Location and destination in Alasdair mac Mhaigshstir Alasdair’s ‘The Birlinn of Clanranald’

Riach, A. (2019) Location and destination in Alasdair mac Mhaigshstir Alasdair’s ‘The Birlinn of Clanranald’. In: Szuba, M. and Wolfreys, J. (eds.) The Poetics of Space and Place in Scottish Literature. Series: Geocriticism and spatial literary studies. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, pp. 17-30. ISBN 9783030126445 (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-12645-2_2)

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Abstract

Alasdair mac Mhaighstir Alasdair’s poem ‘The Birlinn of Clanranald’ is a classic of Gaelic literature, written probably in the 1750s, giving a detailed account of a sea voyage from the west coast of Scotland to Ireland. Its ‘place’ in history and its geographical trajectory seem to be clearly identifiable. Yet for all its literal detail and verisimilitude, the poem insists that we consider its meaning in metaphorical terms and that the ‘space’ it occupies cannot be defined by its history of publication, its readership or its language, but in its intimation of human potential in the face of inimical forces, natural and human. ‘Space’ and ‘place’ in this work are fiercely contested.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Riach, Professor Alan
Authors: Riach, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN:9783030126445
Published Online:02 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Author
First Published:First published in The Poetics of Space and Place in Scottish Literature: 17-30
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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