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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
James Hanley: Modernism and the Working Class
John Fordham
ISBN: 9780708317556 (0708317553)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Tachwedd 2002
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 225x145 mm, 319 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Archebir yn l y galw Pris Llawn: £45.00 
Ein Pris: £19.99 
Rydych yn Arbed: £25.01 (55.6%)   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Astudiaeth o fywyd a gwaith yr awdur 'dosbarth gweithiol' a briododd wraig o ardal Corwen ac a dreuliodd rhan helaethaf ei fywyd yng Nghymru. Ceir trafodaeth ar ddatblygiad ei waith a'i berthynas â Chymru, y ddinas a'r môr. Yn cynnwys cronoleg, llyfryddiaeth a nodiadau manwl.

An analysis of the life and work of the 'working-class' author who married a girl from Corwen and lived in Wales for a large part of his life. The development of his work and his relationship with Wales, the city and the sea is discussed. A chronology and detaile d notes and bibliography are included.
Few readers in Wales are familiar with the work of James Hanley, and even fewer are aware that he lived in Wales for about thirty years. Although born into an Irish family in Liverpool in 1901, he settled near Corwen in 1931 and later, from 1940 to 1963, at Llanfechain in Montgomeryshire, where he was buried in 1985.

He once told me that he had always considered Wales his ‘true home’. While living in mid-Wales he came to know R.S. Thomas, who dedicated Song at the Year’s Turning to him because it was Hanley who had found a publisher for the book, and he lived for a while at Dinefwr castle, where Richard Rhys (Lord Dynevor) provided him and his wife with accommodation.

Several of Hanley’s twenty-four novels are set in Wales, notably The Welsh Sonata (1954), while Grey Children (1937) is an account of the author’s visit to the stricken valleys of south Wales. His five novels about the Fury family depict the working-class life of Liverpool with compelling vigour.

But Hanley was more famous for his stories about life at sea. They include Hollow Sea (1938), The Ocean (1941) and Sailor’s Song (1943) which were hailed by critics as the most authentic and disturbing of their kind since Conrad.

Hanley shot into public view in 1932 after the publication of his novel Boy, a searing tale of victimised adolescence on board ship; it was banned and the publisher prosecuted for publishing ‘an obscene libel’.

John Fordham’s book argues that although Hanley’s work was thought of during his lifetime as proletarian realism, it should be more properly considered as a sustained engagement with Modernism. He is especially good in his analysis of class and on how Hanley’s work reveals the conflicting aspects of Modernist culture.

This book should rescue Hanley’s reputation from the oblivion into which it has fallen since his death and will serve to show his stature as a writer who never swerved from his vision of the working class as fit material for novels of the highest seriousness.

Meic Stephens

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.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
James Hanley:
Modernism and the Working Class
John Fordham
pp xii315 216x138mm December 2002 hardback £25.00
ISBN 0-7083-1755-3
James Hanley (1901–85) was brought up in Liverpool and worked as a merchant seaman before becoming a professional writer. The first of his twenty-four novels, Drift, was published in 1930. In this wide-ranging study of Hanley’s life and writings, John Fordham argues that, although Hanley’s work is most commonly identified with ‘proletarian’ realism, it should instead be thought of as a sustained engagement with modernism.
Fordham discusses Hanley’s relationship to London and the institutional culture of high modernism, as well as his association with his adopted country, Wales, where he lived for more than thirty years and which figures so importantly in his imagination. Through a close analysis of Hanley’s writing and the social and cultural contexts of his work, Fordham demonstrates the importance of the category of class for understanding the literary history of modernism and shows how Hanley’s work reveals the conflicting and contradictory aspects of modernist culture.
James Hanley: Modernism and the Working Class is a ground-breaking analysis of this significant but neglected writer whose work opens the way to a new understanding of twentieth-century working-class writing.
John Fordham teaches at Northumbria University. He has published widely on James Hanley, Welsh writing in English, working-class writing, and the literary history of modernism.
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