The Two Literatures of Wales
Distributed for University of Wales Press
In Corresponding Cultures: The Two Literatures of Wales, M. Wynn Thomas examines the way in which the two literatures of Wales, and the two cultures from which they originate, have long coexisted and sometimes corresponded.
The making of cross-cultural connections and comparisons is likely to be given fresh impetus and urgency in the bicultural Wales promised by the establishment of the National Assembly. In this stimulating study, fresh perspectives are opened and new light is shed in a number of directions: Henry Vaughan and Dylan Thomas are reconsidered in the context of the bicultural society in which they lived, there is a substantial survey of literary translation from Welsh into English, a discussion of the relation of gender identity to national identity, an analysis of Welsh images of America and a blueprint of the kind of work which needs to be done in order to make the Welsh aware of their bicultural past and present.
This book will appeal to the general reader as well as to the specialist, and demonstrates, through a consideration of literary texts, that no understanding of Wales or its history can be complete unless the coexistence of two cultures is taken into account.
“It would be hard to conceive of anyone else as impeccably qualified as M. Wynn Thomas to interpret that babel of voices . . . His reading is as judicious as it is encyclopedic, and his judgment is secure . . . a giant step forward in the right direction.” –Glanmor Williams, Times Literary Supplement
“What is so refreshing about this book is that it makes connections between the two languages of Wales of which only a Welsh-speaker who is also educated in English could attempt. New perspectives are opened up, new discourses explored ad new light shed on writers who were once thought to have been the product of wholly monolingual societies. Into all this are woven strands from post-colonial, post-modernist and feminist criticism so that national identity is related to gender identity and Wales is opened up to the world. Wales has its major literary critic at last.” –Western Mail
“ . . . Professor Thomas’s book is a valuable introduction to the modern literatures of Wales. It is also full of revealing insights.” –Western Mail