Though geographically a small country, Wales has produced a large body of extraordinary literature in both Welsh and English which deserves broader recognition. The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales provides an introduction to the literature and culture of this fascinating country, covering a time period that ranges from the days of King Arthur to the present-day flowering of Welsh national consciousness. Its nearly three thousand entries treat the principal genres of Welsh literature, the complexities of Welsh poetic art, myth, legend. and folklore, and offer information on literary associations, events, movement, and institutions. The book also features biographies of major figures from all periods of Welsh literary history.Excerpt:"Dylan Thomas (1914-53), poet and prose writer....The standing of Dylan Thomas as one of the most important and challenging of the twentieth-century poets in English is assured....Certainly, part of the Welshman's significance is the umcompromising way in which he stood out against the intellectualization of poetry and any thinning of its textural and musical delights. In terms more specifically of Anglo-Welsh writing, a particular power in his poetry derives from the unresolved tensions which come from living imaginatively on the blurred edged between two cultures. Although English was his only language, the different liguistic instincts of Wales, no less than its society and topography, run deep in his poetry, where the Welshness of his materials in less self-consciously capitalized upon than in his prose. But with respect to the prose and poetry alike, renewed interest in the regional forces shaping British literature in English continues to enrich their appeal."