restricted access Scottish Literary Review
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Scottish Literary Review

Scottish Literary Review (formerly Scottish Studies Review) is the leading international print journal for Scottish literary studies, committed to approaching Scottish literature in an expansive way through exploration of its various social, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts, and of literary forms, both traditional and new. We are interested in comparative work with literatures from beyond Scotland, the interaction of literature with expressive media such as theatre and film, and in encouraging debate on issues of contemporary significance related to Scottish literary studies, so that SLR is both responsive to, and creative of, new readings and approaches. The journal is listed in the MLA International Bibliography and from 2013 onwards will be accessible online via Project MUSE.

The editors are delighted that from this issue onwards the journal will be more readily accessible to overseas readers through Project MUSE. We are pleased also that this increasing international element in our readership continues to be reflected in the identity of our contributors, with Europe particularly well represented in this current issue. The opening two essays, serendipitously, explore similar themes in very different contexts and in relation to very different writers. David Reid's 'A Note on Sir William Alexander and Edmund Waller' points to similarities in these seventeenth-century Scottish and English writers' refinements of the pentameter couplet, while Krzystof Fordoński retraces connections between an early lyric by Robert Burns and a Latin poem by Maciej Kazimierz Sarbiewski, whose work enjoyed some popularity in late eighteenth-century Scotland. New readings, or the making of new connections, are a feature of several of the articles. Richie McCaffery brings Sydney Goodsir Smith's Under the Eildon Tree of 1948 back into currency with his engagement with the poem's Bakhtinian carnivalesque and its self-engagement with intertexts. Slawomir Wacior investigates Edwin Morgan's response to the European tradition of the sonnet in his Sonnets from Scotland, and H. Gustav Klaus approaches John Burnside's Living Nowhere from the unusual perspective of industrial fiction, pointing to the novel's new contribution to that genre through its challenging environmental sensibility. Susanne Hagemann and Ewa Szymańska-Sabala make important contributions to contemporary women's writing which still does not receive the coverage it deserves in Scottish criticism. Szymańska-Sabala reads Janice Galloway's much neglected second novel Foreign Parts as [End Page v] a subversive text whose surface light-heartedness conceals a strong challenge to cultural modes of portraying femininity, thus reminding us that too often an author's seemingly 'quieter' texts can be marginalised by the acclaim given to dramatic predecessors, as has happened with the dominance of Galloway's The Trick is to Keep Breathing. Hagemann's bibliography of translations of Liz Lochhead's poetry and drama is an enormous contribution to a much neglected area of Lochhead scholarship, with, at this point, almost 150 translations discovered, but all apparently virtually unknown in Lochhead studies and readership. This new bibliography provides a rich resource for present and future researchers. With relevance to current debates on the forthcoming 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Matthew Wickman and Alex Thomson explore Scottish cultural and political identity from diverse starting-points. In 'Tartan Noir', Wickman, from the USA, explores William McIlvanney's Laidlaw in the light of the ontological theories of Martin Heidegger and Alain Badiou, asking what this founding text of Scottish detective fiction tells us about the 'state' of the Scottish literary tradition, and how it might help us understand the political state of Scotland itself. Conceptualising a future political state of Scotland is also the principal theme of Alex Thomson's Edinburgh-based review essay which explores the responses of a group of prominent Scottish writers to the possibility of Scottish independence, with tensions appearing between political and cultural interpretations of 'self-determination'. Yet, whatever the political outcome, one could argue on the evidence provided by Scottish Literary Review and its contributors and readership, and on the success of Scottish writing generally at the present time, that Scottish literary culture at least has come of age, and is recognised as a self-determining and outward-looking discipline beyond its own boundaries. Finally...