Shaun Richards
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The plays of Ed Thomas and the cultural politics of South Wales

The reference to Max Boyce in the title of Ed Thomas's 1997 article, 'A land fit for heroes' captures the image which he wishes to dispel: the caricature of Welshness whose soft sentimentality eases away the necessity of self-analysis. The thrust of Thomas's argument is that a people can only live in, and live up to, the images of themselves which circulate in the culture. Negative or disempowering stereotypes are an integral part of political and cultural colonialism. By the time of the film production in 1997, however, not only had Welsh culture taken on a different tone from that defined by Harry Secombe but Thomas's attitude to his native culture had consequently modified. Thomas's dramas are essentially domestic rather than social, his characters frequently traumatised by the deaths of parents or siblings with the social and economic dimensions to those tragedies.

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Across the margins

Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago


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