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Wales

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No. 32 Sept. 1958

Our contributors : Rhys Davies.

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The blankness of a page waiting for
notes about myself is much more dis-
maying than Page I of a projected
new book. Temptations for exhibi-
tionism! So much to conceal, evade,
touch-up! Stolid facts such as 'Born
1903 in Blaenclydach, Rhondda,
where I lived for eighteen years,
seem to be necessary; would it be
true to add 'I had a consuming in-
stinct to fly that coal-bound, chapel-
bound vale of tears and laughs as soon
as possible, and I achieved it' ? Only
partly true, because one never escapes
one's childhood and (especially) adol-
escence.
However, after running away to
London on nimble feet I wrote three
brief short stories one wet Sunday in
my lodgings and sent them to a
literary quarterly of those halcyon
(for magazines) days. They were
printed and a publisher then com-
missioned a novel after seeing the
first fifty pages. This crystallized my
rather vague ambitions, and I went
blithely to the South of France for
six months and enjoyed myself very
much: the period was the last lap of
the gaily abnormal twenties. I met
D H Lawrence in the South and
later went with him to Paris; he kept
on warning me of what the future
world was going to be like.
Of course, the real test-that is, of
endurance, discipline, gruelling work
and other dreary virtues-was to
Our contributors
NO I RHYS DAVIES
follow. This is not the place for me
to dwell on my bruises or fallings-
by-the-wayside, or on odd by-
products of work, such as George
Black of Moss Empires producing a
'musical' based on one of my stories
at the London Hippodrome just as
the first rockets began to drop, dis-
turbing the exotic ballet, the live dog,
the boy soprano, the French acrobats
and other things not in my original
Welsh short story.
But the years have had their
pleasures. I still much enjoy writing
short stories, my first love, and a new
collection, The Darling of her Heart,
was published in July.
Rhys Davies
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