Friday, 30 July 2010

To begin at the beginning...

On July 16 the Arts and Humanities Research Council awarded Small is Beautiful? a grant to support a two year research project. We're still reeling a bit with the news--here's a slice of Dylan Thomas to bring us down to earth and get us thinking about the work to come, in small (and not so small) towns with mourning (or joyful) shops:

"To begin at the beginning:

It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and- rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now."

Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

And then a slim envelope from a friend arrived in the post with news of Tom Pow's Dying Villages project. Curious.

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