Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-ii

Contents

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pp. iii-iv

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Introduction: The many versions of identity and history

Ian Brown

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pp. vi-xx

In October 2011 the Société francaise d’études écossaises and the Association for Scottish Literary Studies held a joint conference in St Etienne with the theme ‘Roots and fruits of contemporary Scotland: literature and society’. This conference included many lively and stimulating papers. Inspired by those, the editors of this volume proposed to the ASLS academic publishing...

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1: ‘Breid, barley-bree an paintit room’:history, identity and utopianism in Lyndsay’s Thrie Estaitis and Greig’s Glasgow Girls

Trish Reid

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pp. 1-16

As many readers will recognise, the title quotation comes from Hamish Henderson’s much admired lyric ‘Freedom Come All Ye’, written in 1960 for the peace campaigners at the Holy Loch. In it Henderson articulates his utopian vision for an internationalist Scotland, one that both rejects imperialism, racism and elitism and values pleasure as highly as it does food: ...

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2: Figuring, disfiguring the literary past:the strange cases of Ross Sinclair and Calum Colvin

Camille Manfredi

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pp. 17-26

In 1996 Ross Sinclair’s monumental installation Real Life Rocky Mountain moved into the main exhibition hall of Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts. As is the case with the vast majority of Sinclair’s pieces, Real Life Rocky Mountain bore as a signature the artist’s own body and the large telltale tattoo (‘Real Life’) that runs across his upper back. The piece recreated the side of a makeshift mountain covered with rolling Astroturf, scattered with...

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3: History and tartan as enactment and performance of varieties of ‘Scottishness'

Ian Brown

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pp. 27-39

This chapter explores ways in which Scottish identities have been performed through the wearing of tartan. Following on from Trish Reid’s discussion of the use of heterotopic performance sites and their use in the expression of multiple identities and Camille Manfredi’s on the revisualisation of icons, including tartan, it reviews ways in which the wearing, and design, of tartan have developed in different contexts over the last four centuries. It takes...

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4: New Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect: ‘A sly wink to the master’

Karyn Wilson Costa

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pp. 40-53

In his introduction to New Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, an anthology of poems composed by twelve of Scotland’s leading contemporary poets, commissioned in 2009 to celebrate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, Robert Crawford justifies the allusion to the title of the 1786 Kilmarnock edition of Robert Burns’s poetry as:...

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5: Bards and radicals in contemporary Scottish poetry: Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay, and an evolving tradition

Margery Palmer McCulloch

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pp. 54-64

In the early years of the twentieth century, literary scholars and critics felt able to define or argue over what they called the Scottish tradition in poetry. Today, after the literary revolution begun by MacDiarmid and his supporters in the post-World War One period, and with the evidence of its legacy in the outstanding number and diversity of Scottish writers in poetry, prose fiction and drama who have emerged over subsequent decades, we are more...

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6: Adopting cultures and embodying myths in Jackie Kay’s The Adoption Papers and Red Dust Road

Matthew Pateman

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pp. 65-81

I still have the copy of The Adoption Papers1 that Jackie Kay signed for me in 1991 after a reading at Leeds University. It is signed to me and my then-girlfriend, and has the additional phrase ‘from one to another’. This sentence was intended, I am sure, as a sincere expression of a kind of solidarity, of a shared experience or fact of being. As I am not black nor a woman, am not gay and am not a poet, the obvious point (arguably the only point...

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7: The Kailyard’s ghost: community in modern Scottish fiction

Scott Lyall

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pp. 82-96

Community is important in twentieth-century Scottish fiction. From George Douglas Brown’s The House with the Green Shutters (1901) to Jackie Kay’s Trumpet, published at the end of the century (1998), community in one form or another is a core theme, often by its very absence. Many twentieth-century Scottish novels feature failed or failing communities, and an implicit yearning, nostalgia even, for better or real communities. Also central to...

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8: Historicity, narration and mythsin Karin Altenberg’s Island of Wings

Philippe Laplace

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pp. 97-111

One of the most conspicuous features when researching Scottish literature –whether one talks about literary classics, modern or even sometimes contemporary productions – is the collusion of history and myths. Mythopoeia is indeed a classic occurrence throughout the literature of Scotland. After all, as many scholars have convincingly argued before, history and myths are natural constituents of sentiments of nationhood. It is therefore not...

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9: James Robertson’s angle on Scottish society and politics in And the Land Lay Still

Morag. Munro-Landi

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pp. 112-130

James Robertson initially outlined his root intentions for And the Land Lay Still,1 which was awarded the 2010 Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, as follows: ‘to write a novel charting the big political, social and cultural changes that have occurred in Scotland from 1945 to 1999, the year our Parliament was re-established after a gap of nearly 300 years. […] To be honest, at this point, I’ve no idea what’s going to emerge.’2 Born in 1958, Robertson felt he had...

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10: ‘Scotland’, literature, history, home, and melancholy in Andrew Greig’s novel Romanno Bridge

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pp. 131-145

This chapter aims to explore what Umberto Eco calls ‘intentio operis’1 with a view to analysing what makes the substance of ‘Scotland’ that is sucked through the roots of Scottish history to nurture literary fruit in the shape of Andrew Greig’s novel Romanno Bridge (2008). To futher this aim I shall leave aside all that serves to develop the thriller genre – taken as no more than a cover – of the novel and study its historical aspect. Then I shall visit...

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11: Investigating the body politic: dystopian visions of a new Scotland in Paul Johnston’sQuintilian Dalrymple novels

David Clark

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pp. 146-155

Scottish literature has never, it might be said, been too big on the future. The past is usually glorious, the present miserable, but the future? In the few occasions it is shown, it is generally every bit as wretched, if not more so than the present. Dystopian fiction is, we could suggest, a perfectly valid literary format for modern Scotland in that it compresses the traditional pessimism often attributed to the Scottish character into a neat package where moral warnings and the pessimism generally perceived within the...

Notes on contributors

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pp. 156-159