Myths and Realities
Edited By Fernanda Peñaloza, Jason Wilson and Claudio Canaparo
This book makes a significant contribution to the study of the historical circumstances around the exploration and colonisation of Patagonia, as well as the subsequent cultural, political and economic outcomes.
Paul W. Birt - The Individual and the Community in the Auto/biography of Early Welsh Patagonia (1885–1935) 117
Paul W. Birt The Individual and the Community in the Auto/ biography of Early Welsh Patagonia (1885–1935) Studies on twentieth-century Welsh-Patagonian writing are often dictated by attempts to seek an exotic continuation of the main norms found in the Welsh language literary canon of late Victorian Wales. Briefly described, such canon comprises poetry in cynghanedd,1 short stories, novels and essays. This approach to Welsh literature from Argentina was largely adopted by R. Bryn Williams in his ground-breaking monograph on Welsh-Patagonian prose writing published in 1949,2 and further developed in his introduc- tion to poetry from the region published in 1960.3 This inevitably led to a certain degree of disappointment with the texts analysed, which was also fuelled by a misunderstanding of the social mechanisms at work in the early decades of the Welsh colonies. Although the field has so far been neglected, given the disparate and difficult access to texts, by the 1890s there was a considerable flow of Welsh language material emanating from the Chubut province. Even a cursory inspection of the pages of the Welsh language weekly, Y Drafod,4 published in the Chubut Valley between 1895 and 1925, would suffice to demonstrate 1 Cynghanedd: a highly developed system of sound correspondences, including alliteration and assonance used in strict-metre Welsh poetry. The system evolved in the Middle Ages and is used today as a unique Welsh art form. 2 See Williams, R. Bryn. Rhyddiaith y Wladfa. Denbigh: Gwasg Gee, 1949. 3 See Williams, R.Bryn. Awen...
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