This essay pays attention to the fiction of Eric Linklater, a prolific and successful writer whose work has not received the attention it deserves. Today he is chiefly remembered as the author of Juan in America (1931), Magnus Merriman (1934) and Private Angelo (1946), three novels often classified as entertainments and, therefore, treated by critics with some condescension. This essay does not attempt to establish a hierarchy of merit but considers most of Linklater's fiction as a whole. Taking the author's eclecticism for granted, it underlines that this should be seen both as a rejection of common norms of Scottish fiction and a desire to go beyond the limitations of the Scottish scene in order to consider the totality of world experience. Inevitably, this raises the issue of Scotland's place and its relationships with the rest of the world. This is not perceived as problematic but instead as a source of fruitful enrichment. The nature of Linklater's fiction is consequently affected by this opening towards foreign cultures in so far as the shift has an impact upon settings, forms of narration, literary models and even language. At a time when there is constant debate about the meaning of 'Scottishness' and plurality of identity, Eric Linklater's example can still be useful.


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pp. 97-115
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