"Bendithion", the essay, is a liminal tale about a reclusive, stunningly talented and almost magical tenor, the Postmaster of a little town in Wales and the strange, chaste, romantic-friendship we shared. This essay is actually part of an epistolary novel I am currently writing also entitled Bendithion. I know "novel" conjures up "fiction" in most people's minds but this work is both fiction and non-fiction. Someone once said that ‘the writerly mind will always err on the side of truth over facts’ This is certainly the case with Bendithion. It is fiction because I make things up in order to depict, to demonstrate, to dramatize, to accurately convey what really happens. It is non-fiction because its messages are verifiable; a placee such as this; a people such as these, really exist. It is obfuscatory, in tribute to the splendour of Welsh storytelling, the hallmark of which Jan Morris said is “the indistinguishable blend of fact and fantasy.” It is epistolary because it is immediate, communicative and draws on a long tradition of interpretative cultural exploration and reportage; and also because the epistle has an intimacy, a subjectivity, a fluctuation of subtext and a focus that mirrors its subject. Where I live, fact and fiction are intimate companions.
Harrison gives an overview of the book:
The opening paragraphs"
"Vulcans have an inner eyelid.
In one of the episodes of Star Trek, Operation Annihilate, the crew of the USS Enterprise encounter a strange life-form and as a result of the negative effects of that encounter, they are obliged to be exposed to high intensity light with tragic results. Several of the human crewmembers are blinded. The Vulcan Mr. Spock, however, survives the onslaught of this merciless expository light by the involuntary employment of an organic barricade that shuts out intrusive rays and he emerges, intact, undamaged by his contact with an alien world.
It turns out that y Cymry have an inner eyelid as well. More like an obfuscatory veil than a solid barricade, it allows the Welsh to see out, but effectively shades the inner self from the prying eyes of the inquisitive, casting all that is behind it in shadow. It is a glass darkly, presented innocently enough to the stranger, deceptively luminous and reflective, its transparency clearly controlled by time and measured, in nanobytes, by trust..."
Dr. Harrison Solow’s writing awards include the Pushcart Prize for Literature (2008). She is published by Simon & Schuster, The University of California Press, Harper Collins, Carpe Articulum, AOL, Cinnamon Press, AGNI, The Pushcart Press and several others in the USA,...