This book addresses the poetics of space and place in Scottish literature. Focusing chiefly on twentieth- and twenty-first century texts, with acknowledgement of historical and philosophical contexts, the essays address representation, narrative form, the work of the poetic, perception and experience. Major genres and forms are discussed, and authors as diverse as George Mackay Brown, Kathleen Jamie, Ken McLeod and Kei Miller are presented through theoretically informed, historically contextualized close readings. Additionally considering the role of dialect and region in the poetry and fiction of modern Scotland, the volume argues for an appreciation of the cultural diversity of Scottish writers while highlighting the overarching presence of a connection between self and world, subject and place within Scottish literature.
Monika Szuba is Lecturer in English with the University of Gdansk, Poland. Her research covers twentieth- and twenty-first century Scottish and English poetry and prose, with a particular interest in ecocriticism, informed by the Environmental Humanities. She is the author of Contemporary Scottish Poetry and the Natural World: Burnside, Jamie, Robertson, White (forthcoming). She is co-editor, with Julian Wolfreys, of Reading Victorian Literature: Essays in Honour of J. Hillis Miller (forthcoming).
Julian Wolfreys is an independent scholar, UK, and the author or editor of more than forty books, most recently Haunted Selves, Haunting Places in English Literature and Culture: 1800-Present (Palgrave 2018).
Introduction: The Proximity of Scotland
Monika Szuba and Julian Wolfreys
I Contested Beginnings
Location and Destination in Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair's 'The Birlinn of Clanranald'
Troubled Inheritances in R. L. Stevenson's Kidnapped and Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Priory School"
II Essaying Place: Fiction and Non-Fiction Prose Representations
From Dramatic Space to Narrative Place: George Mackay Brown's Time in a Red Coat
The Empty Places: Northern Archipelagos in Scottish Fiction
'Keep looking, even when there's nothing much to see': Reimagining Scottish Landscapes in Kathleen Jamie's Non-Fiction
Greenock-Outer Space: Place and Space in Ken McLeod's The Human Front and Descent
Jessica Aliaga Lavriisen
III Figuring Land, Figuring Self: Poetics
'The Wider Rootedness': John Burnside's Embodied Sense of Place
'Under the Saltire Flag': Kei Miller's Spatial Negotiations of Identity
A World of Islands: Archipelagic Poetics in Modern Scottish Literature
From 'Pictish Artemis' to 'Tay Moses': Visions of the River Tay in Some Contemporary Scottish Poems
Derick Thomson's An Rathad Cian (The Far Road, 1970):
Modern Gaelic Poetry of Place between Introspection and Politics
Petra Johana Poncarová
Glaswegian and Dundonian: Twa Mither Tongues Representing the Place and Space of Tom Leonard and Mark Thomson
Take the Weather with You: Robin Robertson's Northeast Atmospherics of Landscape and Self
IV Afterword: from word to image
Jon Schueler (1916-1992): Intensity and Identity
Mary Ann Caws