Philip Hobsbaum, often cited as the origin of this phrase, is more circumspect, mentioning only ‘the second revival of Scottish Literature this century’. Philip HOBSBAUM, ‘Speech rather than Lallans: West of Scotland Poetry’, Lines Review, n°113, June 1990, p. 7.
Douglas Gifford speaks of ‘the real dreich aftermath of the failure of devolution’. Douglas GIFFORD, ‘Scottish Fiction 1980-1981: The Importance of Alasdair Gray’s Lanark’, Studies in Scottish Literature, vol. XVIII, 1983, p. 210. See also Cairns CRAIG, Out of History, Edinburgh: Polygon, 1996, p. 105.
Based on the information in Alison LUMSDEN, ‘The Scottish novel since 1970: a bibliography’, pp. 232-243 in : Gavin WALLACE & Randall STEVENSON (eds.), The Scottish Novel Since the Seventies (1993), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994.
Claire SQUIRES, ‘Trainspotting and Publishing, or Converting the Smack into Hard Cash’, Edinburgh Review, n°101, 1999, p. 52.
See Peter Kravitz’s introduction, p. xvii in : Peter KRAVITZ (ed.), The Picador Book of Contemporary Scottish Fiction (1997), London: Picador, 1998.
See Keith DIXON, ‘Writers into battle: political dissent among contemporary Scottish writers’, Etudes écossaises, Hors Série, 1994, p. 165.
T.M. DEVINE, The Scottish Nation 1700-2000 (1999), London: Penguin Books, 2000, p. 608.
Liz HERON, ‘La « scotticité » de Walter Scott à Alasdair Gray’, Liber, n°24, October 1995, p. 17. For a complete study of the phenomenon, see Keith DIXON, ‘Notes from the Underground: a discussion of cultural politics in contemporary Scotland’, Etudes écossaises, n°3, 1996, pp. 117-128.
Alasdair GRAY, Why Scots Should Rule Scotland 1997, Edinburgh: Canongate, 1997.
Keith Dixon notes how this does not imply any form of affiliation with the Labour Party. Keith DIXON, ‘Writers into battle’, p. 165. It can however be noted that in recent years some authors have spoken out in support of the more leftwing Scottish Socialist Party. See Kirsty SCOTT, ‘Scotland’s red rebellion’, The Guardian: Saturday Review, 14/7/2001, p. 2.
See Douglas DUNN, ‘Divergent Scottishness: William Boyd, Allan Massie, Ronald Frame’, pp. 149-169 in : Gavin WALLACE & Randall STEVENSON (eds.), The Scottish Novel Since the Seventies (1993), Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994.
« L’étude du texte littéraire n’a d’intérêt et n’est, à proprement parler, possible que si ce texte n’est pas isolé d’emblée, s’il n’est pas coupé du réseau socio-discursif dans lequel et sur lequel il travaille. » Marc ANGENOT, « Que peut la littérature ? Sociocritique littéraire et critique du discours social », p. 13 in : Jacques NEEFS & Marie-Claire ROPARS (dir.), La Politique du texte : enjeux sociocritiques, Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1992.
See, for example, Timothy BRENNAN, ‘The national longing for form’, p. 49 in : Homi K. BHABHA (ed.), Nation and Narration (1990), London & New York: Routledge, 2002.
One must also mention Danny Boyle’s film adaptation based on John Hodge’s screenplay, which although adding to the novel’s iconic status (see the countless re-editions of the novel featuring the film’s distinctive orange logo as well as photographs of Ewen McGregor and fellow actors) generally toned down the language of the original work.
See, for example, James KELMAN, Some Recent Attacks: Essays Cultural & Political, Stirling: AK Press, pp. 81-84.
See H. Gustav KLAUS, ‘1984 Glasgow: Alasdair Gray, Tom Leonard, James Kelman’, Etudes écossaises, n°2, 1993, p. 38.
H. Gustav KLAUS, ibid., p. 38.
For an example of this see Simon JENKINS, ‘An expletive of a winner’, The Times, 15/10/1994, p. 20
Keith DIXON ‘Punters and Smoky Breath: The Writing of James Kelman’, Écosse : Littérature et Civilisation, n°9, 1990, p. 67.
It goes without saying that the two are conflated in the UK. Peter TRUDGILL, Sociolinguistics: An Introduction, London: Penguin, 1974, pp. 18-19.
James KELMAN, Some Recent Attacks, p. 82.
See for example the trial scene in Irvine WELSH, Trainspotting (1993), London: Minerva, 1996, pp. 165-167.
See Christie Leigh MARCH, ‘Interview with Janice Galloway, Glasgow, March 21, 1999’, Edinburgh Review, n°101, 1999, p. 91.
This notion, inherited from Edwin Muir, implied that any Scottish author unwilling to abandon his natural speech in favour of Standard English was destined to fail. See Keith DIXON, ‘La Langue vernaculaire comme enjeu idéologique dans la littérature écossaise contemporaine : Edwin Muir et la Renaissance de l’Entre-Deux-Guerres’, Écosse : Littérature et Civilisation, n°5-6, 1986, p. 188. The question of a potential handicap was still being debated in the early 1980s when the Scottish Chapman Magazine devoted an entire issue to this theme. Chapman Magazine, ‘The State of Scotland – A Predicament for the Scottish Writer?’, vol. VII, n°35-36, July 1983.
See Keith DIXON, ‘Notes from the Underground’, p. 118.
T.M. DEVINE, The Scottish Nation, p. 594.
Joseph SCHUMPETER, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), New York: Harper, 1975, pp. 82-85.
For the Chris / Ewan transition, see Roderick WATSON, ‘Maps of Desire: Scottish literature in the Twentieth Century’, p. 299 in : Thomas DEVINE M. & Richard J. FINLAY (eds.), Scotland in the 20th Century, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996.
Alan FREEMAN, ‘Ghosts in Sunny Leith: Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting’, p. 257 in : Susanne HAGEMANN (ed.), Studies in Scottish Fiction: 1945 to the Present, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1996.
See Irvine WELSH, Trainspotting, p. 310, p. 319, p. 327, p. 332, p. 339.
Cairns CRAIG, The Modern Scottish Novel, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002, p. 97.
For a full study on this aspect of Gray’s work see Marie Odile PITTON-HEDON, Alasdair Gray : Marges et effets de miroirs, Grenoble : Ellug, 2004.
A similar cowardice is explored in William McIlvanney’s poem ‘The Cowardly Lion’, which deals specifically with the aftermath of the 1979 referendum. William MCILVANNEY, Surviving the Shipwreck, Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1991, p. 22.
‘Scotland voted for Labour, with the SNP a close third. What it actually got was the right honourable Margaret Thatcher, M.P. He shook his head again. “Oooohh, shit.”’ Iain BANKS, The Bridge (1986), London: Abacus, 1996, p. 241. ‘“Why don’t I get a vote?” he raged. “My Dad lives spitting distance from Coulport, Faslane and the Holy Loch; if that buffoon’s liver-spotted finger hits the button my old man’s dead; probably all of us are […] so why the fuck don’t I get a vote?”’ Iain BANKS, ibid., p. 246.
A similar view of Scottish history is analysed in Cairns CRAIG, Out of History, p. 32.
See Iain BANKS, The Bridge, p. 283.
Manfred MALZAHN, Aspects of Identity: The Contemporary Scottish Novel (1978-1981) as National Self-Expression, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1984, p. 3.
Compare with Lewis GRASSIC GIBBON, Sunset Song (1932), London: Penguin, 1986, p. 97.
‘With so many defeats to contend with the Scots have gradually come to regard themselves as born losers. The national penchant for pessimism relates to habitual defeatism.’ Alan BOLD, Modern Scottish Literature, London & New York: Longman, 1983, p. 1.
‘If that book [Complicity] reeks of hatred for the Tories, and the odious, corruption-saturated, greed-obsessed culture they have brought to fruition in these isles over the last one and a half decades then it has not all been in vain […]’ Iain Banks quoted by Richard TALLARON, ‘Iain Banks’, Études écossaises, n°3, 1996, pp. 143-144.
‘Few myths are more powerful and prevalent in and about Scotland than that it is a more egalitarian society than England […]’ David McCRONE, Understanding Scotland: The Sociology of a Stateless Nation, London – New York: Routledge, 1992, p. 88.
See, for example, the subtitle for Ecstasy which refers to itself as ‘Three tales of Chemical Romance’. Irvine WELSH, Ecstasy (1996), London: Vintage, 1997, inner title page.
Andrew MONNICKENDAM, ‘Lost Causes: national identity and postmodernism’, Études écossaises, n°3, 1996, p. 105.
This charge is also made by Douglas GIFFORD, The Dear Green Place?: The Novel in the West of Scotland, Glasgow: Third Eye Centre, 1985, p. 8.
‘I’m thinking, what can I do, really do for the emancipation of working people in this country, shat on by the rich, tied into political inaction by servile reliance on a reactionary, moribund and yet still unelectable Labour Party? The answer is a resounding fuck all. […] I think I’ll stick to drugs to get me through the long, dark night of late capitalism.’ Irvine WELSH, Trainspotting, p. 240.
See also Irvine WELSH, ibid., p. 228.
Tom NAIRN, After Britain: New Labour and the Return of Scotland, London: Granta, 2000, pp. 99-103.
Gilles LEYDIER, « L’Écosse et la dévolution : D’un référendum à l’autre », Études écossaises, n°5, 1998, p. 47.
‘Modern Conservatism spoke overwhelmingly with a Southern English Voice.’ David McCRONE, Understanding Scotland, p. 173.
See Allan MASSIE, ‘Must all our new cultural icons remain mired in this working-class mythology?’, Daily Mail, 20/8/1998, p. 11.
Michael KEATING, Les défis du nationalisme moderne : Québec, Catalogne, Écosse, Montreal: Presses Universitaires de l’Université de Montréal, 1997, p. 218.
Duncan McLean quoted in ‘Poets’ Parliament’ (texts by John BURNSIDE, Janice GALLOWAY, A.L. KENNEDY et al.), Edinburgh Review, n°100, 1999, p. 74.Top of page