Saturday, April 05, 2008


Rhys Whine (Saki)

Today I smell smoky. Last night I celebrated the coming of spring with a fire and wine on the beach. It was nice and dry and not too cold. My efforts to enjoy beach life since my return have been frustrated by strong winds and rain, so it was a relief to sit outside without being assailed by the elements!

The timetable for my forthcoming trip to Matosinhos can be found here. The theme of the conference is Writing and Travel. I am representing Wales. Not that Wales is aware of this fact!

Wales will always do its best to remain unaware of me. My kind of writing is too far outside the acceptable limits of Welsh 'literature'. The vast majority of Welsh writers continue to produce either works of social realism that bear no relation to the real world or sentimental self-indulgent Dylaneseque ramblings. Anything clever or abstract is somehow considered to be a betrayal of the 'working class'. I was once accused by a Welsh establishment figure of writing books that "make no allowance for uneducated people."

One other thing... in Italian.

I take great exception to the suggestion that your "writing books that 'make no allowance for uneducated people.'"

I have no undergraduate degree. At all. I have not even a full set of credits for two semesters in an undergraduate programme.

And yet, I was able to edit the about-to-be-released-any-day-now Less Lonely Planet. Indeed, I even added a few complexities to some stories. Not much, granted, but any increase in complexity would be seen as theoretically nigh-on impossible with your writing.

How dare this "Welsh establishment figure" (and that seems an oxymoron) suggest that you need to be making allowances for me! If you had, I would be bored by the stories and hate you.

And yet, here I am loving your work and the opportunity to wiggle my fingers around inside of it.

Pfah! Pfah!

May that half-dead malcontent hang his/her head in shame! Just for that I refuse to read any Dylan Thomas.

Well, except "A Child's Christmas in Wales", which is genius. BUT THAT'S THE ONLY THING I'LL READ!

So there.
And in fact I always make allowances for uneducated people -- shoeshine boys, tap dancers, grape tramplers... Uneducated people are unfortunate but necessary. Tally ho.
You can ear John Cale's version of "A Child's Christmas in Wales" instead... Great song, great album!
"Ear" John Cale's version?
You've turned into a cockney!
A cockey geezer with an H impeachment and a passion for eels, mate. "I'm the Hitcher, let me put ya in the picture" etc

PS: Did you get the ticket in the email? They're asking me to get your confirmation on that. See you soon!

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