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Interviews with Writers and Editors of Wales
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.
The Inescapable Entanglement of Tradition, Transcendence and Transgression
Erotic encounters have assumed a myriad of shapes and forms throughout the histories of the world and, at many stages of those histories, have been understood as possessing the potential to take us closer to some ultimate mode of being that the everyday, in all of its artless modesty, seems unable to do. In this volume, discussions of the erotic as an extraordinary part of the human condition, manifest in examples such as: exoticised voyages to faraway lands; the thrills of ancient combat; the escape and enchantment of eroticized performance; transgressive notions of the female jouissance; the delights of the sexual pursuits in the virtual domain; the political possibilities of stigmatized, queer pleasure; and perceptions of ‘fetishes’ which include relationships with inanimate beings. It would appear that what is required for these out-of-the-ordinary quests, are pointed actions – movements away from the monotony of life’s rhythms and outside the shelter of an otherwise predictable materiality. Contributors are Jon Braddy, John Dayton, Rita Dirks, John T. Grider, Billy Huff, Maciej Musiał, Naomi Stekelenburg, Dionne van Reenen and Tianyang Zhou.