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The work of both Dylans can be by turn playful and deadly serious – a versatility that appears to be lacking in today’s artists, particularly in music. Who from today’s crop would be comparable in your opinion? The volume of material that the Internet makes available to us is so overwhelming it’s impossible to pay proper attention to more than a fraction of it. This has advantages, but also has its downside. We are already facing into a future where buying an album or a book of poems or stories, and having the time to concentrate on the works at length and with little distraction, is probably going to happen less and less. Consequently, artists who might be comparable to either Dylans may enjoy some long-term success in a niche market, or attract a level of worldwide acclaim that will fulfil Andy Warhol’s prediction. But I say this with no instinct for what the next invention will be or how it will impact on our engagement with art of all kinds. The upside of the Internet is that virtually everything written by both Dylans is now available to all at the click of a mouse. You seem to have a genuine fondness for Wales. Aside from your interest in Dylan Thomas, what is it that makes you visit time and time again? There’s a seriousness and a slight sombreness to Wales and the Welsh people I’ve met that appeals to me. I think of it as a form of the blues, or the duende of Spain that Federico Garcia Lorca was so enthralled by. Besides, I have an aversion to anything twee or sentimental or too frivolous. And yet Wales’ rich culture makes room for humour and the sort of human eccentricity that appealed to DT. There’s a musicality to the language that I particularly like in Welsh songs, and I’m convinced that although DT did not speak Welsh he was very much aware of its resonance and musicality. I can even hear Wales in his voice.

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Profile for The Lampeter Review

The Lampeter Review - Issue 10  

The Lampeter Review has developed out of the Creative Writing Centre based at Lampeter, Trinity St David, University of Wales. In this issue...

The Lampeter Review - Issue 10  

The Lampeter Review has developed out of the Creative Writing Centre based at Lampeter, Trinity St David, University of Wales. In this issue...

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