"The flowers of the forest are a' wede away": the dispersal of a familiar refrain

Gibson, C. (2019) "The flowers of the forest are a' wede away": the dispersal of a familiar refrain. Scottish Literary Review, 11(1), pp. 103-124.

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Publisher's URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/723406


This essay promotes a cultural historiography distinguished by disruption and dispersal, one suspicious of the need to negotiate with overarching continuities embodied by ‘nation’ or ‘tradition’. In order to do so, it borrows from Foucault’s archaeological methodology and from modern folklore studies as conceived by Hamish Henderson. Featuring authors ranging through Hugh MacDiarmid, Cecil Day-Lewis, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, James Barke, J. D. Scott, Robin Jenkins, Muriel Spark, and Robin Robertson, it comprises a survey of allusions to the song, ‘The Flowers of the Forest’, across modern literature. In advocating for a decentred methodology, focussed on gaps, discontinuities, entanglements, and replacements, it is hoped that the erasure and distortion of larger continuities – such as the national tradition – can be resisted in favour of more radically disruptive studies of power and cultural currency.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibson, Dr Corey
Authors: Gibson, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Journal Name:Scottish Literary Review
Publisher:Association for Scottish Literary Studies
ISSN (Online):1756-5634
Published Online:08 May 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Association for Scottish Literary Studies
First Published:First published in Scottish Literary Review 11(1): 103-124
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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