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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