Postscript: the strange death of literary Unionism

Carruthers, G. (2018) Postscript: the strange death of literary Unionism. In: Carruthers, G. and Kidd, C. (eds.) Literature and Union: Scottish Texts, British Contexts. Oxford University Press: Oxford, pp. 349-362. ISBN 9780198736233 (doi:10.1093/oso/9780198736233.003.0016)

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The interwar period marked a major turning point in the history of Scottish literature. The story of Scots before MacDiarmid’s recasting of it as synthetic Lallans was happily enmeshed in the experience of Britishness and of Britain’s imperial expansion overseas. As far back as the eighteenth century, Scots and English were viewed by Scots philologists as Saxon–British cognates. The emergence of an antithetical relationship of Scots and English was largely a twentieth-century phenomenon. Indeed, MacDiarmid entirely reconceptualized the relationship of Scottish literature to the post-1707 British state. A partner nation of enthusiastic imperialists was reimagined as an oppressed colony. Scottish literature, both its practitioners and its critics, embarked on a process of forgetting Scotland’s complicity in Britishness and Empire.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carruthers, Professor Gerard
Authors: Carruthers, G.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Publisher:Oxford University Press
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