Issue 101,

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New Welsh Review 101, Autumn 2013


Editorial:


Aurora Irrealis (Gwen Davies)

The subjunctive is a grammatical mood found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or action that has not yet occurred – the precise situations in which they are used vary from language to language. The subjunctive is an irrealis mood (one that does not refer directly to what is necessarily real)…


Wikipedia, 17 June 2013

Although the poetry in this grammar definition struck me, ‘an exploration of the subjunctive’ is a phrase unlikely to make a novel’s blurb. Yet in a way this sums up Gerbrand Bakker’s The Detour, translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. This latest winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is set in Eryri/Snowdonia, as Bakker’s multilingual cultural courtesy would have it. The latter is not quite impeccably sensitive, however, since perhaps too often are the locals rude weirdoes, and fears of ‘Immigrants. Taking over’ too readily passed from native to incomer. But in such a marvelous, mysterious, comic and nature-imbued novel I could even overlook a terminal case of AA-Gillitis. In generous mode, I put Bakker’s milder trollisms down to paranoia induced by the protagonist’s illness. Returning to the subjunctive and a sober mood, were I to make alternative title suggestions, they might include the grammatically yearning Ample Make this Bed, the first line of the novel’s epigraph and of Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘A Country Burial’, which is The Detour’s fulcrum. Or, to risk sounding really geeky, I could employ the jussive subjunctive mood and propose Let Me Be.

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Opinion

On the Wild Side Susan Richardson seeks nature in the city read more...
What Rhymes with Yonkers? Back Bay Blues with Lloyd Robson read more...
Rich Text Tishani Doshi gives a Celtic spin to the Indian surrogacy industry in her novella, Fountainville read more...


Essays

Four Days in September Memoir by Lloyd Jones in response to The Autobiography of a Supertramp, WH Davies read more...
A Turbulent Priest M Wynn Thomas on RS Thomas & the Church in Wales read more...
Rough Tumbles & Cracked Crowns Kirsti Bohata compares Amy Dillwyn's 1884 novel, Jill with Sarah Waters' Affinity read more...


Creative

Wallpaper Samples from The Rivalry of Flowers Shani Rhys James read more...
Pebbles Story by Jen Campbell read more...
Scavenger Story preview by Robert Minhinnick read more...
Flash in the Pen Competition Winners
Dressing by Roz Goddard read more...
Reminiscence by PJ Carnehan read more...
Any Reasonable Time by Ed Broom read more...
Snowscape Story by Jem Poster read more...


Poetry


The Boarding House
Jasmine Donahaye read more...
Is This What a Mother's Bones Become?
Claire Booker read more...
The Woman Who Walks Naked
Katrina Naomi read more...
Rufous Fantail
Mark Tredinnick read more...
Going Home Again read more...Paradise
Travis Mossotti

Cardiff International Poetry Competition Winners

The Goose in the Suitcase
Geoff Lajbrok read more...
My milkman comes from Sarajevo and has beautiful hands
Rosie Shepperd read more...
Hitting the Road with Frida Kahlo
Valerie Laws read more...


Reviews


Red Devon by Hillary Menos
Steven Lovatt read more...

Cosmic Latte by Rachel Trezise read more...
Penny Simpson read more...

The Rice Paper Diaries by Francesca Rhydderch
Suzy Ceulan Hughes read more...

David Jones in the Great War by Thomas Dilworth
Anne Price-Owen read more...

The Rivalry of Flowers by Shani Rhys James (with Edward Lucie-Smith, William Packer & Francesca Rhydderch)
Anne Price-Owen read more...

Intermission by Owen Martell
Peter Finch read more...

The Answer and Other Love Stories by Rebbecca Ray
Huw Lawrence read more...

The Scattering by Jaki McCarrick
Nigel Rodenhurst read more...

A Great Big Shining Star by Niall Griffiths
Gee Williams read more...

Call Mother a Lonely Field by Liam Carson
Amy McCauley read more...

RS Thomas, Uncollected Poems Tony Brown & Jason Walford Davies (eds)
Patrick Crotty read more...

RS Thomas: Poems to Elsi Damian Walford Davies (ed)
Tony Brown read more...





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