Issue 98,

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New Welsh Review 98, Winter 2012


Baron Samedi and Other Vital Illusions (Gwen Davies)

NWR’S Winter edition is led by surfer Tom Anderson's essay on Havana, ‘Castro’s Capitol’. Here he gets to grips with Cuba’s Byzantine currencies of peso and CUC: Two worlds exist alongside each other without interacting. It’s an air-lock separating you from the real Cuban psyche. Parallel, unrelated, if it’s one thing, it can’t be the other: Schroedinger’s Cat for communist economists. Stevie Davies, author of the novel Into Suez, examines our historical attitudes to the Middle East in a review-essay, ‘Lying Turks and the Pure Tongue of Eden’, which surveys recent books on Wales, Islam and Jewish culture. Among these she encounters the racism of ‘red caps and dirty faces’ and Protestant Zionist ‘conversionist antics’. She summarises, ‘Wales took its moody paradoxes to the ends of the earth: the paradox of being at once imperial and colonised.’

Neglected writer Oliver Onions (1873-1961), author of The Dead of Night, The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions, is offered a new readership (and future entry into the Library of Wales?) by Jim Perrin in ‘The Eerie Fiction of Oliver Onions’, half of a double feature. Here, Perrin claims,

[The creativity of] Yorkshire-born, electively Welsh, Onions, a long-time resident of Aberdyfi, is rooted in a… fictional tradition from which he learned the invaluable arts of suggestion, psychological acuity, nuanced characterisation. With him, we move on from the simplistic ghouls and spectral assertions of 1890s genre fiction – a fault… in which [Henry] James and [Arthur] Machen are both culpable – to something entirely more sophisticated.



Pulp Kitchen Michael Nath on Atheism and Character
Castro's Capitol Tom Anderson in Havana
Storms Jay Griffiths braves the elements at Dafydd ap Gwilym's Grave
Along the Unthank Road Jim Perrin on The Eerie Fiction of Oliver Onions
Lying Turks and the Pure Tongue of Eden Stevie Davies on Wales and the Middle East
Rich Text Alan Harris on melding performance and artform


According to Adrian by Niall Griffiths
A fiction response to Oliver Onions The Dead of Night read more...
by Zillah Bethell
Novel extract by Maria Styles


If I Answer, We’ll Crash
Jen Colemnan
For the tiny insect casting a long shadow across the page of a Burton Watson translation of Ch’i-Chi
Christien Gholson
Tagged Turnstone, St Ives
John Kinsella
Like a Breaking of Waters
John White
The Death of Doc Emmett Brown in Back to the Future
Jonathan Edwards
Letters from Zen
DE Oprava
The Welsh Dragon
Amy McCauley
Walking in Moonlight
Ruth Bidgood


Creative Photography and Wales: The Legacy of W Eugene Smith in the Valleys by Paul Cabuts
Amanda Hopkinson

Love Letter from a Stray Moon by Jay Griffiths
Amanda Hopkinson

Tea at the Midland, and Other Stories by David Constantine
Jem Poster

Ruth Bidgood by Matthew Jarvis, and Above the Forests by Ruth Bidgood
John Barnie

Feet in Chains by Kate Roberts, trans. Katie Gramich
Gee Williams

Everything Begins Elsewhere by Tishani Doshi
Elsa Hammond

See How They Run by Lloyd Jones
Cathryn A Charnell-White

Witch by Damian Walford Davies
Jane Yeh

Singing a Man to Death by Matthew Francis
Mary-Ann Constantine

Burying the Wren by Deryn Rees-Jones
Oliver Dixon

Libra by Kevin Mills
Rob A Mackenzie

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