A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

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I selected my final wild card of the year this week.  Since the Christmas season is upon us, I thought I would find a short story with that theme.  I decided on Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”.   The characters and action of the story are fairly predictable.  There is a lot of snow.  Children get excited about Christmas.  Food is eaten.  Beverages are drunk.  Relatives get together and eat food and drink beverages.  Auntie Hannah especially likes her port and likes singing outside like a “big-bosomed thrush” – that’s usually after the port.

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What sets the story apart is Thomas’ “jingle-jangle” writing style.  I read another one of his stories when I was in junior high or high school.  I don’t remember much about it nor the title even.  I think of Thomas mostly as a poet, even if I haven’t read much of his poetry, either.  His style reminds me of Jack Kerouac’s writing.  Kerouac wrote in English as a second language (he grew up speaking French).  Thomas frequently hyphenates words  – just like Kerouac.  I’m curious if one influenced the other?  Thomas’ style at first glance appears to be rambling; however, after reading it for a while, a method and a purpose slowly emerge.

It’s a pleasant enough story – a remembrance of the innocence of childhood.  If it’s a little sentimental, I’m OK with that.  If you can’t get sentimental around Christmas time, when can you?

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