Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ffawd, Cywilydd a Chelwyddau

I've found a novel that I want to read in a language that I don't know.

It is called Ffawd, Cywilydd a Chelwyddau (Fate, shame and lies) by a Cardiff writer called Lloyd Owen.

The novel almost won the Daniel Owen Memorial Prize for best unpublished novel in the Welsh Language at the 2005 Eisteddfodd. The judges said it showed 'the boldest thinking and the closest to genius" of all the competition's entrants. But they didn't give it the prize because it pushed the boundaries of acceptable publishing.

It is described as cross between Catcher in the Rye and Trainspotting, a dark journey of the soul aimed at teenagers. There is a lot of swearing in it, but the swearing is in English because their isn't much swearing in the welsh language.

Lloyd Owen says that he is influenced by the Coen brothers films: (Fargo and Big Lebowski are two of my favourite films too).

Waterstones at Ludgate Circus have ordered the book for me. They say it will be in within 7 to 10 working days.

That gives me a week or so to learn the sounds of the letters in Welsh. Then I will read the first chapter at normal reading speed.

It will be a good test for the ideas on language learning I put forward yesterday. I hope that reading it, even without comprehension, will encourage rather than discourage me from learning the language. I hope that I will be able to tell you something about the chapter. Not much, but something.

I'll let you know how I get on! I am going to visit Bangor later this month for a consultancy assignment so it would be nice to have even a smidgeon of Welsh before I go.

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