Writing Scotland: How Scotland's Writers Shaped the Nation

Writing Scotland: How Scotland's Writers Shaped the Nation

Writing Scotland: How Scotland's Writers Shaped the Nation

Writing Scotland: How Scotland's Writers Shaped the Nation

Synopsis

Published to coincide with a new BBC TV series. The eight half-hour documentaries stem from a core belief that Scotland's unique and distinctive writing tradition has continually defined the nation, established its identity and was the springboard upon which devolution was built.

Excerpt

Writing Scotland is a major eight-part television series, made by Hopscotch Films for BBC Scotland. The series stems from a core belief that Scotland’s unique and distinctive writing tradition has continuously defined the nation, established its identity and was the springboard upon which devolution was built.

For almost 1,500 years Scottish writers have pursued a series of constants and bequeathed a body of literature which is the birthright of every Scot. They have conferred a wonderful inheritance.

Scottish literature has been our most vibrant export, spreading our ideas and a vision of our country and ourselves across the world. Our range of voices, sense of place and the mythologies we’ve created continue to tell the world who we are and what made us this way. They have maintained our identity in the face of indifference and defeat, and have made our concerns universal.

Scottish writing has continually highlighted and questioned our social and economic divisions, with Burns’ A Man’s a Man forming a testimony which has inspired our writers ever since its publication. And while our relationship with God and religion has been a continuing factor in the development of our nation’s literature, the vision of Scotland many writers took with them when they left has shown us new ways of looking at the familiar, while enriching world literature.

We have a literature of which any country in the world would be proud to boast. In Robert Burns we have one of the world’s most celebrated poets. Sir Walter Scott invented the historical and romantic novels, Conan Doyle gave us the world’s most famous detective and Robert Louis Stevenson invented the psychological novel. James Hogg’s Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner could be placed alongside any masterwork of world literature, Hugh MacDiarmid was one of the greatest European writers of the . . .

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