literature

Indexing Gilbert White

November 10, 2018 0 Comments
Indexing Gilbert White

Selborne, Hampshire. Why we’ve never been there before I don’t know. The village isn’t far from Winchester, familiar enough territory. It’s a bit off the beaten track, though a busy B road passes through the village, channelling noise and people through the narrow main street that would have been quiet in the mid-eighteenth century, when […]

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In Bunhill Fields

November 3, 2018 3 Comments
In Bunhill Fields

This week we paid a visit to a place that’s been on my wish list for many years: Bunhill Fields. Some might think it a perverse pilgrimage, because Bunhill Fields isn’t not a rural glade or open park, but an old burial ground – the origin of ‘Bunhill’ is thought to be ‘bone hill’ – […]

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Mr Deas

October 6, 2018 3 Comments
Mr Deas

Another birthday, and I’m celebrating by throwing out yet more paper hoarded over the years. This time it includes a dark red ring-file containing notes and essays from my first-year university course in Classics. They’re written in handwriting it’s still quite easy to make out. (By contrast, my handwriting today, disabled by decades of keyboard […]

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Helen Dunmore’s Catullus

April 22, 2018 0 Comments
Helen Dunmore’s Catullus

When Helen Dunmore died at the age of 64 in June 2017 her readers mourned the loss of one of most sensitive and versatile writers of recent years.  Many of them will have known her for the novels, short stories and books for children.  The first work of hers I read was the first novel, […]

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Orwell’s toads

January 20, 2018 3 Comments
Orwell’s toads

On 12 April 1946 the magazine Tribune published a short piece by George Orwell entitled Some thoughts on the common toad.  It’s not perhaps his most original essay – its central theme is the coming of spring, and how ubiquitous it is, even in the centre of a large city like London – but it […]

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Philip Pullman and the revival of fascism

January 1, 2018 3 Comments
Philip Pullman and the revival of fascism

One of the sweetest memories of reading books to our daughters when they were young was narrating Philip Pullman’s ‘His dark materials trilogy’ to E. in the 1990s, not long after the books were published.  One of them, Northern lights, carries a message to E. from the author on its title page.  Sometimes I’d continue […]

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Brasil: dwy long, dau fardd

December 10, 2017 1 Comment
Brasil: dwy long, dau fardd

Un o’r cyfnodau allweddol ym mywyd a barddoniaeth T.H. Parry-Williams oedd ei fordaith, ar ei ben i hun, i dde America yn 1925.  Ar y pryd bu cryn ansicrwydd, nid y lleiaf ar ran y bardd ei hun, am y rheswm pam penderfynodd adael Cymru a’i deulu yn Rhyd-ddu – roedd ei dad mewn anhwylder […]

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‘Fabula’: Llŷr Gwyn Lewis a Borges

September 24, 2017 0 Comments
‘Fabula’: Llŷr Gwyn Lewis a Borges

Nôl ym mis Gorffennaf, yn siop lyfrau Palas Print yng Nghaernarfon, fe brynais i gasgliad newydd Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, Fabula.  Dim ond ddoe y dechreuais ei ddarllen.  Fel darllenydd confensiynol, penderfynais i gychwyn gyda’r darn cyntaf yn y gyfrol, ‘Hydref yw’r gwanwyn’.  Mae iddo is-deitl, ffug-academaidd, ‘fabula, historia ac argumentum yn yr Ariannin’, sy’n eich […]

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Reading and silence

August 20, 2017 1 Comment
Reading and silence

I’m working my way, slowly – that seems the best way – through Sara Maitland’s A book of silence, and I’ve reached the part where she discusses the paradoxical relationship between reading and silence.  On the one hand, reading the way we do it today is a silent communion between writer and reader.  Silent, on […]

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‘The Llanboidy molecatcher’ gan James Lewis Walters

July 22, 2017 0 Comments
‘The Llanboidy molecatcher’ gan James Lewis Walters

Sylwais i ar y llun am y tro cyntaf llynedd. Ar y pryd roeddwn i’n chwilio am bethau eraill yn Amgueddfa Sir Gâr, yn hen Balas yr Esgob yn Abergwili. Hongiai’r llun yn swil, mewn lle anamlwg y tu ôl i ddrws. Ei destun eithriadol ac arddull medrus a ddenodd fy llygad gyntaf. Arhosodd y llun […]

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