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Cross-currents in Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century
The nineteenth century saw the romanticisation of the Highlander, the rise of tartanry and the emergence of the modern Scottish tourist industry. It also witnessed the worst excesses of the Clearances and the beginnings of an exodus from the Highlands to the industrial cities and to the colonies. The languages, peoples and cultures of Highland and Lowland Scotland mixed and mingled as never before, influencing and shaping each other in often unexpected ways. Gael and Lowlander in Scottish Literature explores the interactions and intersections between Highland and Lowland poetry, prose, drama and song, in English, Scots and Gaelic. Ranging from Sir Walter Scott to the writers and artists of the fin de siècle Celtic Revival, these fourteen essays show how the crossing and re-crossing of the Highland Line shaped Scottish literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and how it continues to do so today.
Resituating J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie (1860–1937) is today known almost exclusively for one work: Peter Pan. Yet he was the most successful British playwright of the early twentieth century, and his novels were once thought equal to those of George Meredith and Thomas Hardy. Although in recent years there has been a revival of interest in Barrie’s writing, many critics still fail to include him in surveys of fin de siècle literature or drama. Perhaps Barrie’s remarkable variety of output has prevented him from being taken to the centre of critical discussions in any one area of literary criticism or history. Is Barrie predominantly a novelist or a playwright? Is he Victorian, Decadent, Edwardian or Modernist? Gateway to the Modern is the very first collection of essays on Barrie which attempts to do justice to the extraordinary range of his literary achievement. What emerges is a significant writer, fully immersed in the literary and intellectual culture of his day.
In 1810 a literary phenomenon swept through Britain, Europe and beyond: the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem The Lady of the Lake, set in the wild romantic landscape around Loch Katrine and the Trossachs. The world’s first international blockbusting bestseller, in terms of sheer publishing sensation nothing like it was seen until the Harry Potter books. Exploring the potent appeal that links books, places, authors and readers, this collection of eleven essays examines tourism in the Trossachs both before and after 1810, and surveys the indigenous Gaelic culture of the area. It also considers how Sir Walter’s writings responded to the landscape, history and literature of the region, and traces his impact on the tourists, authors and artists who thronged in his wake.
Contexts and Contemporaries
George MacDonald (1824–1905) is the acknowledged forefather of later fantasy writers such as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien: however, his place in his own time is seldom examined. This omission does MacDonald a grave disservice. By ignoring a fundamental aspect of what made MacDonald the man he was, the critical habit of viewing MacDonald’s work only in terms of his followers reinforces the long-entrenched assessment that it has a limited value – one only for religious enthusiasts and fantasy lovers. The sixteen essays in this anthology seek to correct that omission, by looking directly at MacDonald the Victorian – at his place in the Victorian literary scene, at his engagement with the works of his literary contemporaries and at his interest in the social, political, and theological movements of his age. The resulting portrait reveals a MacDonald who deserves a more prominent place in the rich literary history of the nineteenth century than he has hitherto been given.
Scottish Identities, History and Contemporary Literature
Scotland’s culture is vigorous and vibrant, energised by questions of history and identity, by interpretations of the past and by the possibilities for the future. At this key moment, earlier identities are being re-examined and re-presented, and personal and cultural histories are being redefined and reconsidered in contemporary life and literature. It is these themes of re-examination, re-presentation, redefinition and reconsideration that the eleven essays in this volume explore. Together, they show how the multifarious roots embedded in contemporary Scottish life and letters bear fruit – often in surprising ways – and how the re-creation and reimagination of Scottish culture, its identities and its tropes, are being developed by a range of leading Scottish writers.
Relationships and Reconfigurations
The twentieth-century Scottish renaissance – the literary and artistic revival which followed the end of the First World War – advanced a claim for a distinctive Scottish identity: cultural, political and national. Unlike earlier nineteenth-century Celtic revivals, this renaissance was both outward-looking and confidently contemporary; it embraced continental European influences as well as those of Anglophone writers such as Eliot, Joyce, Pound and Lawrence, and contributed to the development of what we now call modernism. This collection of essays, from fourteen scholars, illustrates the strongly international and modernist dimension of Scotland's interwar revival, and illuminates the relationships between Scottish and non-Scottish writers and contexts. It also includes two chapters on the contribution made to this revival by Scottish visual art and music.
Vol. 5 (2013) through current issue
Scottish Literary Review is the leading international journal for Scottish literary studies. Scottish Literary Review publishes critical and scholarly articles and reviews from around the world. The journal explores Scottish literature through its various social, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts, including theatre and film, and its interactions with literatures from beyond Scotland, and encourages debate on issues of contemporary significance to literary studies.
Voices From Scotland in a Post-Devolution Age
Contemporary Scottish fiction is vigorous, vivid and diverse, eschewing the straitjackets of genre and resisting categorisation as either ‘mainstream’ or ‘literary’. Meanwhile, Scotland itself refuses to conform to external notions of what it is, and what it can become. The literature of this post-devolution nation comes in a multitude of voices. The Space of Fiction investigates how Scottish writers have responded to, and been affected by, the nation’s ongoing political discourse. Examining in detail the works of Des Dillon, Anne Donovan, Michel Faber, Laura Hird, Alison Miller, Ewan Morrison, James Robertson, Suhayl Saadi, Zoë Strachan and their contemporaries, The Space of Fiction traces their multifarious approaches to a post-national, cosmopolitan, multicultural and even globalised Scotland, and explores their notions of space, of place, and of the impact of fiction on the nature of identity.