Flitting from place to place like the fabula zollikoferi moth, the narratives in Llŷr Gwyn Lewis’s second, eagerly awaited prose volume shift backwards and forwards in time, as he explores the layered meanings and infinite possibilities of story and the complexities of personal and cultural identity in a changing world. From contemporary Buenos Aires and the Welsh-speaking community of Patagonia to Dublin during the Easter Rising, from the experiences of a Welsh woman missionary in Kyoto in 1868 to competing versions of the orally-transmitted tale of a Glamorganshire pirate, from an interrogation in Fascist Rome in 1942 to a present-day maritime archaeologist exploring a legendary, lost undersea kingdom, these compelling, ludic narratives operate at the permeable boundaries of truth and fiction, (hi)story and reality. Even the characters, emerging distinctly at first, may metamorphose before our eyes as an unexpected experience or event changes their – and our – expectations.
Like a will o’ the wisp the narrative voices lead us through unstable and yet parallel worlds, thematically united by constant challenging of our perceptions and assumptions. Dazzling exercices de style, disarming us with apparent authenticity, contribute to the exhilaration of this kaleidoscopic journey. This ground-breaking work confirms Llŷr Gwyn Lewis’s place as one of our leading, most original voices on the Welsh and European literary stage.
'The stories of Fabula are characterized by their curious mix of fiction and fact (or alleged fact), memory and myth. The atmosphere is both Welsh and international at the same time, with the stories located in places as diverse as Rome, Kyoto, Dublin and Cardigan Bay.'
Arwel Vittle, Barn
'When reading the magical stories in this collection, we follow the progress of the slippage between the virtual and the substance.'
"There is no space in a short review like this to address all the richness of Fabula's imaginative stories, but the overall characteristic of the volume is it’s special ingenuity, intelligence and mature mastery of fiction techniques, and of course the various Welsh registers. Like the other works of Llŷr Gwyn Lewis, there’s plenty to think about, unexpected adventures and endless entertainment."
Angharad Price, Gwales