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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Hav
Jan Morris
ISBN: 9780571229833 (0571229832)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Hydref 2006
Cyhoeddwr: Faber and Faber, Llundain
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 222x144 mm, 306 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Allan o Stoc - Archebir yn ôl y galw Ein Pris: £16.99 
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Nofel wedi'i seilio ar fath o ysgrifennu teithio ffug. Mae Jan Morris yn 'dyfeisio' dinas. Mae'r ddinas yn lle cyfareddol, ond tu ôl i'r ysblnader arwynebol mae ochr dywyll, gudd. Y mae ail rhan y nofel yn ymweld â'r ddinas ryw 20 mlynedd ar ôl yr ymweliad cyntaf - ac mae'r lle wedi cael ei drawsnewid gan rymoedd newydd.

A novel based on a kind of fictional travel writing in which Jan Morris invents a city. THe city is a magical place, but behind its arcane splecdours are darker implications. The second half of the book revisits the city some 20 years after the original visit - it is now transformed by new energies and new discoveries.
Swift and Samuel Butler both wrote allegories in which they created imaginary countries. In Hav we read of another location, this time a city-state, which also exists only in the mind of the author. This handsome volume incorporates two separate works of fiction, one of which first appeared in 1985, while the other appears here for the first time.

Jan Morris once told me that she does not wish to be categorised as a travel writer. Without in any way denigrating this popular genre, I think I know what she meant. In Hav she offers two highly original and unusual novels in which she convincingly describes the people, history, architecture and culture of the place. She even writes of some of the famous visitors who have spent time there, including Marco Polo, Freud, Lawrence of Arabia and Ernest Hemmingway. It is, to all intents and purposes, an ancient and civilised place but towards the end of ‘Last Letters from Hav’, the first book, an air of menace has begun to transform the city and enemy planes have been spotted in the skies.

The second work, ‘Hav of the Myrmidons’ finds a rebuilt state. It has a 2,000 foot totemic tower which can be seen as an icon for the twenty-first century. Old traditions have been blurred and made meaningless, the intellectual equivalent of the state’s physical deterioration. It has also become popular with philistine British tourists.

Yes, Jan Morris is more than a travel writer and it is good to have two such inspired novels from her. Now that she has broken her vow of a very few years ago not to write a further book, one wonders what we may expect from her next?

Dewi Roberts

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatad Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.

Gwybodaeth Bellach:
Hav
The magical, enigmatic city-state of Hav occupies a peninsula somewhere on the fringes of south-eastern Europe, absorbing disparate influences from every compass-point. Over the centuries, the fortunes of history have formed a city richly varied in architecture, its languages, its culture and customs. First visiting in 1985, the travel writer Jan Morris is by turns charmed and infuriated by its people and its ways, from the old-fashioned hotels and restaurants to the Byzantine bureaucracy, from the polite insincerities of the British representative to the traditions of a troglodytic tribe living in close and mysterious communion with the endangered Hav bears. She is still striving to understand the mysterious political currents and the subtext of the conflicting and incomplete narratives she hears, when warships appear and she is forced to leave hastily.
Invited back twenty years later, despite the banning of her book about Hav, she returns to find the city transformed and modernised under the new, more overtly controlling regime. Some of her old friends are gone, others have, perforce, reinvented themselves in line with current politics. Much of the old, untidy culture has been swept away or repackaged, the food industrialised, the heterogeneous cityscape lost to modern brutalist architecture. These changes are further underlined by the author's maps and line-drawings.
Morris describes as a novel this thought-provoking work of imagination based on realities observed during her long and distinguished writing career. In her familiar persona as an intelligent, mildly eccentric, Welsh visitor, she provides a timely commentary on rapid political and social change where even the uncertainties change. Neither utopia nor dystopia, and deliberately open-ended, a heady mixture of the delightful and the chilling, Hav is a compelling read in the tradition of Gulliver's Travels.
Cyfnewidfa Lên Cymru/Wales Literature Exchange
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