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Thomas, Dylan

story ‘the stories

(British, 1914–53)

Born in Swansea, Thomas worked as a journalist and broadcaster, earning a reputation as much for his flamboyant personality as his exuberant writing. Best known for his poetry and his verse play, Under Milk Wood, he was also an entertaining and affirmative story-teller. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940) is a collection of largely autobiographical stories, recalling his boyhood immersion in make-believe, his interpretations of the urgent rituals of courting, and his wild aspirations as a neophyte reporter and a budding poet. Adventures in the Skin Trade (1955) includes the stories ‘The School of Witches’ and ‘The Burning Baby’, which evoke his inheritance of Welsh mythology, as well as chapters of the unfinished title story. Composed in shrewd, wry, deadpan prose, this tells the story of a young Samuel Bennet running away from home to seek his fortune in London, where he becomes involved—all the time with his finger stuck fast in an ale bottle—with a fantastical cast of characters.

James Joyce, Caradoc Evans  RP

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