‘The Virtues of Forgetfulness: re-contextualizing the archaeological remains of Maes Gwyddno’
I came across the following essay in the unpublished papers of the late Dr Mererid Rees BSc (Oxon) MSc MPhil DPhil FRS FMedSci etc., reader in the Department of Marine Archaeology at Aberystwyth University. I believe that her intention was to publish a version of the piece in the notes section of Gwymon/Seaweed, a marine archaeology journal that appears annually. Since the piece is unfinished that did not prove possible but I sought permission from Dr Rees’s estate to reproduce it here.
My attention had been drawn to a facsimile copy of the Black Book of Carmarthen, the 1888 edition by J. Gwenogvryn Evans, which is kept in the library of the Marine Archaeology Department here in Aberystwyth. Emeritus Professor Telos Fratelli had mentioned it to me one day in the common room, in the time before that was closed down at the end of the 1990s because the authorities feared that discussions among staff over coffee or a sherry could lead to further collaboration among them which could not, on account of their essentially ‘amateurish’ nature, be considered relevant or assessable within the current research assessment framework of British universities. Their concern was that such collaboration reduced the time devoted to marking essays and examinations. But Professor Fratelli expressed to me his view that from time to time it was worth digging, aimlessly and without a particular purpose, in the library, because that could in its turn lead to new insights in our field. For example, Professor Fratelli asked me, his moustache wet from the tea, did you ever notice the section of Old and Middle Welsh facsimiles and manuscripts, and did you ever wonder what the point was of keeping them in a Department of Marine Archaeology? And he went on to ask, his cheeks red and a note of mischief in his voice, whether I had by any chance noticed that there were some small differences, slips was the word he used if I recall correctly, between these and the original copies kept in the National Library on the hill. I replied that my time was too scarce, what with the marking and my essential duties as Admissions Tutor, Exams Officer, Unfair Practice Officer, Equality and Diversity Officer, Undergraduate Tutor, Postgraduate Tutor, Research Supervisor, Teaching and Learning Advisor, and Chief Cupbearer with a special responsibility for the Department’s tea, coffee and sherry supplies (we had only two members of staff, and Professor Fratelli, as an Emeritus Professor and on account of his acclaimed international work on the erosion of sandcastles in Central Polynesia, had been excused from administrative responsibilities), even to persevere with my own key research on the decorative structures of continental shelves and ravines between 200 and 500 metres below sea level, and so I by no means had the time to delve into Middle Welsh in a dusty library. The Professor smiled benignly, and said that I should, at the end of a day of lecturing and before going home for supper perhaps, have a quick look at some of the facsimiles, and to search particularly for the phrase ‘as usual after pride comes a long extinction.’
I forgot about this conversation for some weeks until, at the end of a particularly heavy week of teaching and administrative work, I remembered one night that I needed to search for a specific reference in a specialised work that was in our departmental library. I found the reference quite easily, but before leaving and shutting off the light, I was drawn to the high shelf in a back room of the library where the various facsimiles of medieval manuscripts were kept. I remembered Professor Fratelli’s words, and though I was quite weary, my curiosity got the better of me and I reached for the blue portable ladder. I reached up and got the facsimile of the Black Book and put it on the desk, then I set about finding that phrase, ‘as usual after pride comes a long extinction’. It was evident that the moths had been busy feeding on the book, and several of the pages had holes and were in fragments after their feasting. Luckily, I found the phrase on one of the whole, undamaged pages, and though all the lines in the manuscript ran into one another, I managed to make out that it was a line in a poem, a relatively short poem about the Drowning of Maes Gwyddno, and the associated story about Cantre’r Gwaelod. I and the Professor had tried a hundred times to find the remains of that cantref with no glimmer of success. So my heart started beating faster when I read these words but, disappointingly, there was nothing about the phrase, nor the script in which it was recorded, nor indeed anything about the page in its entirety which struck me as odd or unusual. I don’t know if it was the long week or the burden of work that was to blame, but as I sat there alone in the lamplight with the empty building all around me, I felt distinctly down in the dumps.
I closed the cover. But all of a sudden I was overcome by an urge to take the book back to my office, back to the gadgets and instruments that we use in our everyday work. I was convinced that the Professor would not have directed me towards the manuscript and that line if he hadn’t wanted me to follow some trail which could be beneficial to my studies. I placed the book on my desk and had to search again for the relevant phrase. Having found the page, I picked up the book and carried it to the laboratory, where I put the whole thing under the ultraviolet scanner.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There, in the purple light, I saw on the edge of the page, though not with perfect clarity, a piece of text in a hand different from that of the main scribe. This is what that piece of text said:
For this nacioun or kinrede waes a nacioun of folk wha ne han membraunce. Þere ne waes man ne womman amongist hem met membraunce of wher he is icomen from nor of which womman gaue burþ to hym. Ne membraunce hatten þey and ne tales nor gestes of wher the folk is comen from nor wo þey ygon are beforen nor did hir wiues nor sons nor doughtren han þis membraunce. Þis nacioun hatten nat knychtes nor tales of knychtes for any dede that ymaked waes tyd forgeten by hem. Þey ne hatten histoires of lond nore cherlen nore kyng wha haet many defeten and feaw batailen ywonnen. Because of þat þese weordes iwryten heer are, Gwrhyt Gwymmonieit sange hem, for he waes the only wight wha fleih the distruycioun of Kantre’r Gwaelod, the chief burg of what waes Maes Gwyddno ycleped and whic is ne more than seuente thowsand and fower cubytes from the mudh of the Rheidol strem and five fadomes onder the se.
When translated into modern language, the gist of the piece, as far as I understand it, is as follows: the people, or tribe, who lived in Cantre’r Gwaelod were unique because they had no memory, or at least that they did not hold memory and remembering in much esteem, placing very little importance on them, to such an extent that they did not take an interest in the history of their own family and their own origins. That had more far-reaching consequences, of course, for it meant that they did not possess legends or stories or heroes or heroism, because they did not remember anything. They even lacked, according to this author, any record or chronicle of their own history as a people. It seemed that the only story that had survived was the story of that final drowning, and that only because one person had survived the destruction, and had realized, as I understood it, that it was necessary to keep a record of the final annihilation of his people. What happened afterwards to that man, and why he did not record more of his people’s history, I don’t know, unless he had no memory at all of that history. But my heart was beating rapidly as I read on: at the end of the record, there were quite detailed measurements of the location of Cantre’r Gwaelod in relation to the land as it is today. Despite my weariness, I jumped up with excitement, and promised myself that I would kiss the genial Emeritus Professor when I saw him next. The fact that I completely forgot to do so in due course bears no relation to the new nature of forgetfulness, as I learned about it from that chronicle.
On the Saturday morning, therefore, without delay, I went out on board the Prydwen, our departmental boat, to investigate further and to try to discern the meaning of the glosses – that is, the marginal explanations – that I had discovered. Early in the morning I had fetched a detailed chart of Cardigan Bay and had noticed upon it a contour line on the area of sea some 70, 400 cubits’ distance from Aberystwyth. I set sail towards the most southerly point with the intention of searching and finding Maes Gwyddno, at long last.
On the journey I mulled over carefully what I’d read. If the record were taken as true, and if evidence of some kind were found to back it up, our understanding of the entire culture of Cantre’r Gwaelod and, indeed, medieval Wales, would be fundamentally altered. I thought about our belief that medieval Welsh people laid great store by things like folktales and storytelling, and on the oral transmission of those remembered tales over generations. I remembered too the whole system of cynghanedd which, according to some, had been devised and shaped in order to make it easier for people to remember what they had composed so that the poetry could be learned by heart and passed on. Musing on the subject, on the genealogy and the family trees, and on the memory of Urien and Maelgwn and all the tribes of the Old North that were gathered in the distant twilight of the Welsh people’s memory, the realization struck me that our relationship as Welsh people with memory, and with remembering, bordered on the obsessive. So why did it appear that one tribe or one community was completely different, and so contemptuous of memory that they did not know their own family histories?
When I reached the most southerly point of the arc of the area indicating 70,000 cubits from the mouth of the Rheidol river in Aberystwyth, I dropped anchor and set about preparing the hydroacoustic equipment which would enable me to search the ocean floor for the remains of Maes Gwyddno. I spent half an hour there alone before the first readings appeared on the screen. I soon realized that it would take some time to navigate the entire arc and search the whole area. Although I had not slept much the previous night, I was full of an energy and hope that I had not felt for many months.
I succeeded in covering a distance of some miles in the course of the day before being forced to head back to shore. By the time I had done that it was getting dark and before I had reached the beach night had fallen like a wave over the town. I could see the little green and red lights gleaming on the wooden legs of the pier. Though I hadn’t found anything that day, I remembered how good this was, being able to leave the paperwork and the desk and the lecture room behind to be out in the open air, immersed in field work, searching and finding and questioning. It was for this that I dropped into this world thirty years and more ago.
I listened to the low purring of the engine puttering and opening a dark trace in the blackness behind me and then the big open sea beyond. I could hear, softly at first and then more clearly as I approached the small waves breaking on the beach, and beyond them a few cars on the prom and voices overflowing out of the occasional pub and café on the seafront. Out here, despite the light crosswind that wound itself around my boat, it was as if every sound from the shore had been magnified as it was carried towards me on the breeze. Constitution Hill rose in utter darkness on the left of the town, but the lights of the hotels already shone brightly and other lights were beginning to come on, and I thought about the different lives that existed that night on the land, and about how some of them touched and interlaced with others while some of them never came together at all.
All these lights made me think of my own life and the lives that had touched mine before sailing away as if upon a dark sea. I was alarmed to realize that the only man in my life these days was poor old Professor Fratelli. Where on earth had the others gone, that Chemistry student I went about with, Adrian, in the early days of my doctorate before my hunger to finish and the urge to write got the better of me? Or Peter, the quiet lawyer, who grew tired of waiting in the cafes and pubs of the town for the light in my office to go out at the end of the day and who put out his own candle in due course. And Dafydd, the first one, who was from the same village as me. I sat there and felt a kind of emptiness because I’d let these men slip through my fingers, and yet if I were being honest with myself I did not feel any great regret or sadness either, as I sat there by myself on board the Prydwen, listening to the lapping of the water on the boat’s sides and watching the lights of Aberystwyth come on one by one.
Unfortunately, days went by before I was able to turn my attention to this marginal but very exciting research once more. There was no time to go out with Prydwen to continue the work. But when I got a half an hour to myself, I started to make it a habit to climb up Consti Hill at about 5.30 after it had grown dark, in order to try to recreate that experience of holding the whole of Aber in the palm of my hand. On one of these peregrinations I took a little booklet with me, once again borrowed from the departmental library, namely Legends and Folk Tales of Cardigan Bay by R. Gwynegon Davies (Trearddur, 1943) and in the faint light of my phone I came to realize that there were several different versions of the Cantre’r Gwaelod story.
According to one story in the book, the person responsible for the drowning of Maes Gwyddno was a priestess who, through neglect, allowed water from the fairies’ well to overflow. Another version of the story has the figure of Seithenyn as the king of a neighbouring community who comes to visit Cantre’r Gwaelod; he seduces the gatekeeper, Mererid, who goes to bed with him, leaving the great doors open and the town undefended. Then, the last version I read was the one I was most familiar with, namely that Gwyddno Garanhir, the king of Cantre’r Gwaelod who lived in Maes Gwyddno, had held a magnificent feast; that Maes Gwyddno and the whole community was defended by a series of sea-walls and flood gates, which someone had to be responsible for opening and closing according to the state of the tide, and that Seithenyn was the person responsible for them on the night of the feast. Seithenyn was irresponsible and got drunk in the feast, falling asleep and forgetting his duties, and the water flooded in while everyone slept after their revelry. The entire community and its inhabitants were drowned.
As I read this story I was struck by how detailed the descriptions of the floodgates and sea-embankments were. There must have been an extensive and complicated series of them, one after the other, and it must have taken considerable ingenuity and perseverance, firstly to build them, and then to defend them and keep them working. I suddenly felt a great admiration for those ancient engineers who had designed and built such a system, and of course, it was said that the land of Cantre’r Gwaelod was so fertile and fruitful that one acre of it was worth as much as four acres anywhere else, and so it was worth defending it so thoroughly.
Now I had a reasonable sense of the shape and size of what I was looking for. Laboriously in the wan light of the phone, telling myself off for doing something as stupid as to climb Consti at night to read a book, I made a hasty sketch of the defences as described in the work of the worthy Mr Davies. As I looked at the defences, they looked rather terrifying, and certainly they would have seemed so to anyone arriving at Cantre’r Gwaelod from the direction of the sea. For some reason, I thought that they resembled, in a symbolic sense, the way in which the mind sometimes constructs defences for itself to prevent memory, or to prevent the remembering of appalling or traumatic events from the past: to stop the flow of memories, embankments are built and gates are shut. Barrier after barrier is erected, one after the other, until if we began, inadvertently, to think about this or that or something that happened, the memory would shut its gates and would devise some ruse or play some trick to lead us along a different path. Only when we were drunk or had lost control of those gates, only then would it all come flooding back, and would drown us perhaps.
It took about three wasted trips, sacrificing my rare free weekends for it was now getting wintry, before I had some kind of success. I had managed to map quite a number of miles of the arc without finding anything of definite interest apart from a few traces of glaciation from the last Ice Age. On the fourth trip, however, the hydroacoustic equipment started to reveal unusual patterns on the sea bed, and I set to at once to map and draw the discoveries. I made a note too of the location – I was about seven miles south-west of Sarn Gynfelyn, but more than that I will not reveal in case others might go looking for what I myself discovered. The readings were astonishing, and I could not make head or tail of them at the time. It is only after a long period of thought that I’ve managed to start making sense of the patterns revealed to me by the latest hydroacoustic technology, a technology which has not been available to us until quite recently.
Basically, the remains of Maes Gwyddno (for I am quite convinced that that’s what they are) are much more complex than the descriptions of them found in the authoritative literature on the topic. The hydroacoustic readings revealed that these defences extend not only horizontally (and there are some six or seven layers of those) but also along the vertical axis. That is to say, the defences have layers at differing depths, ranging from the five fathoms described in the original account to four fathoms below that, buried further of course by alluvium but showing up quite clearly on the readings. The readings also show that the floodgates of the defences were much more ornate than one would expect in structures erected for practical purposes alone: it seems that they were decorated with latticework and carvings, which look like portraits or representations of waves and various sea creatures, though it is not possible to identify them properly, needless to say, because of the centuries that have gone past, despite the fact that the wood has petrified and been preserved amazingly well beneath the mud.
The bells that were placed on every floodgate are also intricately worked and ornate, something that would have meant no little effort and cost to the makers. If these are the original bells, they also have the honour of being the oldest bells found in western Europe by some hundreds of years. Doubtless more research and analysis will be needed in order to prove this.
Perhaps it will not be apparent to the lay reader that there is here considerable confusion and contradiction between the two main characteristics I succeeded in bringing to light. Firstly, the care taken in designing and decorating the floodgates indicates a function which goes beyond the simply practical: some kind of symbolic or artistic function. More significant than that, perhaps, the decorations are an indication that these floodgates were intended to be permanent: they were not temporary structures meant to last some months or years, but gates that were intended to be a lasting testament of the craftsmanship of their maker. That is inconsistent with what the original account states about the forgetful nature of the inhabitants of Cantre’r Gwaelod, and it is in contrast too with the structure of the defences as a whole. For the only way that all the embankments and walls and floodgates could have been built and positioned in such a way would have been by means of a relatively lengthy period of construction and reconstruction. That is to say, I suggest that Cantre’r Gwaelod was not drowned only once: it was drowned over and over again, at least five times within a few hundred years, with the defences being rebuilt each time, before it was drowned for the last time.
But perhaps the most astonishing discovery was that I noticed in the readings – after returning to shore – a dim shape buried in the sand. It was rectangular in shape, lying some metres closer to the shore than the large defences, and so one might surmise that this small four-sided shape had once been kept within the walls of some palace or court or other. It remains a mystery to me that no traces of that court remain, nor can any other dwelling houses or commercial buildings be seen: on the contrary, the only structures that remain, ironically perhaps, are the defences themselves. I could not let this mysterious shape be but had to return to disinter it. I almost shipwrecked Prydwen in the process but I eventually succeeded in making the digging machines on the departmental boat bring up the shape from the mud, and I discovered that it was a chest.
With such a discovery I was uncomfortable examining it alone, in case some thought that I was faking the evidence. So as soon as I returned to land I went straight away to Professor Fratelli’s office on the upper floor of the old department, but he was nowhere to be seen. I realized that I hadn’t seen him at all since I started on this new venture. By this time I had begun to neglect my administrative duties appallingly, and the standard of my lecturing, too, according to the endless questionnaires distributed to students, had deteriorated. But I could wait no longer and so I transported the chest on a trolley to my own office, and there I used one of the boathooks to open it, with some difficulty.
There was nothing in it except a pile of thick books, bound in heavy dark covers which had been made, as I later came to realize, from seaweed. That at least explained the difficulty I’d had in lifting the chest off the boat. I picked them up carefully, put them on my desk and flicked through each of them, and was astonished to find that nothing at all was written on the parchment within, apart from one line at the beginning of each volume:
Heer es the histoire of kantre’r gwaelod
And after that, nothing. Not a single record of a king, a prince, a battle, not a birth or a death. Nothing at all. I thought at first that the water must somehow have seeped into the chest, and had leached all the ink from the pages. But then why had it not erased the opening line in each volume too? There was no evidence at all of water damage on the volumes otherwise. Soon the most rational realization dawned on me. I had never been so excited before at finding a lack of evidence: because this lack was in itself evidence, lending support to that original account in the margins of one facsimile copy of the
Black Book of Carmarthen, that the people of Cantre’r Gwaelod were a people without memory. These were their chronicles, their empty history books.
How, therefore, had small fragments of the history of the place been transmitted to us today? And why was it the failures, the careless and lax people, the villains you might even say, like Mererid and Seithenyn, who had been remembered? Why not the great battles and achievements of King Gwyddno Garanhir himself? This is my hypothesis: the people of Cantre’r Gwaelod were a people without memory. Alright. They did not know their own history as a people nor the origins and history of their own families. They placed no store by remembering nor chronicling nor tracing genealogies of any kind. Why? Because as a people they had been drowned, over and over. They used to be like the rest of the Welsh, passionate about lineage and legends and stories. But they soon learned, after their land had been drowned and overwhelmed, that it was better, a hundred times better, in the face of this constant and unending threat of annihilation, simply to forget. They learned the virtues of forgetfulness. It was so painful to recall the drowning of friends and acquaintances and relatives up to the third cousin twice removed, those who were washed away by wave after wave of floodwater, that they realized that it was easier to let them go, to forget them, easier to build the defences in their minds to prevent them from remembering these people. Legends and stories only rekindled old memories and old suffering in their minds, and so they stopped gathering around the bonfires to tell the old tales and to sing the old songs. They left their chronicles unwritten and blank, and they were proud of this. Indeed, after the many floods and drownings, they began to make the forgetful ones into heroes. Those who forgot the most and most often were placed on a pedestal – they were short-lived heroes, of necessity, but heroes nonetheless.
The first of these heroes was the priestess who allowed the fairies’ fountain to overflow. She was held in high regard until she too slipped out of memory, to such an extent that even her name was forgotten. Mererid was more successful, clearly, for despite her heroic deed of forgetting, her name remained in the memory. The main hero, though, the most heroic hero of them all, was Seithenyn. Seithenyn knew, or at least at some level he was aware of, the paradoxical character of his people. In order to be considered a hero of forgetfulness, he had to undertake the most outstanding possible example of forgetting: a forgetting which would mean that his land would be drowned once and for all. That was why the priestess was praised, that was why Mererid was exalted. But he understood too that the memory of them was alive to that day among the elders of his tribe because their forgetfulness was not complete enough, and that would not do. His people had once again survived and had of necessity remembered. He himself would have to accomplish such an heroic act of forgetting that there would be nobody left to remember the deed. He knew very well what he had to do. He would have to get drunk, forget completely about the floodgates, and let the sea drown the land, creating such devastation that not a living soul would be left, nor any trace of his home or the court either, to remember him. Not even the land itself would be able to retain a memory of Seithenyn’s forgetfulness after this act. He swore an oath to do this, and then, he forgot it all. Only a few months later, when he was blind drunk at King Gwyddno’s feast, did he succeed in due course to carry out his task.
We have therefore, according to my theory, severely misjudged Seithenyn. He was not a slovenly fool and drunkard but rather the principal hero of his people. One mystery remains, however, namely to try to understand the significance of the beautiful, carved floodgates. The only explanation is that some of the people of Cantre’r Gwaelod were pledged to opposing the spirit and world view of the majority, and were determined to leave something, some sign behind them, to act as a reminder and memory of them. Opposing other members of the tribe would have been quite a dangerous undertaking in those days, when the tendency would have been to blend in with the esprit de corps of the community, if only to foster the survival of the nation. But if the esprit de corps of a nation, or an entire people or tribe, can mean that they meet their end in such a way without leaving a memory or record of themselves, doesn’t that then justify the actions of the few? I suggest that one of those few managed to escape from the final flood and ensured that there were traces and fragments at least of the story of Gwyddno’s people preserved on vellum and through oral transmission, and that he was the Gwrhyt Gwymonieit who is named in the margins of the Black Book. Certainly it is not to the official chroniclers of Cantre’r Gwaelod that thanks are owed, though in leaving the pages entirely blank they were only doing their job according to what they saw as their duty. Gwrhyt is responsible for the fact that not even Seithenyn was completely successful in his plan, and it was he who maintained the memory of him. Who knows, indeed, if they had an even more heroic hero than Seithenyn, except that he succeeded more thoroughly in his purpose?
That’s the extent of the work I have been able to achieve up to now. Prydwen is getting old and her equipment is becoming out of date, and there’s no prospect any more of getting the financial backing to acquire the latest machines to continue with the work. The administrative burden is still weighing heavy on me, and I can’t foresee a time when I will get the chance to devote my energies properly to the work. So for now I am satisfied with having made this record of my discoveries, until the opportunity comes along to do further and more detailed research. Personally, I can’t help longing to go myself from time to time to Cantre’r Gwaelod and for the waves to wash over me. This isn’t a sentimental wish to be drowned but, on the contrary: a desire to live for a long time with other people in a place where the defences are so good that they allow not a single droplet into the land and not a single painful memory into the mind, where one can live without wasting a second wallowing in the despair of the past. When I reach this realization anew every day, I long and am on fire to escape to the forgetfulness of Cantre’r Gwaelod. For I am overwhelmed and tormented each night by apparitions of my father who is dead or drowning.
N. B. There is no record of anyone by the name of Fratelli, Professor or otherwise, on the payroll of the university according to the central records. Nor is there a departmental library attached to the Marine Archaeology Department: most of its books were dispersed when the Department was merged within the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Innovation over a decade ago. This Faculty now occupies the old classrooms and corridors of the Marine Archaeology Department, but as far as is known no facsimiles of medieval manuscripts were ever within the remit of that library. In my own personal copy of Gwenogfryn Evans’s facsimile no glosses are revealed when the page mentioned by the late Dr Rees is viewed in ultraviolet light. Nevertheless, there is in the furthest corner of the entrepreneurship library one heavy bound volume whose pages are all blank: a recent test on the binding confirmed that it is composed of seaweed.
(English translation – Katie Gramich)
Shortlisted for the 2018 Wales Book of the Year Award
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