Literary Festivals

It’s summer and here in Devon it is the time for Literary Festivals both large and small.

I spent the whole of Monday at beautiful Dartington Hall where the Ways With Words Festival has held for the last twenty years. The highlight of the day or rather highlights among so many stars were the talks by Jill Dawson and John Goodby. Jill Dawson talked about her latest book ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ and explained how she works from real life events into fiction. She talked about writing in the gaps between the known facts. I think all writers do that to a greater or lesser degree. After all facts don’t have feelings and it is in that unknown place the writer can work.

I have been trying to read Dylan Thomas’s poems from a collection I bought many years ago at the boathouse in Laugharne South Wales, where he worked. The collection says on the cover that it ‘contains most of the poems IMG-20140707-00053I have written, and all, up to the present year that I wish to preserve.’ The collection was published in 1952, a year before his death. I have been struggling with them  so I was pleased to listen to John Goodby talking about Thomas’s use of word with multiple meanings, and his use of puns. I wanted to know if the collection was chronological as I found it hard to equate  the poems I was reading (I’d got as far as Death has no Dominion) with ones like Fernhill and of course the humour in Under Milk Wood. Professor Goodby said I should wait until his annotated collection of Thomas’s poems is published in October which includes other poems and demonstrates how he developed over the years. It does make one query whether the author is the best judge of his own work? Is he too influenced by his own mood at the time?

 

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About scribblingadvocate

Born in Lancashire, Law degree from Sheffield University and MA in Creative Writing from Exeter. A barrister for twenty five years, who appeared in the Crown Courts in and around London until I retired and moved to live on Dartmoor. Married, no children but own an affable Springer Spaniel. I love reading and have written a novel called Crucial Evidence set in London Legal

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