Hafan Llyfrau Basged Man Talu Fy Nghyfrif Cymorth Cynigion Arbennig Cysylltu   English  
Dod o Hyd i Siop Lyfrau
Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Pocket Guide Series, A: Literature of Wales, The
Dafydd Johnston
ISBN: 9780708312650 (0708312659)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Hydref 1999
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 154 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Adargraffu Ein Pris: £7.99   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Arweiniad cryno i lenyddiaeth Cymru yn y Gymraeg a'r Saesneg o'r chweched ganrif hyd heddiw. Ffotograffau du-a-gwyn. Cyhoeddwyd yr argraffiad cyntaf yn 1994.

A concise and informative guide to the Welsh and English-language literatures of Wales from the earliest surviving poetry of the sixth century to the present day. Black-and-white photographs. First published in 1994.
Dafydd Johnston’s guide to the literature of Wales encompasses both the Welsh and English languages, an increasingly popular approach which reflects the recent rapprochement of the two literary communities and the burgeoning concept of a Welsh civic nationality. The non-Welsh-speaking reader may be amazed at the longevity and tenacity of the Welsh-language tradition, and surprised that Welsh writing in English is a relatively recent development. Given that this compact little volume gives a studious summary of literature in both languages in less than 150 pages, it is not surprising that it does not also deal with the considerable body of Welsh writing in Latin.

The reader familiar with Welsh-language literature will be reminded that it is the oldest attested vernacular literature in Europe, that the Four Branches of the Mabinogi are arguably Wales’s greatest contribution to European literature, and that Dafydd ap Gwilym is probably the greatest Welsh poet of all. The non-Welsh speaker will be shepherded chronologically from the sixth century to the twentieth aided by contextual exposition, summaries of the highlights, excerpts translated into English, and occasional illustrations. A map of ‘the Old North’, such as that included in the companion guide on the Welsh language, would have been helpful for readers of the first chapter battling with Brythonic and Germanic tribes. For those wishing to explore the literature of Wales further, there is a select list of titles for suggested further reading.

The most fascinating chapters are those dealing with the twentieth century and the interweaving of the two linguistic communities and their respective literatures. Here we see writers who have been brought up as Welsh-speakers making a conscious decision to reject the moribund conservative chapel-going culture and write in English, and city-dwelling English-speakers rediscovering Welsh, and resolving to write more or less exclusively in their new-found love. There is in a certain sense a refusal to accept that the ancient and vibrant literature of a whole language can ever be considered on an equal footing with an upstart ‘local’ variation of English literature, not to mention the difficulty, to which Johnston alludes, of defining what exactly ‘Welsh writing in English’ means. But how can the serious student of the literature of any nation ignore that written in the language of the vast majority of its inhabitants? I for one have been inspired by this book to listen more attentively to the dragon’s other tongue.

Richard Crowe

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 ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
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