Blowing the Cobwebs Away


Emily Trahair

In this issue, we continue to mark the centenary of Raymond Williams’ birth, and how his ideas still produce future-facing ‘resources of hope’ – both in Wales and worldwide. With these qualities of longevity and fruitfulness in mind, it was wonderful to read this Williams quote in the article by Brazilian scholar Maria Elisa Cevasco in this issue on the resonance of Raymond Williams’ work in Bolsonaro’s Brazil: ‘There are ideas, and ways of thinking, with the seeds of life in them, and there are others, perhaps deep in our minds, with the seeds of a general death. Our measure of success in recognising these kinds, and in naming them making possible their common recognition, may be literally the measure of our future.’ Cevasco goes on to observe wryly how while such ideas seem a little ‘lofty’ in an era when ‘success is measured in terms of what sells better, gets the best publicity or more followers and “likes” in the social media’, her undergraduate students in São Paulo still ‘relate to the vision’ outlined by Williams over sixty years ago in this quote, which suggests to her that ‘the overwhelming dominance of exchange value over all forms of life in late capitalism has not yet  succeeded in extirpating all notions of human value’.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here