literature

Llygad crwtyn, llygad dyn: David Jones yn Rhos

May 14, 2017 0 Comments
Llygad crwtyn, llygad dyn: David Jones yn Rhos

Dair wythnos yn ôl cerddais i heibio i gapel bychan S. Trillo yn Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, heb sylweddoli mai’r llecyn hwn oedd y cyflwyniad cyntaf i Gymru i’r bardd a’r artist David Jones. Daw’r wybodaeth hon mewn llyfr mawr newydd gan Thomas Dilworth sy’n dilyn bywyd a gwaith David Jones.  Cymro oedd ei dad, Jim Jones, argraffydd […]

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Domenico Scarlatti and Basil Bunting

April 9, 2017 2 Comments
Domenico Scarlatti and Basil Bunting

Under his full wig he looks like a successful but no-nonsense, even grumpy eighteenth century aristocrat or businessman.  It would be hard to guess, if you didn’t know, that this is Domenico Scarlatti, the composer of the most inventive, quirky and joyful Baroque music ever written. Born in Naples in the same year as Bach […]

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The socialist submariner

March 19, 2017 0 Comments
The socialist submariner

My friend J. asked me the other day whether as a child I’d read stories set in schools.  I said I couldn’t recall reading any, despite being a greedy reader – unless you counted Tom Brown’s schooldays, a present from some well-intentioned aunt, which I found unreadable and never finished.  The only explanation I could […]

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Philip Gross’s ‘Betweenland’

March 6, 2017 0 Comments
Philip Gross’s ‘Betweenland’

A while ago, I can’t now remember where, I saw a relief map of Britain as it might be a few centuries from now.  Most of England was under water, though Wales and Scotland were largely intact.  The queues at the borders, it occurred to me, will be lengthy. Many people prefer to turn their […]

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Are angels real?

February 5, 2017 1 Comment
Are angels real?

Walking through Mumbles a few weeks ago I glanced up at the noticeboard on the Christadelphian ecclesia (Mount Zion Hall) advertising the topic for the next meeting.  Normally the wording takes the form of ‘What does the Bible say about x?’, where ‘x’ is a current concern, like adultery or climate change or the colour purple.  On […]

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Magnus Maximus, man and memory

November 21, 2016 0 Comments
Magnus Maximus, man and memory

Doing some research recently on the Roman fort and settlement of Segontium I found myself face to face with a Roman emperor, Magnus Maximus.  His story is interesting but not unusual.  Later memory of him, especially in his guise as Macsen Wledig, is singular. His face stares out of coins he had minted to cement […]

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A curious traveller in north Wales

August 20, 2016 0 Comments
A curious traveller in north Wales

There’s an excellent collaborative research project in train at the moment, led by Bangor University, called European travellers to Wales.  Its workers are busy unearthing accounts by tourists – writers and artists – from the Continent who visited Europe between 1750 and 2010.  At the same time another project, Curious travellers: Thomas Pennant and the […]

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THP-W allan heb ei het: ‘O’r Pedwar Gwynt’

August 7, 2016 1 Comment
THP-W allan heb ei het: ‘O’r Pedwar Gwynt’

Yn y gwynt a’r glaw ar faes Eisteddfod y Fenni y dydd o’r blaen prynais i gopi o Rifyn 1 o’r cylchgrawn llenyddol newydd sbon O’r pedwar gwynt. Mae O’r pedwar gwynt wedi codi fel ffenics o lwch y cylchgrawn hynafol Taliesin, a fu farw yn y gwanwyn.  Roedd Taliesin yn gyhoeddiad mor wylaidd a […]

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The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

July 16, 2016 1 Comment
The debate about Mytilene: a short footnote on Brexit

In 428 BC, three years into the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies, the city of Mytilene on the Aegean island of Lesbos decides to secede from the Athenian empire. The oligarchic rulers of Mytilene fear that what independence they still have – unlike other states they had retained their navy […]

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‘A kestrel for a knave’: in memoriam Barry Hines

May 15, 2016 0 Comments
‘A kestrel for a knave’: in memoriam Barry Hines

In March the news came that Barry Hines had died. My mind flashed back to the time when I went with my mother to a cinema in Barnsley to see Kes, Ken Loach’s second feature film that was based on Hines’s short novel, A kestrel for a knave, published in 1968. It was late 1969 […]

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