Beyond Scotland

New Contexts for Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature


Scottish creative writing in the twentieth century was notable for its willingness to explore and absorb the literatures of other times and other nations. From the engagement with Russian literature of Hugh MacDiarmid and Edwin Morgan, through to the interplay with continental literary theory, Scottish writers have proved active participants in a diverse international literary practice. Scottish criticism has, arguably, often been slow in appreciating the full extent of this exchange. Preoccupied with marking out its territory, with identifying an independent and distinctive tradition, Scottish criticism has occasionally blinded itself to the diversity and range of its writers. In stressing the importance of cultural independence, it has tended to overlook the many virtues of interdependence. The essays in this book aim to offer a corrective view. They celebrate the achievement of Scottish writing in the twentieth century by offering a wider basis for appreciation than a narrow idea of 'Scottishness'. Each essay explores an aspect of Scottish writing in an individual foreign perspective; together they provide an enriching account of a national literary practice that has deep, and often surprisingly complex, roots in international culture.


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Table of contents

Contributors Acknowledgements Gerard CARRUTHERS, David GOLDIE and Alastair RENFREW: Introduction Douglas GIFFORD: Re-mapping Renaissance in Modern Scottish Literature David GOLDIE: Scotland, Britishness, and the First World War Alexander MACKAY: MacDiarmid and Russia Revisited Edwin MORGAN: Flying with Tatlin, Clouds in Trousers: A Look at Russian Avant-Gardes Sarah M. DUNNIGAN: The Return of the Repressed David MILLER: Reflections on Lukács and Adorno: Some Co-ordinates for the “Scottish Literary Tradition” Edna LONGLEY: The Whereabouts of Literature Gerard CARRUTHERS: “Creation Festers in Me”: Calvinism and Cosmopolitanism in Jenkins, Spark and Gray Richard PRICE: La Grille: Contemporary Scottish Poetry and France Randall STEVENSON: A Postmodern Scotland? Cairns CRAIG: Scotland and Hybridity Index