhapsody, the dignified purpose of the city as projected by Grandmaster La Vallette. It is in Strait Street that a mysterious Grandmaster presides over the city .
Peter Vassallo is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University. He has been visiting Professor in some of the leading British and European Universities. He was President of the International Association of University Professors of English and was elected Fellow of the English Association. He has recently published a book on British Writers and the Experience of Italy.