Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Welsh literature -- vibrant or moribund?

Just for fun, I have been checking on the meanings of "vibrant" and "moribund" to see which of these words best describes the state of the Welsh literary and publishing scene.   I have been minded to use the word "moribund" in an article, and wanted to make sure that I was not misrepresenting the situation.  The more I think about it, the more I like the word and the less I like having to use it. 

Whether the literature and publishing industry is in terminal decline is a moot point; but it is most certainly lacking in vitality or vigour,  and might well be described as decaying, stagnant or crumbling, in spite of the fact that it produces around 300 books per year within Wales.  We should never forget that the whole industry is kept alive on a life support machine, in the shape of a vast programme of subsidies paid out to writers and publishers by the Welsh Books Council and by Literature Wales.  Take away the life support machine, and death is inevitable........



1. full of energy and life.
"a vibrant cosmopolitan city"

synonyms: spirited, lively, full of life, full of spirit, high-spirited, energetic, sprightly, vigorous, vital, full of vim and vigour, animated, sparkling, coruscating, effervescent, vivacious, dynamic, flamboyant, electrifying, dazzling, stimulating, exciting, dashing, passionate, fiery, determined

(of colour) bright and striking.
"a huge room decorated in vibrant blues and greens"

synonyms: vivid, striking, intense, brilliant, bright, strong, rich, deep, warm, full; More

(of sound) strong or resonating.
"his vibrant voice"
synonyms: resonant, sonorous, throbbing, pulsating, reverberating, reverberant, resounding, ringing, echoing, carrying, booming, blaring, thunderous, strident; More

2. quivering; pulsating.
"Rose was vibrant with anger"

synonyms: quivering, trembling, shaking, shaky, shivering, shivery, shuddering, shuddery, quavering, quavery, quaking;
"she was vibrant with excitement"


(of a person) at the point of death.
"on examination she was moribund and dehydrated"

dying, expiring, on one's deathbed, near death, near the end, at death's door, breathing one's last, fading/sinking fast, not long for this world, failing rapidly, on one's last legs, in extremis;
informalwith one foot in the grave
"the patient was moribund"

(of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigour.
"the moribund commercial property market"

declining, in decline, on the decline, waning, dying, stagnating, stagnant, decaying, crumbling, atrophying, obsolescent, on its last legs;
informalon the way out
"the country's moribund shipbuilding industry"

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