Abstract

This paper analyzes the political and cultural thought of Hugh MacDiarmid, a poet, and John Maclean, a radical labor leader, in the context of Scottish political and literary history between World War I and the mid-1930s. It offers an historical parallel for MacDiarmid's notorious ideological contrariety via the narrative of Maclean's political career, which moved from militant socialist internationalism during the war to an idiosyncratic form of "Scottish Workers' Republicanism" in the years before his death in 1923. The paper goes on to argue that the political paradox of MacDiarmid and Maclean's "nationalist internationalism" was only ever solved in the linguistic medium of MacDiarmid's "synthetic Scots" poetry. This situation reflects the redoubtable strength and internal paradoxes of the sovereign state in an era of international modernism and Communist internationalism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 21-46
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-10
Open Access
No
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