Welsh literature: The Twentieth Century

In the 20th cent. attempts at language purification, interest in Welsh mythology, and a turning away from earlier Welsh puritanism accompanied influences ranging from the Greek classics to modern French symbolists in the making of a Welsh literary revival. Other dominating trends were the love of nature, the boldness of imagery, and the lilt of language, best represented in the free-metered works of W. J. Gruffydd and the more classical poetry of T. Gwynn-Jones. The short story was developed to a high level by Dewi Williams, Islwyn Williams, and Kate Roberts.

The principal novelists of the 20th cent. include Kate Roberts, Tegla Davies, T. Rowland Hughes, and Islwyn Ffowc Ellis. Realistic drama was developed by R. G. Berry, D. T. Davies, Saunders Lewis, and W. J. Gruffydd. A more symbolic and psychological dramatic literature followed with the works of Huw Lloyd Edwards, T. Parry, and Gwilym R. Jones. The poet and dramatist Saunders Lewis enriched Welsh critical writing. The eisteddfod remains a vigorous cultural force.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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