New Theoretical Perspectives on Dylan Thomas

“A writer of words, and nothing else”?

Editor(s) Rhian Barfoot,Kieron Smith

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Writing Wales in English

  • February 2020 · 240 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786835208
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786835215
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786835222

About The Book

Dylan Thomas’s reputation precedes him. In keeping with his claim that he held ‘a beast, an angel, and a madman in him’, interpretations of his work have ranged from solemn adoration to exaggerated mythologising. His many voices continue to reverberate across culture and the arts: from poetry and letters, to popular music and Hollywood film. However, this wide and sometimes controversial renown has occasionally hindered serious analysis of his writing. Counterbalancing the often-misleading popular reputation, this book showcases eight new critical perspectives on Thomas’s work. It is the first to provide in one volume a critical overview of the multifaceted range of his output, from the poetry, prose and correspondence to his work for wartime propaganda filmmaking, his late play for voices Under Milk Wood, and his reputation in letters and wider society. The whole proves that Thomas was much more than, to use his own dubious self-description, 'a writer of words, and nothing else’.


‘A volume that boldly defamiliarises Thomas, revealing his innovative adventures in the word trade to be a search for forms of representation appropriate to the comic, horrific world he said he ate, drank, hated and loved.’
-Professor Damian Walford Davies, Cardiff University


Abbreviations Used
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: ‘[A] writer of words, and nothing else’, Kieron Smith and Rhian Barfoot
Shibboleth: For Dylan Thomas, Tomos Owen
The ‘Strange’ Wales of Dylan Thomas’s Short Stories, Tony Brown
‘Tawe pressed in upon him’: Dylan Thomas, Modernity and the Rural-Urban Divide, Andrew Webb
The comic voices of Dylan Thomas, M. Wynn Thomas
‘As long as he is all cucumber and hooves’: Dylan Thomas’s Comedy of the Unconscious, Rhian Barfoot
‘Thrown back on the cutting floor’: Dylan Thomas and film, John Goodby
‘If We Are Gong to Call Peots Bda [...]’: Kingsley Amis and Dylan Thomas’, James Keery
‘[E]ruptions, farts, dampsquibs [and] barrelorgans’: Administrating Dylan Thomas in his centenary year, Kieron Smith205

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Rhian Barfoot

Rhian Barfoot is a Research Fellow at CREW. Her current research interests include modernist and postmodernist poetics.

Read more

Author(s): Kieron Smith

Kieron Smith is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on the English-language literature and culture of Wales.

Read more