Henry T. Edmondson
Edited by M.-T. Bindella and Geoffrey V. Davis
Imagination and the Creative Impulse in the New Literatures in English brings together the proceedings of a symposium organised by the editors at the University of Trento in 1990. At a time when the study of the post-colonial literatures is gaining more widespread recognition, scholars based mainly at universities in Italy and Germany were invited to address the manner in which writers are giving literary expression to the complexity of contemporary post-colonial and multicultural societies and to consider, from their differing perspectives on the new literatures, central questions of formal experimentation, linguistic innovation, social and political commitment, textual theory and cross-culturality. Focusing on such major writers such as Achebe, Soyinka and Walcott, as well as on lesser-known figures such as Jack Davis, Witi Ihimaera, Rohinton Mistry and Manohar Malgonkar, the contributors take up many themes characteristic of the new literatures: the challenge posed to traditional authority, the expression of national identity, the role of literature in the liberation struggle, modes of literary practice in multicultural societies; the relationship of the new literatures in English to that of the former metropolitan centre; and the complex intertextuality characterizing much of the literary production of post-colonial societies.
David T. Humphries
Interviews with Writers and Editors of Wales
David T. Lloyd
Complex and controversial issues have accompanied the development of English-language literature in Wales, generating a continuing debate over the nature of Welsh writing in English. The main issues include the claim of some Welsh-language writers to represent the only authentic literature of Wales, the question of whether or not an extended literary tradition in English has existed in Wales, the absence (until fairly recently) of a publishing apparatus for English-language writers, the rise of a Welsh nationalism committed to preserving the Welsh language, and the question of whether English-language literature in Wales can be distinguished from English literature proper. The primary impulse for the interviews with the thirteen writers and editors in Writing on the Edge was to explore these and other issues relating to the literary and cultural identity in Wales in the last decade. The book's title reflects these ongoing debates about the nature and direction of contemporary Welsh literature in English, which is often perceived as peripheral both to Welsh-speaking Wales and to the literary culture of England. As one of the contributors to the volume says This is what it is to be Welsh ... It's an edge. There's no moment of life in Wales that hasn't got that edge, unless you decide you're not Welsh.