We have shown in several of our posts that the author, Jim Perrin, has become ‘well-embedded’ in the Welsh literary community, see: Deaf ears in Wales?, not least by his false claims of Welsh heritage, see: Jim Perrin’s family background. In other posts we have recorded our belief, giving examples for comparison, that he has frequently used aliases to review or comment: he always flatters his own work to an inordinate degree. On occasion he praises the book of an author he ‘admires’, but it is more usually the case that he has used the anonymity which an alias provides to write disparagingly or, at worst, with thorough-going nastiness of the work of others — see Llywarch’s poisoned pen.
‘Llywarch’s’ (JP?) risible one star review of Harriet Tuckey’s award-winning Everest, The First Ascent perfectly displays his spiteful nature and it can only be supposed that it was pure jealousy which prompted him to write it — his own book Shipton and Tilman was published in the same anniversary year, 2013, and was submitted to the same Boardman Tasker competition: perhaps he anticipated winning the award himself — he certainly reviewed it in glowing terms, see: ‘Llywarch’ on Amazon (where it will be seen that he has changed the name to ‘Tim Bartley’). Please read reviews or comments by ‘Jokerman’, ‘Llywarch’, ‘Melangell’ — on the ‘Guardian’ thread, ‘DrudwyBranwen’, and, most recently, ‘Tim Bartley’ to be reminded of the ‘evidence’ which backs our theory. There are other names we suspect but have not yet listed.
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However, Jim Perrin’s latest foray into the review/comment field is posted (and it is indeed a rare event!) under His Own Name on the ‘Poetry Wales’ website…
What is most surprising is that it includes a remarkable outburst against the prominent body, ‘Literature Wales’. When it is considered how heavily they have invested their trust in him over many years he uses an extraordinary and malevolent choice of words. Not only that, but he has launched what amounts to an attempted verbal assassination on none other than the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke — who also happens to be President of the ‘Ty Newydd’ Writing Centre in North Wales!
We have said before: ‘Who does Jim Perrin think he is?’ Here is the unsavoury passage:
12/ 11/ 2014. …The role of Literature Wales in the dumbing down, or indeed deliberate infantilizing, of responses to Anglo-Welsh literary culture is a matter of urgent concern for any writers working in Wales [*]. Under the current regime, Literature Wales is no longer the inclusive and intelligent body of Peter Finch’s day, [one of Jim Perrin’s remaining friends?] that sought to represent breadth and depth of our [sic] writing, but an increasingly disengaged faction promoting the interests of a limited and mutually self-laudatory Cardiff-centred coterie. It is bringing shame on the literature of Wales, and embarrassment too, not least through the mawkish and cliché-ridden occasional [occasional!] pieces of our current national poet.
This is so nasty that it surely beggars belief!
We are intrigued, and find ourselves wondering what shift might have occurred in the tectonic plates of Jim Perrin’s universe — in his literary world in Wales—that he has written with such vituperation of those who have formerly always actively supported, and paid him (thousands)… Why, in other words, has he turned and bitten the hands that fed him?
Why has Jim Perrin ‘come out’, as it were, and what could have provoked him into actually putting his name to this comment when we know he has a long record of using pseudonyms? Clearly he felt sufficiently confident — brazen even — (and it may be that he hoped to impress with his analysis) to freely insult people to whom he ought, given his long association, to feel some loyalty. In fact, we do not believe that Jim Perrin ever feels ‘loyalty’ or, without acting the part, that he is capable of any such thing.
It may be that he has burnt his bridges if his true nature, usually well-disguised but revealed in this recent (surely ill-judged?) piece of writing in ‘Poetry Wales’, has now been recognised by some who previously thought he could do no wrong.
Perhaps it is because he thinks so highly of himself that he anticipates no difficulties in being accepted in a different ‘coterie’; although that he wrote in so belittling a way of the National Poet of Wales (which is not just the worst of manners but, in our view, betrays an almost sociopathic arrogance), is unlikely to endear him to her fellow poets; or authors. It shows nothing about her but everything about the mean little mind of Jim Perrin and it only surprises us that anyone should still be willing to sit with him at the same table…
* We note the implication here that Jim Perrin occupies the literary high-ground, which might be doubted when one reads his latest offering in the ‘Guardian’ Country Diary, 06/12/2014. Again he pretends that he is writing from Ariège (The country diarist for Wales!), but as it is known that he left Harlech — with all his worldly goods — only on 09/12/2014, we think it much more likely that he is simply pretending to be in France, as we know he has before, and in our opinion it is yet another example of the slippery-ness of Jim Perrin…