Sunday, November 2, 2008

Adolygiad newydd / a new review

Mi gafodd Storyteller newydd ei adolygu ar y gwefa Powell’s ddoe. Roedd o’n adolygiad arddercog, yn dda ei ysgrifennu ac yn mewnweledol. Mae yr adolygwr, Carrie Uffindell, yn codi y pwynt bod y taith Gwernin yn yr hanner cyntaf Storyteller yn debeg â’r taith Gerallt Gymro yn yr ddeuddefed ganrif. Dyma’n wir, ond dweud y gwir, roeddwn i wedi angofio am Gerallt: mae y taith Gwernin tebeg â’r taith bues i newydd gwneud cyn i fi ysgryfennu i’r cwedlau cyntaf Gwernin. Efallai mae yn glocwell y ffordd arferol mynd o gympas Gymru!

Y wythnos diwedda dw i wedi bod yn darllen am Gymro arall enwog – Dafydd ap Gwilym. Roedd Dafydd yn fardd Cymreig enwogaf y bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg – wedi Taliesin ac Aneirin, y bardd enwogaf yr hanes Gymru. Roedd o’n meistr dros ben o’r ffurf barddonol sy’n gael ei alw e’r cywydd. Nid fyddai e’n amhosibl ei gyfiathu, byddai e efaillai mor enwog â Chaucer, pwy buodd yn byw yn yr un canrif. Dw i wedi bod yn darllen am Dafydd oherwydd bydda i'n rhoi darleth amdano fo penwythnos nesaf – ond mae hon yn chwedl am ddiwrnod arall.
Storyteller got a new review on Powell’s website yesterday. It was an excellent review, well written and insightful. The reviewer, Carrie Uffindell, raises the point that Gwernin’s journey in the first half of Storyteller is similar to that of Gerald of Wales in the 12th century. This is true, but to tell the truth I had forgotten about Gerald: Gwernin’s journey is like the journey I had just made before writing the first of the Gwernin stories. Maybe clockwise is the normal way to go around Wales!

For the last week I have been reading about another famous Welshman – Dafydd ap Gwilym. Dafydd was the most famous Welsh poet of the 14th century – after Taliesin and Aneirin, the most famous poet in Welsh history. He was the greatest master of the form of poetry called the cywydd. If it weren’t impossible to translate him, he would possibly be as famous as Chaucer, who lived in the same century. I have been reading about Dafydd because I will be giving a talk about him next weekend – but that is a story for another day.



  1. Glad to see that you're bilingually writing; it's a treat for me to compare the two languages here. I try this in Irish twice weekly, as a mental workout, and it takes me about two hours to craft about six paragraphs! It humbles me.

    A quick question about Dafydd: granted the block of translation, what edition might you recommend if I lack Welsh? Rachel Bromwich's came out in Penguin in Britain a while back, but I have not been able to find it or the earlier edition in hardcover at an affordable price. Any suggestions on bilingual editions? Like your blog, I figure the ability to compare both versions might ease a bit of my appreciation of how Welsh works, if dimly echoed.

  2. hi Fionnchu - yes, the bilingual blogging is a good workout. It's interesting, isn't it, the effect one gets by writing in the Celtic lanuage and then translating?

    I'm not aware of another bilingual edition of Dafydd's work - I have the hardcover of Bromwich, which happily I bought some years ago. The best one could do otherwise would be to get Parry's Welsh edition and compare the various translations. I have just tonight got back from a weekend away, but will try to remember to suggest some other references tomorrow.