The Poetry of Dylan Thomas
Under the Spelling Wall
John Goodby is Professor of English at Swansea University. He is editing a special centenary edition of the Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas (Dent / New Directions, 2014)
Acknowledgements Preface Abbreviations Introduction: The critical fates of Dylan Thomas 1. ‘Eggs laid by tigers’: process and the politics of mannerist modernism 2. ‘Under the spelling wall’: language and style 3. ‘Libidinous betrayal’: body-mind, sex and gender 4. ‘My jack of Christ’: hybridity, the gothic-grotesque and surregionalism 5. ‘Near and fire neighbours’: war, apocalypse and elegy 6. ‘That country kind’: Cold War pastoral, carnival and the late style Conclusion: ‘The liquid choirs of his tribes’: Dylan Thomas as icon, influence and intertext Bibliography Index
Amy McCauley New Welsh Review
A great book ... Dylan Thomas for our generation, alive and entire.
The definitive modern reappraisal of Thomas’s poetry ... Goodby’s arguments are compelling and draw upon his experience both as a critic and as a practising (and prize-winning) poet. ...This is a welcome and overdue book which will do much to stimulate interest in Dylan Thomas as we approach the centenary of his birth.
Dylan Thomas Society of Great Britain
In many ways this is a brilliant book. Not only does it offer cogent advocacy of Thomas’s strength and interest as a poet, it also does so in terms of a many-aspected, adroit and illuminating deployment of the theoretical discourses which have emerged over the last forty years. These two endeavours are, as they should be, mutually reinforcing: the theories really do prove themselves to be illuminating about Thomas, and as a result we feel that Thomas can speak to our contemporary condition and understanding. The argument is passionate, and makes no pretence at any aim other than reasserting the greatness of Thomas’s work.
Queen’s University Belfast
Written with élan, dexterity and wit, and with an immersion in both critical theory and the history of twentieth century poetry, Under the Spelling Wall has a natural authority, as well as a decisive narrative drive. The range of works proposed for inclusion, and the way in which they are interrelated represents something magnificent in contemporary criticism, a lauding of complexity not in the abstract but in the minutiae of what was published, and how that occurred. The reading of ‘Altarwise by Owl-light’ is sublimely good and the work on ‘Fern Hill’ is the most impressive I have ever seen on this poem. It is a model of the single author studies that are formative to a (renewed) critical direction.
University of Cambridge
Size: 234 x 156 mm
Publication: October 17, 2014
Series: Liverpool English Texts and Studies 60