DOI: https://doi.org/10.31861/pytlit2019.99.050

Imagining Scotland: Scottish Literature at the End of the XX – the Beginning of the XXI Century from Nationalism to Cosmopolitism

Viktoriia Ivanenko

Abstract


The paper studies the tendencies of contemporary Scottish prose in the recent three decades (starting from 1980s and up to now). Scotland is seen as an imaginary construct produced in the result of both literary and political discourses that are extremely interwoven. The research’s starting point is the problem of devolution, Scottish nationalism and their apparitions in literary texts. Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, and Irvine Welsh’s novels represent the ground for experiments with an idea of both national literature, and national identity. Scottish devolution and the apparitions of Scotland are seen through the predominantly fading white male masculinity within the context of class and self-identification. The motifs of loss, disorientation, instability, and macabre rebellion in the novels of devolution writers are inherently representational of the political scene at the time. The problem of identity is studied via the new narrative techniques introduced by Kelman and developed later by Welsh. Defying Standard English as a means of narrator’s control over characters’ discourses Kelman is thus trying to overthrow not only literary hierarchies, but also class and national ones. Kelman’s Glasgow Patter becomes a turning point in revealing the breeches in hierarchies within the institutions called the Great Britain and British literature. The scandal caused by Kelman’s novel How Late It Was, How Late that won Man Booker Prize in 1996 voiced not only literary, but also linguistic, national, and self-identification incongruities inscribed into the anglocentric political and literary hegemony. Moreover, paper concentrates on the humanist and ethic turn that Scottish prose takes closer to fin de siècle. Predominantly, this research deals with the texts of A. L. Kennedy and Jackie Kay. The issues of solipsism in a vibrant postmodern world, as well as the problems of policing race, gender, marriage come to the front of Scottish prose at the beginning of the epoch of naughts. The new images of Scotland are projected through the myriads of subjective mirrors of consciousnesses belonging to the unstable and quite exhausted individuals of any race, class, or sexuality. The cosmopolitan and inclusive Scotland arises from the pages of contemporary Scottish novels. At times, this is the Scotland that never calls itself as such, or mentions itself, let alone pondering on any national issues rather than the issue of common human cause of survival.


Keywords


nationalism; devolution; post-devolution; Gray; Kelman; Welsh; Kennedy; Kay; Scotland

References


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GOST Style Citations


Carruthers G. The construction of the Scottish critical tradition. Odd Alliances: Scottish Studies in European Contexts. Glasgow: Cruithne, 1999. Р. 52–65.

Carruthers G., Goldie D., Renfrew A. (eds). Beyond Scotland: New Contexts for Twentieth Century Scottish Literature. Amsterdam; New York : Rodopi, 2004. 372 p.

Craig C. Kelman's Glasgow Sentence / Scott Hames (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2010. P. 75–85.

Crawford R. Scotland’s Books: A History of Scottish Literature. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2009. 1300 p.

Devine T., Logue P. (eds). Being Scottish: Personal Reflections on Scottish Identity Today. Edinburgh : Polygon, 2002. 546 p.

Derrida J. Writing and Difference. London : Routledge, 2001. 368 p.

Gifford D. and Riach A. (eds). Scotlands : Poets and the Nation. Manchester; Edinburgh : Carcanet/Scottish Poetry Library, 2004. 331 p.

Gilroy P. After Empire: Melancholia and Convivial Culture. Abingdon : Routledge, 2004. 200 р.

Gray A. Lanark. Edinburgh : Canongate Books Ltd, 2002. 574 p.

Hollinger D. Postethnic America: Beyond Multiculturalism. New York : Basic Books, 1995. 312 р.

Jones C. Post-Meta-Modern-Realism – The novel in Scotland. Review of Contemporary Fiction. 2012. URL : https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/carole-jones(c2935304-7b32-4683-bb8e-651bc7b609f4)/publications.html (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

Jordison S. Booker club: How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman. URL : https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/sep/14/booker-club-james-kelman-how-late (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

Kay J. Trumpet. London : Picador, 1998. 280 р.

Kelman J. Greyhound for Breakfast. Edinburgh : Polygon, 2008. 246 p.

Kennedy A. L. Indelible Acts. London : Jonathan Cape, 2002. 212 p.

Kennedy A. L. Original Bliss. New York : Vintage Books, 1998. 214 p.

Lyall S. In Furor Over Prize, Novelist Speaks Up For His Language. URL : https://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/29/books/in-furor-over-prize-novelist-speaks-up-for-his-language.html (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

MacAskill K. Building a Nation: Post-Devolution Nationalism in Scotland. Edinburgh : Luath, 2004. 224 р.

Macmurray J. Persons in Relation. London : Faber, 1969. 276 p.

Macmurray J. The Self as Agent. London : Faber, 1969. 231 p.

McCrone D. Understanding Scotland: The Sociology of a Nation. London; New York : Routledge, 2001. 228 р.

McIlvanney L. The Politics of Narrative in the Post-War Scottish Novel / Zachary Leader (ed.), On Modern British Fiction. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002. P. 181–201.

Mill J. S. (1861). Considerations on Representative Government. URL : https://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/mill-the-collected-works-of-john-stuart-mill-volume-xix-essays-on-politics-and-society-part-2 (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

Niven A. New Diversity, Hybridity and Scottishness / Brown I., et al., editors. The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature: Modern Transformations: New Identities (from 1918). Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2007. P. 320–331.

Renan E. (1882). "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?" URL : http://classiques.uqac.ca/classiques/renan_ernest/qu_est_ce_une_nation/qu_est_ce_une_nation.html (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

Robertson J. And the Land Lay Still. London : Penguin Books, 2011. 864 p.

Robertson J. And the Land Lay Still. A Lecture at Arcadia University Edinburgh Center. URL : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjSlD16i_ag (дата звернення: 14.04.2019).

Schoene B. Going Cosmopolitan: Reconstructing ‘Scottishness’ in Post-devolution Criticism / Berthold Schoene (ed.). The Edinburgh Companion to Contemporary Scottish Literature. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2007. P. 7–17.

Stevenson R., Wallace G. (eds). The Scottish Novel Since the Seventies: New Visions, Old Dreams. Edinburgh : Edinburgh Univeristy Press, 1993. 254 р.

Welsh I. Trainspotting. London : Vintage, 1999. 344 p.

Whyte C. Modern Scottish Poetry. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2004. 487 p.

Wittig K. The Scottish Tradition in Literature. Edinburgh; London : Oliver and Boyd, 1958. 352 р.





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