literature

Writing as self-torture

January 3, 2020 0 Comments
Writing as self-torture

In Prague Franz Kafka, then 28 years old, wrote this paragraph in his diary on 12 October 1911: Yesterday at Max’s [Max Brod, K’s close friend] wrote in the Paris diary [K visited Paris in September 1911].  In the half-darkness of Rittergasse, in her autumn outfit, fat, warm R. whom we have known only in […]

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Gwirionedd

December 15, 2019 0 Comments
Gwirionedd

Ffordd ddigon cyffredin o ganmol llyfr yw dweud pethau fel ‘allwn i ddim ei roi i lawr tan y diwedd’, neu ‘darllenais i’r nofel hon mewn prynhawn, roedd hi mor afaelgar’.  Nid felly y darllenais i Gwirionedd, nofel gyntaf Elinor Wyn Reynolds.  Ar ôl cwpwl o dudalennau doedd dim dewis ‘da fi ond rhoi’r llyfr […]

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The hunt for Twrch Trwyth

October 18, 2019 0 Comments
The hunt for Twrch Trwyth

The other day I walked down to Mumbles to get my hair cut (a no. 8 shave all over, in case you’re interested).  In my normal barber’s there was one customer in the only chair, and four others waiting.   The cutting pace there is slow, so I moved down to another, newish shop I’d never […]

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Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

September 28, 2019 1 Comment
Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

Many think Werner Herzog our greatest living film-maker.  His major fiction films of the 1970s and 1980s will always find new viewers.  Aguirre, Wrath of God, a study in conspiracy, tyranny and madness, has a claim to be one of the most powerful ever made.  Once you’ve seen it the first time, with its dense […]

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After Offa: Mercian Hymns

September 20, 2019 0 Comments
After Offa: Mercian Hymns

We weren’t just following his Dyke on foot.  We were also tracking its maker, Offa, king of the Mercians. Or so it was said.  We’ve no contemporary evidence that Offa was the one responsible.  The first person to make the claim was Asser, a Welsh monk from St Davids (his original name may have been […]

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Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

August 30, 2019 0 Comments
Poets and rebels at Llyn Llech Owain

At the ‘six ways’ junction in Gorslas, at the head of the Gwendraeth Fawr, I’ve driven past the sign to Llyn Llech Owain hundreds of times without ever taking up its invitation – to follow the minor road up the hill, past the church and chapel, to the lake and the country park that surrounds […]

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Swansea automatic

July 21, 2019 0 Comments
Swansea automatic

I first came across the name Rhys Trimble last month while wandering down a narrow lane from the castle to the main street in Denbigh.  At the bottom of Lôn Brombil (Broomhill Lane) a poem by him, ‘Moliant i Ddinbych’, is painted on the wall of a building.  It begins ‘Boreon Dafydd; o ael bryn […]

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A foxy visitor from Ceredigion

June 9, 2019 1 Comment
A foxy visitor from Ceredigion

Receiving post through the letterbox doesn’t give the anticipatory thrill it once did.  Personal messages are rare.  They’re outnumbered by personalised but corporate ones.  Today came a special invitation to view a retirement home in another part of Swansea, and the offer of discreet equipment to improve my hearing.  Neither of them arrived in response […]

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The Monster is us: Mary Shelley on disability

June 2, 2019 0 Comments
The Monster is us: Mary Shelley on disability

The charity shops of Mumbles are an unending supply of serendipitous reading.  Often I pick up books in them that I should have read years, even decades ago.  (Another source of overlooked books, by the way, is the excellent podcast Backlisted.)  My latest find, from Tenovus, is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, in a Penguin […]

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‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

May 25, 2019 0 Comments
‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

Diolch o galon i Ymddiriedolaeth Kyffin Williams am y gwahoddiad i draddodi Darlith Flynyddol Kyffin Williams eleni.  Rydw i’n ymwybodol o’r darlithoedd rhagorol gan gyfres hir o siaradwyr eraill ar Kyffin.  Maen nhw wedi treulio blynyddoedd yn ymchwilio ac yn meddwl am gelf a bywyd Kyffin.  Ni allaf honni fy mod yn un o hoelion […]

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