Howl film

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri Aug 24 07:58:43 EDT 2001


>>
>>Hallie:
>>Uhh.  That's seems very odd to me somehow.  Although I accept that 
>>sometimes things have to be changed to give the same effect, it 
>>still seems odd.  And surely "Welshness" has a lot of different 
>>cultural resonances than just smallness and out-of-the-wayness. 
>>I've no idea what the cultural impact of those Japanese islands 
>>involves.

Nat:

>As an American who has been in Wales for a total of three days, my 
>ideas of "Welshness" are not terribly developed. I get more out of 
>the context within the book that he is from a differently-languaged 
>minority within a larger culture, that it has a love of 
>rough-and-tumble things like football (and football chants). I think 
>Philips solution is probably right on. Of course, because of the 
>last world war, different-language minorities in Japan have somewhat 
>rawer position than the Welsh. A Korean voice, for example, would be 
>right out...

Oh, well.  In for a penny...  It may just be the connotations that 
have built up around the word "minority" which are throwing me off, 
and I know little or nothing about this anyway, but it still strikes 
me as odd.  Seeing Howl as just from a "differently-languaged 
minority within a larger culture" seems to me to leave out the whole 
feeling of how strong and influential that smaller culture actually 
is (yes, I know it's all parodied in TG, but that's only because of 
the overuse in sf novels). I was also remembering a DWJ quote, 
without remembering exactly what it was, or where I'd read it. 
Finally found it in a long-ago post from Elise during a 
serious/completely farcical thread on Welsh.  (Thanks, Elise, if 
you're still lurking!)

"I still sometimes dream in Welsh, without understanding a word. And at the
bottom of my mind there is always a flow of spoken language that is not
English, rolling in majestic paragraphs and resounding with splendid
polysyllables. I listen to it like music when I write."

This is not offered as a point in favour of the correctness of my 
argument, you understand, especially as I don't think I *have* an 
argument, just a reaction.  It's just such a wonderful quote, IMO, 
and as it does form part of what  makes up my completely subjective 
concept of Welshness in this context, I was glad of the excuse to put 
it in here.


Hallie.





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