Modalities of Cultural Identity in the Writings of Idris Davies and Alun Lewis

  • Alan Vaughan Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis compares and contrasts the subtle modes and inscriptions of cultural identity in the work of two English-language writers from Wales – Idris Davies (1905-1953) and Alun Lewis (1915-1944). It also deconstructs, and contests, the normative paradigms attached to their personalities and literary work – paradigms that construct Davies as an authentic spokesman for industrialised south Wales, and Lewis as an archetypal soldier-poet. These inherited paradigms, the thesis contends, are limiting and untenable; accordingly, the work of both writers is placed in new and challenging conceptual frames, and viewed in unfamiliar cultural contexts – with the result that each is wholly defamiliarised. In performing this critical act, the thesis makes use of a range of published and unpublished material, including poems, essays, short stories, diaries, journals, letters, and visual images. Its six paired chapters explore this material within three main conceptual frames: the origins and development of Davies’s and Lewis’s critical/cultural profiles; their mediations of Wales; and their representations of wartime experience.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
Sponsors Arts and Humanities Research Council
SupervisorDamian Walford Davies (Supervisor) & Sarah Prescott (Supervisor)

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