Emyr Humphreys

Conversations and Reflections

Emyr Humphreys and M. Wynn Thomas

Emyr Humphreys

Emyr Humphreys and M. Wynn Thomas

Distributed for University of Wales Press

229 pages | 8 1/5 x 6 1/10 | © 2002
Paper $10.00 ISBN: 9780708317358 Published March 2004 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

Conversations and Reflections brings together the previously uncollected ‘occasional writings’ of Emyr Humphreys, the major novelist of twentieth-century Wales. It maps the historical and cultural background to the work of a writer who was described by R. S. Thomas as ‘the supreme interpreter of Welsh life in English’.

This selection of the most important essays published by Emyr Humphreys over a fifty-year period reveals the commanding range of his interests and confirms his stature as Wales’s leading man of letters. Dealing with themes ranging from sixth-century literature to the twentieth-century media, these essays address the cultural commitments from which Emyr Humphreys’ creative writing takes its bearings, as well as being a major author’s statements on ‘his’ Wales, past and present. The essays are interwoven with a parallel series of discussions, conducted with M. Wynn Thomas, which explore many of the key personal, political and cultural concerns that have recurred throughout Emyr Humphreys’ work. Conversations and Reflections provides a fascinating overview of the work of one of Wales’ most significant creative writers and cultural activists.

Editor’s Preface
Conversation 1
The Crucible of Myth
Taliesin’s Children
Arnold in Wonderland
Conversation 2
A Protestant View of the Modern Novel
Under the Yoke
Outline of a Necessary Figure
The Night of the Fire
Conversation 3
A Lost Leader?
Television and Us
Conversation 4
Bilingual Murmurs
The Third Difficulty
The Empty Space - Creating a Novel
Notes on the Novel
A Selected Bibliography
Review Quotes
Western Mail

“ . . . a fascinating work of one of Wales’s most significant creative writers and cultural activists.” –Western Mail


“R. S. Thomas memorably described Emyr Humphreys as "the supreme interpreter of Welsh life in English". From such a source, there can be no finer tribute. Both men, masters of English poetry and prose respectively, dedicated their creative lives to an idea of Wales that increasingly struggles to be sustained in what Welsh speakers call "the thin language". For anyone seriously interested in Wales who does not yet have proficiency in Welsh these authors are indispensable . . . We must be grateful, therefore, to editor Wynn Thomas and the University of Wales Press for gathering together for this volume a batch of Emyr Humphreys’s "occasional writings" and for presenting them with such originality, wrapped in a sequence of perceptive interviews between editor and author . . . an indispensable guide . . .” --gwales.com

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