The Welsh Chekhov

Dalrymple’s latest City Journal essay offers praise for Welsh writer Rhys Davies, who he calls unjustly forgotten. Returning to a theme he has previously addressed, he lauds Davies’s defense of eccentricity, calling it “nonideological tolerance”.
…over a writing career that spanned half a century, during which his subject matter included thwarted passion and murder, he never displayed disdain for those about whom he wrote. His compassion was clear-eyed and unsentimental. Mankind’s feet of clay never made him cynical.
From an early age, Davies knew that he was different: his leanings in the macho world of Tonypandy were literary and aesthetic, and he was homosexual. Without going in for the excesses of political correctness, I think it reasonable to say that the Tonypandy of Davies’s youth was no place to be homosexual. Davies’s marginality, as to both class and sex, doubtless gave him special insight into the lies and evasions of mankind, having had to practice many himself.

16 thoughts on “The Welsh Chekhov

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