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.