Andrew R. T. Davies and the Smith Who Had a Good Name
That Andrew R. T. Davies, leader of the Conservative Party in Wales, is seeking to garner votes in the Senedd election on the basis of his party’s reputation for economic competence reminds me of one of the fables from the Iolo Manuscripts, which I retell below:
There was a smith who had a good name for honesty and skill; and a man once came to his smithy to commission him for an axe. But as he was working on it, the steel slipped out of the axe, and his servant cried, ‘Master! Master! The steel has fallen out!’
‘Then hammer away at the iron,’ said the smith, ‘for if the steel is out, the good name is in.’ And this is the way of the world, for it makes no difference what evil one does, if only one has a good name, nor whether or not one does good, if one has no name at all.
Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams, 1747-1826) was a stonemason by trade, a poet, an antiquarian and forger, a Unitarian and a political radical, and the founder of the Gorsedd Beirdd. Three of his folk tales were retold as ‘Three Tales for Europe’ in my short-story collection, Pugnacious Little Trolls.
I am the author of four short story collections.
For His Warriors,
originally published by Gwasg y Bwthyn, Caernarfon, with Welsh Books Council support, now join
Prayer at the End
and Pugnacious Little Trolls
in revised editions at Cockatrice Books.
My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums, including work by Gee and David Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Simon Thirsk and others, was published by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project, October 2016. I am a contributor with Nigel Jarrett, Rachel Trezise, Tristan Hughes and others to Brush with Fate, an anthology of Welsh fiction translated by Hala Salah Eldin, and to Land of Change, an anthology of radical writing forthcoming from Culture Matters. My work has appeared in Albawtaka Review, Annexe Magazine, Blue Tattoo, Cambrensis, Catharsis, East of the Web, The Harbinger, The Interpreter’s House, New Welsh Review, New Writing, Otherwise Engaged, The Swansea Review, Tears in the Fence, Writing in Education, and elsewhere. I am a member by election of the Welsh Academy.
I am the translator of Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams (Cockatrice, 2015),
Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Glasynys (Cockatrice, 2017), and
A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017). In addition, I have translated fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros.