Monday 4 February 2013

A Literary Storm

An inevitable update (6 February 2013)

Dear Mr Ruck

Thank you for the comments you posted last night. I have published one of them, but draw the line at personal attacks on private individuals. Those in public office and people like you and me who set up soap boxes and mouth off in public are fair game on the other hand, although I am not sure why Gwyneth Lewis's seasickness, real or alleged, should be a stick to beat her with.

I have met Ms Lewis briefly and am familiar with some of her work, in particular Llofrudd Iaith. Personally I found it memorable, innovative and thought provoking. Each to his own, I suppose, but whether you like or loathe her poetry and other work, she is a unique voice in contemporary Welsh writing.

The Guardian article you refer to can be found here. Readers can decide for themselves whether those are the thoughts of a deluded intellectual inadequate.

For the record, I am very sorry to hear that you have received threats, and would certainly condemn anyone who has made them.

With kind regards

Y Cneifiwr


As regular readers of this blog will know, Cneifiwr's ramblings rarely venture beyond the shenanigans at the Zoo County Hall, and forays into the world of literature have been limited to fan mail to the Great Dewi Prysor. However, news has arrived of a literary spat in Carmarthenshire featuring somebody called Julian Ruck, and now even Dyfed Powys Police have got involved.

Like me, most readers will probably have been only dimly aware of Mr Ruck if at all because of his role in the Kidwell-e Festival which was held at Meryl's Ffos Las racecourse last July. The event featured a host of literary talent, including Mary Hooper, Polly Courtney and Dougie Brimson (I've never heard of them either), and only a handful of people turned up. Some of those who did go may have thought that another of the resident writers, Adele Geras, was odds-on favourite in the 3.15.

Mr Ruck threw a fine old tantrum and blamed just about anyone and everyone before declaring that he would take his festival to England where people would be more appreciative.

Although Mr Ruck is a Swansea Jack born and bred, he takes a pretty dim view of the Welsh, as you can see from his blog where he is currently weighing in to "those people who seek a Welsh language only, RS Thomas bucolic paradise of insularity and a backward existential wasteland of introverted stupidity".

In another post he has a go at a minister of religion for speaking Welsh at a funeral. Julian didn't understand what the Reverend was saying, and so concluded that it must have been, "damn all you sinners to Hell for not speaking Welsh!"

Fittingly, Julian has a regular column in the Llanelli Star where he holds forth on the evils of the Welsh literary establishment, the "billions spent on promoting the Welsh language" (really?), and Welsh Nationalists and Welsh Labour, who are apparently all in it together.

On his blog one lengthy entry in block capitals is devoted to denouncing Gwyneth Lewis.

Someone with a lot of time on their hands, possibly a literary critic, has produced a replica of Mr Ruck's blog in which the literary colossus of Carmarthenshire is given a pseudonym which rhymes with Ruck.

The rival blog takes Mr Ruck to task for what it considers to be the low literary merit of his oeuvre and weak grasp of the fundamentals of English grammar.

Mr Ruck alleges that matters have escalated beyond blogs and "Twatter" accounts, and that he has received various threats, including suggestions that his home may be spattered with dog poo.

As a result, Mr Ruck has called upon Dai Knacker to investigate, but he also seems to be engaging in a little sleuthing himself. One of Cneifiwr's readers, a woman of impeccable character, has been contacted by someone calling himself Julian Ruck accusing her of posting messages on the *uck blog as Mrs Penn-Thomas and "The Dog Woman".

My correspondent was especially upset to be addressed by Mr Ruck as "Mrs".

Take my advice Jules. Don't mess with her.

As a family blog, any comments on this post will be subject to rigorous moderation.


Anonymous said...

Julian Ruck is a leged. He says he's not anti-Welsh? He's either a liar or an amnesiac (I know which one I'd plump for!).

here are his comments on Welsh, you'll agree , I think, that they are the remarks of a thick bigot:

"That may sound shocking considering I’m a Welsh author, but cards on the table, this particular form of communication sounds like a turkey being strangled and should, like the Dodo, have been confined to the history books years ago.

Constantly having this gobbledygook rammed down my throat is too much."

Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Mr Cneifiwr, would you mind linking to the Echt Ruck site, as well as the renegade F- one, please.

Bitte sehr.

Cneifiwr said...

Oh, all right then.

Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Diolch, Cneifiwr. You continue to provide a valuable public service.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR linking To BOTH sites :)
IS MR RUCK real? OR is HE MR angry of TUNbriDGE WeLLS?

,,, :

Efrogwr said...

Thanks for adding the live links, Cneifiwr. I was a bit reluctant to type in the requisite search term here at the office....

towy71 said...

I feel dirty just having clicked links to both the "genuine" article and the "parody"

"egotistical scribbler" INDEED

Julian Ruck said...

A flopped e-book Festival,which didn't nobble the tax-payer and tried instead to do something for the local economy,unlike Laugharne and Dinefwr which only sold 400 tickets between them, confirmed by the ACW no less and who paid out not short of £100,000 of tax-payers' money to people to attend.

Do challenge me with verifiable data if you think I'm wrong - my data can be fully corroborated, as the Welsh literati have found out to their cost.

Some petty and delightfully spiteful observations on my writing style.

And this is all you've got?

Dear dear me, and even more risable is the fact that not one of you literary geniuses has a published book to your name or a readership beyond 10 people.

As for your poetic Welsh Boudicca, Gwyneth Lewis, she was duly discredited and exposed as a deluded intellectual inadequate suffering from sea-sickness, in the Guardian newspaper(4.1.13).

If you people want to be taken seriously, then do please address fact,if you disagree, then counter with fact.

Otherwise, do please stop embarrassing yourselves and the Welsh people.

NB And for the record,creditors of the Kidwell-e were paid from private funds. I defy you to prove otherwise.
Julian Ruck

Anonymous said...

What a nasty personal comment you've made about Gwyneth Lewis, Mr Ruck.
You say that your Kidwelly flop was paid for by you and you only. But that doesn't answer the question : did you *apply* for money from taxpayer sources to fund it?
Come clean, because you denied being rejected by Welsh publishers, yet yesterday on your blog you admitted it.
Is this your Chris Huhne moment?

Anonymous said...

He hasn't received any threats - just JOKES about pelting his house with dog mess and his own novels - and some comparisons between the two.

Anonymous said...

can we ignore this man, he said he was moving to England but he's still paining us with his writing in the Star and popping up as anti welsh this and that mouthpiece on the media, including the Eos debate on radio 2, what does he know about contemporary welsh pop music?

For a funny read about the efestival go to
How nice to see that you give julian the right to reply, as he blocks most comments on his blog that contradict his jaundiced view of life.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be a pain, but having read his blog for the first time tonight I would say that he seems to have demolished all your points quite effectively and entertaininly !!

Anonymous said...

Mr Ruck has been busy rubbishing the work of other Welsh writers in English and making unpleasant accusations in all directions. As if that wasn't enough he claims to be the best selling living Welsh author which is simply untrue.

In spite of all this he seems to be remarkably touchy about anyone who disagrees with him or makes a joke at his expense.( How could you not?)