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It was while he was an undergraduate at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he took first class honours in Welsh, that Rowlands became a writer.There he fell under the spell of the playwright and critic John Gwilym Jones, who nurtured in him the talent that was to blossom almost immediately. Both these books reflect their author’s fascination with human psychology and a bleak contemporary world in which the individual is often seen as isolated, introspective and vulnerable.He remained a critic of those at the channel’s helm and, as a leading member of Cylch yr laith (The Language Group), spearheading the campaign against the intrusion of English on Welsh radio and TV, took on BBC Cymru.He was fined more than once for refusing to pay for a TV licence, escaping prison only after unidentified supporters paid the fines.
A shy man who would blush profusely when addressed in conversation, he nevertheless felt the threat to his language very acutely and was stout in his defence of students who broke the law in a bid to secure a degree of legal status for it. In the volume ”), edited by Rowlands, which includes some of the most advanced writing to appear in Welsh in recent times.
His last skirmish, interrupted only by ill health and surgery, was a forlorn attempt to dissuade Welsh broadcasters from using material by non-Welsh artists, against the trend now firmly established in the Welsh pop industry.
Although he was an effective public speaker, there was nothing of the firebrand about Mered, as he was known: the gentlest of zealots, and the most amiable of men, he always argued from the highest intellectual ground and in a dignified manner which most broadcasting executives found disconcerting.
” The pleasure of reading these books is almost wholly cerebral and many readers were put off by the dark world they explored.
An even more complex theme is expertly handled in ”, 1972), which is about the political aspirations of young people in the Czechoslovakia of 1968.The consequence was that his seven novels, though admired by his peers, were thought “difficult” and “highbrow” by those who wanted merely a good yarn or easy read.