David Jones Week: Jones reads from The Anathemata

We’ll start with the obvious: Auden was right when he said that the above was the finest long poem of the 20th century. This is an incredible piece of work of sustained brilliance throughout and its once scary level of obscurity has been considerably reduced by the availability of reliable information to be found on the interweb.

Once again, these recordings are made available by the generosity of Nathaniel Drake Carlson and Dylan Lloyd.

For those who are not familiar with The Anathemata, it is a glorious exploration through time and place of Jones’ personal cultural enthusiasms. These include his Roman Catholic faith, his interest in myth, the nature of the Roman Empire and what I think of as Welshness.

There are many ‘depths’ to the work but an appreciation of these is not necessary to an appreciation of its stature and worth.

The first reading is from the second section which is entitled Middle-Sea and Lear-Sea:

These next two are from section VII, Mabinog’s Liturgy which manages to be both profound and beautiful:

The last of these is taken from eighth and final section, Sherethursdaye and Venus Day:

That’s the end of David Jones week, now I think I’ll have a Claudius App fortnight.

7 responses to “David Jones Week: Jones reads from The Anathemata

  1. I really thank you for this David Jones. I have translated several pages from “The Roman Quarry”. Maybe one day I will find an editor for them.

    Best wishes,
    Mario Domínguez Parra

    • Mario,

      Thank you- I enjoyed putting it together. Incidentally do you know of any of Jones’ work that has been translated?


      • John, as far as I know, no one has translated any of his books yet (I’d love to, by the way). I don’t think I am the first in translating some of his poems into Spanish, probably in literary journals either here in Spain or in Latin America some other translators may have translated some of his works. My translations are unpublished: “A, a, a, Domine Deus” and excerpts from “The Roman Quarry” (an edition I consider a treasure in itself): “The Wall”, “Caillech”, “The Dream of Private Clitus”, “The Book of Balaam’s Ass” and “The Grail Mass”.


  2. I meant this David Jones week.

  3. Hi there, excellent post! The topic of Jones and his ‘Welshness’ is receiving some excellent critical attention at the moment. You might be interested in the upcoming David Jones Centre Annual Conference, on ‘Wales, Modernism, and Women’s Writing. It’s on 29 May, in Y Drwm at the National Library of Wales. Tickets now available on the NLW website in ‘Events’. http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=2.

    • Jamie,

      Pleased that you like the post. Unfortunately the link in your message leads to an error page, perhaps you could provide an alternative?

  4. Apologies for the dead link. This one should take you right to the tickets page: http://drwm.llgc.org.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/show_event.html?uid=2124

    Alternatively, this is the post on the Aber Uni website (where the DJC is based): http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/english/conferences/#d.en.74681

    I’d be happy to email you the programme if you’d like more information.


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