Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Literature Wales dumps Megalithomania video

 More news on the media portrayal of Rhosyfelin.

The breathless and reverential -- and really appalling -- video made at Rhosyfelin by Hugh Newman has been dumped by Literature Wales.  It had been embedded on the controversial Rhosyfelin page on the "Land of Legends" web site, and when I complained to Bronwen Price (who was responsible for the content of the site) she refused to move it.  Anyway, it has quietly been removed, so in this case common sense has prevailed......

The content of the web page is otherwise unchanged, since Dr Price considers it to be accurate.  Alternative truth prevails, in the somewhat complacent world of Literature Wales, which has declared itself to be "the national agency for literary tourism in Wales".

It appears that I am not the only one worried about Lit Wales and its delusions of grandeur.  In the recent Medwin Hughes Review of Welsh Government support for literature and publishing in Wales, Lit Wales is given a real going-over, and it's accused of  complacency, poor governance, elitism, and a rather dodgy habit of spending 75% of its income on its own staff salaries.  There is an extraordinary complaint about the fact that the Chair of Literature Wales, Prof Damian Walford Davies, apparently refused to meet the members of the Committee.

So it looks as if virtually all of its functions will now be handed to the Welsh Books Council.  Funding will be almost entirely withdrawn, and it is difficult to see how, in these circumstances, it can survive. A little bit of humility, and a willingness to accept advice from others, might have helped in the public perception stakes.......

The PDF of the full report can be accessed here:

Welsh Books Council recommended to take on Literature Wales' Book of the Year 

(Article in The Bookseller)

Literature Wales to have funding cut after damning report
(BBC report)


TonyH said...

"A little bit of humility, and a willingness to accept advice from others, might have helped in the public perception stakes"........hmmm, absolutely, I should think, though I no longer live in Wales.

But this statement may also apply to one or two self - proclaimed "Big Hitters" in the Wonderful and Wacky World of Stonehenge Academia?

BRIAN JOHN said...

You might say that, but I couldn't possibly comment.......

Dave Maynard said...

Do you as an author and publisher, have much to do with, or benefit from, the various bodies that are mentioned here? The rest of us would not ordinarily travel towards this information.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes Dave -- I deal with them both s an author and publisher. I put up this post because it illustrates how pervasive the "mythology of quarries" has become -- with Literature Wales and Visit Wales doing exactly what EH has been doing in England -- ie making a judgment that a fantastical story is much better for the tourist industry than something more circumspect and science-based. I've gone after the National Park about this as well -- and we saw that the PCNPA is still trying to push Rhosyfelin as a top-grade heritage site and still trying to put obstacles in the way of the RIGS designtion because it finds it "inconvenient". To hell with the truth .... and this is actually a very big issue.

TonyH said...

A "Megalithomania" video and Brian's phrase "the myth of quarries" remind me that what they allege they "found" at Rhosyfelin [after they'd shifted a lot of important environmental and geomorphological material with, amongst other things, their dumper truck or similar Big Boys'toy], was marketed as "unique" and "a smoking gun, no less. This met with quite a bit of disputation on this Blog, etc.

Those archaeologists had stumbled into a kind of Graceland, which then got me thinking about the ground - breaking, African - influenced Album of that name by poet/songwriter Paul Simon.

That contains the song with those mysterious lyrics and instruments, "The Myth of Fingerprints". Those who know the song may like to look at the website ', where there is quite a debate as to what Paul Simon really meant.