Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Review of Rhys Davies

Kirsti Bohata reviews Rhys Davies: Writers of Wales, by Huw Edwin Osborne
Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009, 144pp, £16.99

"Within the constraints of the Writers of Wales series, Huw Osborne has done an admirable job of presenting Rhys Davies in a new and refreshing light. Positioning Davies as a man and writer existing on multiple borders, Osborne provides an outstanding introductory chapter which makes a liminal identity seem a fresh concept rather than the critical cliché it is in danger of becoming, for all its legitimacy. Citing physical, geographical and internal boundaries, Osborne references the ‘internal difference’ of M. Wynn Thomas, the liminal interstices of Bhabha, and makes excellent use of Bakhtin, who argues that the‘realm of culture has no internal territory: it is entirely distributed along the boundaries, boundaries pass everywhere, though its every aspect… Every cultural act lives essentially on the boundaries: … abstracted from boundaries it loses its soil, it becomes empty, arrogant, it degenerates and dies.’ This book makes light work of its theoretical paradigms, yet remains productively informed by them throughout"

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