SCOTTISH LITERARY 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 is accessible online via Project MUSE.
As new editor I want to thank previous editors Sarah Dunnigan and Margery Palmer McCulloch for leaving Scottish Literary Review in such a healthy reputational state. This Spring/Summer 2014 issue and the next one will continue the journal’s tradition of being wide-ranging in its contents. The current issue features an essay by Catriona Macdonald on the literary afterlife of James Graham, the first Marquis of Montrose (1612–1650), of interest both in regard to the seventeenth century and to a wide swath of Scottish fiction. Generally, SLR continues to solicit essays in the 5–6,000 word range but, as in the case of Dr Macdonald’s essay, consideration will sometimes be given to articles of longer range (please contact me, the editor, for further advice if you are interested in contributing a longer piece). Jan Gorak’s ‘Angels, Dancers, Mermaids: The Hidden History of Peckham in Muriel Spark’s The Ballad of Peckham Rye’ continues the attention to past currency – the intriguing history of Peckham – and its later usage in Muriel Spark’s brilliant early novel. Numerous interchanges – in locus, mode and in the theme of personal identity – are also spied in Attila Dósa’s highly nuanced consideration of Douglas Dunn’s poetic development. Susanne Hagemann rounds out this issue’s section of four ‘main’ essays with ‘Changing Perspectives: Translations of Scottish Twentieth-Century Poetry into German’, featuring a fascinating exploration of how ‘target readers’ are engaged with in multi-dimensional ways in good translations.
New to this issue of SLR is the section, ‘Shorter Essays and Notes’ where Robert Betteridge considers whether or not Samuel Johnson might actually have called the great library of Lord Hailes at Musselburgh ‘the most learned drawing-room in Europe’. This is followed by Lindsay Levy’s consideration [End Page v] of an aspect of Walter Scott’s interest in Irish Literature, one of many findings made while Ms Levy re-catalogued the library at Abbotsford, near Melrose. ‘Shorter Notes and Essays’, then, seeks to provide an additional focus on ‘book-history’, an area of scholarly enquiry much reinvigorated in recent years. It is also intended, however, to provide space for any more miscellaneous items relating to Scottish literary and cultural study, and items of between 500 and 3,000 words will in future be considered for inclusion here.
Our current issue also reflects a recent period of sad loss to Scottish literary studies in publishing three obituaries, for G. Ross Roy, Susan Manning, and Kenneth Simpson. As always with such fatality, our scholarly consolation is the legacy each of these individuals has left in the form of substantial contributions to their field of study. Shortly before going to press with this issue, I have learned of yet another death in eighteenth-century Scottish literary studies with the passing of Tom Crawford, one of the greatest Burns scholars of the twentieth century and also a former President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies. An obituary will be carried in the next issue.
Having just lamented scholars past, it is a pleasure to feature several younger (postgraduate) scholars in Scottish literature, Christopher McMillan, Jonathan Henderson and Stewart Sanderson. I am very grateful to these individuals for their respective sections of the past year’s work in Scottish literary criticism and associated commentary.
As we head into the summer of 2014, there is also a great deal of exciting new activity in Scottish literature. The World Congress of Scottish Literatures will be held at the...