REVIEW by Jonathan Edwards

NWR Issue 106

Footfalls in the Silence: A Memoir

by John Barnie

The eminent Welsh poet John Barnie here describes his experience of growing up in the 1940s and 50s and his education, up to the point of his first university teaching appointment, in Denmark, in the late 1960s. From this point of view, the book, and particularly its early stages, covers the same sort of ground as Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog or Cider with Rosie. In a way, these comparisons are slightly unfair on Footfalls in the Silence, as Barnie has clearly set out to write a book that is stylistically very different, but they do show the way in which this sort of material can be shaped to produce some of the finest literature in our language. By contrast, Barnie opts for a more straightforward prose style, something which has both advantages and disadvantages...

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previous review: Other People's Countries: A Journey into Memory
next review: Tryweryn


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