The Edinburgh Companion to Hugh MacDiarmid

The Edinburgh Companion to Hugh MacDiarmid

The Edinburgh Companion to Hugh MacDiarmid

The Edinburgh Companion to Hugh MacDiarmid

Excerpt

The third tranche of this series has as a common theme, one that underlies the whole series, the re-evaluation of the nature of Scottish literature. The volume on Hugh MacDiarmid places him not simply within the traditional setting of the so-called Scottish Literary Renaissance, but in the far wider and more internationally significant Modernist movement. Seen in that light, it is clear why MacDiarmid’s work retains an international importance often elided when it is assessed only within a Scottish context. The volume on Scottish Romanticism likewise sheds a distinctive Scottish light on an internationally significant literary movement. It reveals a number of key perspectives including the relationship of the literature of the period to other art forms and the significance of Romanticism in relation to Scottish literature in Gaelic. It also argues clearly and persuasively for recognition of the relationship of Scottish Romanticism to the Enlightenment in a fresh and innovative way. The volume on Drama takes on squarely the canard that somehow Scottish drama was suppressed for long periods. The evidence it provides is conclusive in showing that so far from drama being generally suppressed in Scotland it showed variety, vitality, vibrancy – and resilience against attempts at suppression when they existed. It appears in the earliest records and asserts itself through many forms including folk drama, drama in schools and professional theatre and in all Scotland’s languages, including the Latin of George Buchanan’s internationally highly influential renaissance drama.

The Edinburgh Companions continue to challenge restrictive perceptions of the richness of Scottish literature. They also open up to scholars and students fresh ideas that will change readers’ understanding of the range and depth of the topics under discussion.

Ian Brown

Thomas Owen Clancy . . .

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