An interview with Golwg

iPhone Visions from 1703 – Gweledigethau’r Bardd Cwsg ar yr iPhone
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Creating and publishing e-books has been a labour of love for the founder of Cromen two years ago…

“I’m interested in books and I wanted to learn how to crete e-books,” said Bedwyr ab lestyn who works as a designer for music publishing and recording company Sain.

He started with the most famous Welsh language novel – Enoc Huws by Daniel Owen – before turning to Cartrefi Cymru by OM Edwards. “Once I’d finished both of those, I thought I’d might as well carry on,” he said.

After publishing Teulu Bach Nantoer by Moelona, Rhys Lewis by Daniel Owen and In Pursuit of Spring by Edward Thomas, the latest Cromen book is the classic from 1703 Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg by Ellis Wynne.

“If this book is a classic, it deserves to be available to as many readers as possible,” said Bedwyr ab lestyn who has prepared it as an ePub for iPad, iPhone, Kobo, Nook, Sony Reader, Mac and PC, and as a mobi file for Kindles. “As I believe that novels are better suited to being e-books I choose to work on story-led books, and I can be selfish in that I choose books which are interesting to me.”

The hope is that “everyone, to some extent” will benefit from having this book available as an electronic e-book, he said.

“Ideally, every book, song, poem should be accessible in every format – so that nothing will ever go ‘out-of-oprint’,” said Bedwyr ab lestyn. “The fact that Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg is 300 years old doesn’t mean that there is no worth or enjoyment to be had in reading it.

“I remember studying the book in school and I can still imagine the descriptions of Hell. I had intended to place drawings in the text, or even to create an entirely graphic version – but that wouldn’t have been suitable as an e-book. Someday, maybe.”

As well as Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg edited by D Silvan Evans, there are two English language translations contained in the e-book, The Visions of the Sleeping Bard by Gwyneddon Davies and The Sleeping Bard by George Borrow.

Who was Ellis Wynne?
Ellis Wynne was barn at Y Lasynys between Talsarnau and Harlech in 1671. He was a rector, a poet, a translator and a royalist, and died in 1734. He is primarily remembered for Gweledigaethau y Bardd Cwsg which follows the Bardd Cwsg (Sleeping Bard) through three visions in the footsteps of sinners on their way to Hell.

According to Bedwyr ab Iestyn, it’s an ‘European’ book, although the language and descriptions are clearly from Ellis Wynne’s rural background in Meirionnydd at the turn of the 18th century.

“The Pope and other important Europeans are characters in the Visions,” he said, “and it’s obviously been influenced by the work of the Spaniard Francisco de Quevedo and to a lesser extent by the work of Dante.”

Non Tudur