Great article by Amanda Craig in the Independent today. I have never seen such an interesting and comprehensive summary of the history (and present) of children’s literature. Highly recommended.
This is the third and final part of my series on Edward Tegla Davies. If you missed the earlier instalments, here they are:
Today’s instalment sees Tegla searching for the Holy Grail, musing on lightning-struck sheep and refusing an OBE from the Queen.
Y Winllan (The Vineyard) was a Wesleyan magazine for children, published monthly in Welsh. Edward Tegla Davies started off as a reader of Y Winllan, then became a contributor and finally became its editor.
In 1878 the copy you see here was placed inside a glass bottle and hidden behind one of the foundation stones of a new Welsh Wesleyan Chapel in Aberystwyth. The chapel closed in 1992 and the bottle was discovered in 1999 whilst work was being undertaken to convert the building into a tavern.
Edward Tegla Davies was in his mid twenties during the Welsh Revival, a period of explosive church growth in Wales in 1904-5 that sparked a Christian ‘awakening’ in many other countries. During that time, chapels were not being closed or turned into taverns. Quite the opposite. Taverns were going bankrupt and churches were full to bursting.
According to the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, Tegla had a conversion experience after attending a preaching festival at Coedpoeth, and decided to enter the ministry. In the course of his life he ministered in Abergele, Leeds, Menai Bridge, Port Dinorwic, Tregarth (thrice), Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Denbigh, Manchester (twice), Liverpool, Bangor and Coedpoeth.
Lionel Madden writes:
Tegla was not a natural preacher, but he laboured to make himself effective. Here he describes his early efforts.
I was born into the tradition that you were not a preacher unless you were a ‘tuner’ (one who employs sing-song cadence in the delivery of a sermon). I would do my best, making myself terribly hoarse and leaving me with a very sore throat on a Monday morning. I was envious of those tuners who could provoke tears, for the proof of a successful service in those days was that the congregation was in floods of tears. The only tears I could conjure up were tears of compassion for my raucous attempts.
He moderated his preaching style, adopting a more conversational approach, but never quite lost the sense of strain. There were, however, other features that more than compensated for this and propelled him into acceptance throughout Wales as one of the leading preachers of his day. He was a master of apposite illustration and of clear exposition. His idealism ran alongside a fiercely critical mind, and the boldness with which he advanced one or the other made what he said perpetually challenging. Above all he appeared to be a prophet for his time.
Tegla did not prize preaching for its own sake, and his tone was wry when he wrote about the ‘tuners’ and the ‘two-sermon-a-night’ preaching meetings. He was more interested in ongoing discipleship, and for this the home setting was more significant than the church.
I am firmly of the opinion that the smallest contribution to the spiritual life of the Church in my time has been preaching at preaching meetings. I am convinced that the chief reason for our intellectual and spiritual poverty, and our lack of influence in the world, is that we have failed to educate our children, young people and all ages, in the basic principles of our faith.
It is no surprise, then, that many of Tegla’s stories for young people touch on spirituality. One of the tales in the collection Hen Ffrindiau (Old Friends, 1927) was called Samuel Jones the Hendre. Here are the bare bones of the story:
There were two farmers at harvest time: Samuel Jones the Hendre and Mr Herbert Fron. Samuel Jones’ land was very poor compared to Mr Herbert Fron’s fertile and copious land. When it was decided to decorate the chapel for the Thanksgiving Service, most of the fruit and vegetables came from Mr Herbert Fron’s fields and green houses. Samuel Jones was not at all happy about this, as he could only offer thorns and brambles. Shortly before the service began, Samuel Jones crept into the church and slyly exchanged Mr Herbert Fron’s abundant crops for his own thorns and brambles. The outcome was that everyone refused to participate in the service. They said that it was impossible to thank God in the middle of thorns and brambles. Everyone refused, except for one, and that was Samuel Jones himself. He had remembered a verse from Isaiah 66 – “Has not my hand made all these things?” – and he worshipped happily alone, surrounded by his thorns and brambles.
Another of Tegla’s works for children tells the story of the Holy Grail. In the post Davinci Code era we tend to think of Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland as the final resting place of the Grail, but medieval specialist Dr Juliette Wood believes that Wales has a much stronger thread of grail legends. In March this year, Dr Wood delivered a lecture at the Museum of London entitled The Phantom Cup that Comes and Goes, giving evidence for the Welsh claim and making reference to Tegla’s work:
Edward Tegla Davies (1880-1967), a well-known Wesleyan Methodist minister, produced a charming curiosity called Y Greal Sanctaidd. This booklet for young readers traced the history of the grail legend with the emphasis on its relevance for Wales. Tegla summarized the medieval grail texts, pointed out parallels with early ‘pagan’ Welsh literature, such as Ceridwen’s cauldron, and presented a short exposition on how modern writers, among them Alfred Lord Tennyson, used the motif in their work. The focus was on the spiritual meaning of the grail and its continued relevance to Welsh life, but the distinctiveness of Tegla’s book lies in the fact that it is aimed at a young audience.
None of my great-grandfather’s works for children are available free online in translation. All I could find in English is the adult essay That Grave from his book Gyda’r Hwyr (At Dusk, 1957). The essay is his account of a country walk with a friend to visit Cardinal Newman’s grave. I was thrilled to find this because it gives real insight into Tegla’s spirituality, his love of nature and his keen critical sense. The whole essay is worth a read, but here are three extracts which I found particularly interesting.
First, Tegla’s thoughts on the fine line between faith and superstition. The passage demonstrates his love of animals and his flair for asking interesting questions.
After going some two or three hundred yards on this get‑away‑from‑it‑all pathway we turned to the left. On one side of the turn is an old shed and on the turn, on a small rise, there is a cross and inscribed on it are the following words:
LAUS DEO. In thankful remembrance of June 30th, 1866, when Divine Providence saved our schoolboys all collected round their father prefect under the adjacent shed, from a sudden thunderstorm when the lightning playing around them struck with death as many as ten sheep about the field and trees close by.
It would perhaps be uncharitable to suggest that as Providence had saved the boys and the prefect it should also have thrown its covering over the poor sheep as well, especially as the ruler of Providence is the author of the parable of the Lost Sheep. By praising Providence in this way does not this testimony also diminish it by making it seem rather miserly in its defensive operations? The line between superstition and faith is a fine one and is quite characteristic of the faith that put up this stone.
And this on the Catholic Church:
There is something hellish in the Catholic Church and there is something heavenly too. It was she who created Catherine de Medici and her followers, whose likes not even Gehenna could have imagined. And it was also she who created Francis of Assisi and his ‘friars’, and not even Paradise could have devised more lovely lives than theirs.
And this, when finally he and his friend arrive at Cardinal Newman’s grave:
We just stand there, not uttering a word, and we stare for a long time, spellbound, and the eloquent simplicity is the most spellbinding thing of all.
And now to another grave, that of Tegla himself.
Edward Tegla Davies died in 1967 and was buried alongside his wife Eleanor (he used to call her ‘Nell’) in Gelli cemetery, Tregarth.
He had once said that his writing was just one element in his work as a minister of the gospel, and that he wanted a statement to that effect inscribed on his gravestone. But in the end, he got a different quotation: Yn feunyddiol fonheddig. A mwyn ei threm yn ei thrig. I’m eagerly awaiting a translation of the second bit, but the first bit means ‘Noble daily’.
Noble daily. This is the man who never took his dog collar off, even on the beach – not from pomposity but from a desire to be easily spotted by anyone who might need the help of a Christian minister. This is the man who entertained his grandchildren by drawing faces on acorns, and moved his congregation to tears of compassion for his raucous attempts at ‘tuner’ preaching. A nature lover who was almost as concerned for the sheep struck by lightning as for the schoolboys saved from it. A man who considered himself a rebel all his life, and ended up declining an OBE in 1963, four years before his death.*
I have enjoyed getting to know my great grandfather these last three days. This morning I woke at 4 a.m. and could not get back to sleep for thinking about him, wondering in particular how he would have applied his talents to today’s fiction market. In Tegla’s day, most literary critics viewed fiction-writing and preaching as a dodgy combination. Even more so today. Every how-to book on my writing shelf condemns ‘preachiness’ and ‘moralizing’ as the two unforgivable sins of the modern author. But I can’t help admiring the passion and integrity of this Welshman who let Christ shine brightly from every word he wrote. He never took his collar off – neither on the beach nor in his books.
*Why did he decline his OBE? Dad wrote to me that Tegla ‘was never a Welsh nationalist, but he was a patriot, and may not have fancied being honoured by the English monarchy.’ That said, he was not the only writer to decline an MBE, OBE or knighthood. CS Lewis, Roald Dahl, Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh and Robert Graves also turned down honours.
Yesterday I began a series of three blog posts about my great grandfather Edward Tegla Davies. Yesterday I talked about his fondness for drawing faces on acorns. In today’s post I will look at his writings, particularly his writing for children, and tomorrow I will look at his work as a pastor and preacher. I will be discussing his literary and spiritual vocations separately, but they were very much linked in his mind. According to Lionel Madden (author of Methodism in Wales), Tegla regarded his writing as ‘just one element in his work as a minister of the gospel.’
Before we start, a word about pronunciation. ‘Presumably,’ I said to Dad yesterday, ‘Edward pronounced his surname Dav-ees, being Welsh and all.’ Dad said no, the Welsh name Davies has always been pronounced Davis. Dav-ees is simply an English affectation.
At the age of 14, Edward Davies was a pupil-teacher at Bwlch-gwyn school in north Wales. Promising pupils who completed primary school would sometimes be asked to stay on as teachers – classroom assistants, most likely – and this is what Edward did. He was greatly influenced by a young teacher there called Tom Arfor (pronounced Ar-vor) Davies, who ‘awoke his interest in the history and literature of Wales’ (citation). Dad tells me that the Edward was present when his teacher started coughing up blood, and that he died shortly afterwards. It was in memory of Tom Arfor that Edward later named his own son (my grandfather) Arfor. But the legacy of Tom Arfor was more than a name. A passion for reading and writing had been stoked in the young teenager.
From his reading of the Welsh classics, Edward acquired ‘a Welsh prose style of great purity and naturalness’ and ‘although he never had a Welsh lesson at school nor went to university, he became one of the most prolific writers in Welsh.’ (quotation from Rev. Dr Islwyn Ffowc Elis, Welsh Biography Online).
Edward (often called by his middle name ‘Tegla’) contributed boys stories to a Welsh language magazine called Y Winllan (The Vineyard), of which he became the editor. The stories were eventually published as books in their own right. The first to be released was Hunangofiant Tomi (Tomi’s Life, 1912), the fictional diary of a country boy in north Wales. It was gentle and wry in tone, documenting Tomi’s various adventures and scrapes. There followed Nedw (Ned, 1922), Rhys Llwyd y lleuad (Rhys Llwyd the Moon, 1925), and Y Doctor Bach (The Little Doctor, 1930).
According to the Welsh literary critic Meic Stephens, Tegla’s boy heroes were ‘mischevious, dreamy and tricksy’ (citation). In the story Do Zebras, for example, a boy called Birch and his friend Humphrey paint a donkey to look like a zebra. Tegla’s characters remind me of William and the Outlaws (Ginger, Henry and Douglas) from Richmal Crompton’s much-loved William series. In 1922, the same year as Do Zebras was published in Bangor, the first William book Just William was being published in London. And by strange coincidence, chapter five contains a scene in which William paints Henry’s dog blue as a circus exhibit.
“Blue dog,” said the showman, walking forward proudly and stumbling violently over the cords of the dressing gown. “Blue dog,” he repeated, recovering his balance and removing the tinsel crown from his nose to his brow. “You never saw a blue dog before, did you? No, and you aren’t likely to see one again, neither. It was made blue special for this show. It’s the only blue dog in the world. Folks’ll be comin’ from all over the world to see this blue dog—an’ thrown in in a penny show! If it was in the Zoo you’d have to pay a shilling to see it, I bet. It’s—it’s jus’ luck for you it’s here. I guess the folks at the Zoo wish they’d got it. Tain’t many shows have blue dogs. Brown an’ black an’ white—but not blue. Why, folks pay money jus’ to see shows of ornery dogs—so you’re jus’ lucky to see a blue dog an’ a dead bear from Russia an’ a giant, an’ a wild cat, an’ a China rat for jus’ one penny.” – (Just William, chapter 5, Project Gutenburg)
The Just William books have been criticized by the RSPCA and the Canine Defence League over the blue dog debacle. Birch and his painted donkey have so far escaped censure.
Rhys Llwyd the Moon is a collection of stories about a small moon (!) and the adventures it/he has with a couple of boys in rural Wales. The word surreal is often used when writing about Tegla’s books, and you can see why. The book’s popularity was helped by the fact that it contained six black and white illustrations by the popular children’s book illustrator and landscape artist William Mitford Davies.
The Davies & Davies author/illustrator team also produced Hen Ffrindiau (Old Friends, 1927). The old friends alluded to in the title are Welsh folk tales, popular rhymes and proverbs. Here you will find witty anecdotes about the red-faced cobbler of Rhuddlan, the yellow foal, the mountain chicken and other absurdities. This is a real classic – a book for children of all ages, including adults. I dearly wish that there existed an English translation of this one. This was the first of several fantasy novels by Tegla, including a book of Welsh fairy tales Tir y Dyneddon (Dyneddon Land, 1921) and Stori Sam (The Story of Sam, 1938 ).
He also wrote a novel for adults. Gwr Pen y Bryn (The Master of Pen y Bryn, 1923) was serialized in the periodical Yr Eurgrawn (translation, anyone?) before appearing in book form. It has as its background the Tithe War of the 1880’s and describes the Christian conversion of a rich farmer called John Williams. Emeritus Professor Robert Maynard Jones (1929-) called it ‘one of the most impressive novels of his time’ (citation). Lionel Madden related how the book was described “with pardonable exaggeration” as “the greatest Welsh novel”.
But the novel also had its detractors. It was decried by one leading critic on the grounds that Tegla had insisted on ‘saving’ his central character. ‘Whatever its shortcomings,’ wrote novelist Islwyn Ffowc Elis, ‘The Master of Pen y Bryn is a milestone in the history of the Welsh novel because of its ordered plot and its penetrating study of a soul in anguish.’
The Master of Pen y Bryn is Tegla’s only novel to have been translated into English. I recently found an inexpensive copy on the Oxfam books website and am looking forward to reading it.
I feel a strange sort of vertigo when I imagine my great grandfather sitting down to hand write fiction. I never knew him, nor even his son (my dad’s father) Arfor, but I feel strangely close to him. It encourages me to know that such a recent ancestor has walked this path and walked it well. He wrestled with plot and character and dialogue. He coped with occasional rejection of work submitted to publishers. He sat at a desk and gnawed his pencil and fumbled in his mind for just the right word. He prayed for God to illuminate and inspire his fiction, so that his work would not only entertain but also challenge and bless.
How appropriate that my first series of children’s books should have starred a genealogist (griot). Stephen son of Mark son of Arfor son of Tegla. If I can become half the man he was, and half as prolific a writer, I will be content.
More about Tegla tomorrow!
Funny things, genes. When I became a missionary and children’s author I did not know about my great grandfather Edward Tegla Davies (my father’s father’s father), who was a Methodist minister and children’s author. When my first book was published, Dad told me about my illustrious ancestor and showed me an old copy of Nedw, one of Tegla’s best known works. Nedw in Welsh is short for Edward and is pronounced Ned-oo. The language is natural (according to Lionel Madden, author of Methodism in Wales, Tegla ‘wrote as children spoke’) and the style is gentle and wry – very different from the rather severe religious stories commonly offered to children at the time.
Nedw was illustrated by Leslie Illingworth, who was political cartoonist for the Daily Mail and contributed to Punch and other magazines.
This week I have been reading more about Tegla. It seems he made quite a splash on the Welsh literary scene, writing for adults as well as children. He has a brief wikipedia page in English (Edward Tegla Davies) and a fuller one in Welsh (Edward Tegla Davies). There is also a long entry on the website Welsh Biography Online, which includes this gem:
Tegla regarded himself as a rebel all his life. Although he was one of the most prominent preachers and one of the most influential men of his denomination, he did not refrain from criticising and satirising organizational systems, whether religious or secular.
In a phone call this morning. Dad recalled that his grandfather was kind and gentle, that he always wore his clergyman’s collar (even on the beach!) and that he had various stock party tricks to amuse the grandchildren. On country walks he used to collect acorns, turn them upside-down and draw faces on them, so that the acorn’s cup resembled a hat. Listening to Dad speak, it seems to me that Tegla possessed the rare gift of having stayed in touch with his inner ten year-old, a gift that clearly equipped him well for his children’s writing.
Edward Davies assumed the name Tegla when he was ordained as a Methodist minister – there was already an Edward Davies in the ranks and he needed a distinct appellation. He took the name Tegla from the name of his birthplace Llantegla (lit. Church of Thecla) in north Wales. Saint Thecla was a first-century saint about whom various apocryphal stories are told. The name stayed in the family for two generations – my grandfather and father were both given it as their middle name, but I was not.
More about Tegla tomorrow!
About seven years ago I entered Klaus Flugge’s office for the first time. The first thing I noticed was the vast collage of decorated envelopes on the wall above his desk. Mischevious cats in skirts and trousers, a bed on a cloud, a crocodile mask, a scribbly London skyline, each picture original and unique.
‘You don’t look like you’ve been in Africa,’ said Klaus, looking up from his desk. ‘Where’s your tan?’
‘I don’t know,’ I replied lamely. ‘I like your envelopes.’
Klaus Flugge was born in Germany in 1934. He trained as a bookseller in Leipzig but his political views forced him to flee East Germany in 1953. He worked in publishing in New York and London and eventually founded his own company named after Hans Christian Andersen. He has a keen editorial eye and is great at selling books.
I was born in 1976, the year that Andersen Press was founded. As a small child I owned books illustrated by David McKee and Tony Ross. Andersen Press would not have rung any bells with me, but I knew and loved Elmer the Elephant. And Mr Benn, of course – he was my hero, a true adventurer.
As the twenty-nine year old me sat goggle-eyed in Klaus’s office, gripping the arms of my chair and gazing at the Incredible Envelope Wall, the familiar illustrative styles before me evoked thoughts of childhood, wonder and adventure. And travel, of course – for the stamps herald from as far afield as South Africa and Japan.
The first illustrated envelope was sent to Klaus by David McKee, who got the idea from a book of illustrated envelopes entitled ‘Letters to Georgio’ by the well known French artist Jean-Michel Folon. McKee’s first few envelopes were displayed in Klaus’s office, inspiring other artists working for Andersen Press to do the same.
The pictures on these envelopes are especially charming because they were not drawn under contract. They earned no advance, no royalties, no flat fee. They have never been pixelated, filtered, or photoshopped. They are pen and ink doodles – simple, quirky expressions of friendship, humour and joie de vivre.
And this week the Incredible Envelope Wall is coming to a bookshop near you. Klaus Flugge has just published Letters to Klaus, a compilation of 100 envelopes, with all proceeds going to Save the Children. Highly recommended.
This is a firm favourite with our three year-old daughter Libby. The tales, each of them narrated by a different animal, are utterly charming. I think the magpie tale is my favourite – the magpie (a thieving bird) meets Zacchaeus (a thieving man) in the branches of a tree, moments before Jesus turns up. Libby likes the mouse’s tale: the calm of the still lake, with the mouse curled up next to Jesus, and then the sudden flash bang wallop of the storm. The cat’s tale – an under-the-table cat’s eye view of Jesus’ first miracle – has a great sense of atmosphere and something really special about to happen. Hey, the fox’s account of the birth of Jesus is great, too. They are all extremely special, and written with such flair that they are a true delight to read out loud. The illustrations fit well with the text and spotting the animal in each picture is fun. Highly recommended.
More than two years ago I blogged enthusiastically about the work of FAVL (Friends of African Village Libraries) in Burkina Faso and elsewhere in Africa. This morning I had the pleasure of finally meeting Michael Kevane (pictured above right) and Krystle Austin, and seeing the new RWA (Reading West Africa) books which are now available for distribution.
Michael has collaborated with talented Burkinabe artist Ezequiel Olvera to produce Ou est ma poule? which is a simple tale about the quest to find a lost chicken, illustrated very expressively in watercolour. Also passing by the FAVL stand were Alison Wallace and Christopher Davis, who put together this wonderful book about the Moringa tree. Their book has been translated into three local languages and will inspire many Burkinabe readers to discover the many and varied uses of the so-called ‘tree of heaven’. Beautiful photographs and a profoundly useful message.
Fact: children who do well at school have something important in common – they read for pleasure. So even a government that needs to dream up austerity measures should think very carefully before cutting library services.
Here is an open letter from the Children’s Laureate (and Gruffalo author) Julia Donaldson to the new Secretary of State for Culture. I have reproduced it here in full because of my total support for what she is saying.
Dear Ms Miller,
Congratulations on your new appointment. I am writing with a plea.
In my role of Children’s Laureate I am about to embark on a six-week tour of UK libraries, acting out stories with visiting schoolchildren. The main aim is to celebrate libraries and all that they have to offer children – the books, the browsing, the author visits, the research facilities, the toddler rhyme sessions and summer reading programmes. But I’m also hoping that the tour will draw attention to the erosion of the library service which is happening in so many local authorities, and to the current government’s utter refusal to intervene or to provide any leadership.
Recent figures from Public Libraries News show that nearly 250 UK libraries are currently either under threat of closure or else have been closed or left council control since April this year. A survey, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, estimates that during this financial year 2,159 library staff posts out of a total of 20,924 will be cut. This is on top of huge cuts in previous years. These vary disproportionately from authority to authority, so that while in some areas children and families can still have access to a safe space where all are equal and welcome, in other places this is no longer so, with cuts in budget of up to 35 per cent and cuts in book stocks of up to 90 per cent.
The 1964 Libraries Act states that every authority must provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service and that the government’s duty is to investigate when there are serious complaints that this is not the case. Yet this government has not once intervened, even in the case of Gloucestershire where nearly half the libraries were scheduled for closure last year. Your predecessor Jeremy Hunt and the Libraries Minister Ed Vaizey refused to respond to letters, invitations and presentations by the campaign groups, except by parroting the assertion, “We are monitoring the situation”, so that the campaigners were forced to take the local council to court (successfully). When I met with Ed Vaizey in February and asked him why he had not intervened his reply was, “Because my advisers didn’t advise me to”. Could you, in your new post, please give him some guidance from above?
Mr Vaizey also told me that he “did not accept” that there was any problem in the library service. This may be because he is happy with the idea (now a reality in some areas) of libraries being run entirely by volunteers. I am shocked that he could consider this anything more than a short-term measure. This summer, while visiting France, I had an engagement in a village library whose users were thrilled because at last they were getting a professional librarian. Yet we are going in the opposite direction. Of course volunteers have a role to play, and of course it is preferable to have a volunteer-run library than no library, but what I object to is the tendency to dress this trend up as “vibrant twenty-first-century thinking”, instead of being honest enough to admit that it is a reluctant response to cuts.
I am particularly concerned about the effect the cuts and closures are having on children’s reading. Today many towns have no bookshops. If they also have no library, where are children to find books? Is it a surprise that we are always reading horrifying statistics about the number of homes without books? If children don’t discover what books they like, they are unlikely to become life-long readers, and we are therefore heading for a less literate society. Illiteracy leads to lower skills, greater social problems, higher crime rates, and a country less able to prosper in the global jobs market. So cutting libraries is a false economy. They are the best literacy resource that we have.
Children’s use of those libraries which are still open has actually been rising over the last seven years, so please don’t deprive them of the storytelling sessions, the homework clubs, the expert librarians and, above all, of the free books. Will you consider ring-fencing council spending on children’s library services? Will you discuss with your colleagues the possibility of using some of the education budget for this purpose? Above all, will you (unlike your predecessor) respond to concerns and complaints, and show some leadership for our young readers? I do hope so. I would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss this further.
PS Visiting the British Library’s Writing Britain exhibition I came across this poem by Bernard Kops, who is more eloquent than I am. Here is an extract:
I emerged out of childhood with nowhere to hide
when a door called my name and pulled me inside.
And being so hungry I fell on the feast.
Whitechapel Library, Aldgate East.
And my brain explodes when I suddenly find
an orchard within for the heart and the mind.
The past was a mirage I’d left far behind
And I am a locust and I’m at a feast.
Whitechapel Library, Aldgate East.
The composer Johann Sebastian Bach famously used to write the initials SDG (Soli Deo Gloria) at the beginning and end of many of his compositions.
Where would we look for a modern equivalent of that brief but weighty eighteenth century inscription? The Oscar acceptance speech of a Best Supporting Actress (“I want to thank God and my manicurist”)? The goal celebrations of a Brazilian footballer? Episcopal mumbo-jumbo at the Palio di Siena horserace?
Here is something which impressed me today: a five-minute video of Jonny Last doing parkour and then talking simply about one of his favourite Bible verses, 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I read back in May that Malian author Moussa Konate had confirmed his appearance at FILO 2010. Where are you, Moussa? Where are you hiding? I only came to FILO because I thought you were coming too 🙁
If anyone has seen Monsieur Konate, please comment below. FILO finishes on Thursday.