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16 October 2015


Allan Ronald

Wasn't that the most up-itself article? Risible and wrong in every respect. I was torn between rage and roars of laughter. In the end it means more Nat equivalent of Proletkult for us all. And that means Kailyairdery.


I posted it over here as well and there's a discussion:-


There's an interesting (and disturbing) comment-

"The atmosphere in the Scottish universities is even worse, especially in literature departmentts where a climate of cultural exceptionalism is upheld by a bunch of semi-intellectual patriots who side-step any opposition by calling it ‘English elitism’ or ‘Tory condescension’. These cultural managers are busy massaging Burns, Hogg, Stevenson and MacDairmid, who were all either deeply contradicted or self-doubting in terms of politics, into seemless exmaples of early SNP pro-independence voters. It is utterly laughable! I once asked one of these smug lecture hall SNP lieutenants why they did not have MacDairmid’s ‘Hymn to Lenin’ or ‘On a Raised Beach’ neither in braid Scots, on the syllabus but only ever ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’ , that every one by now, is heartily sick of. The answer was very revealing, as a Scot, MacDairmid was ‘theirs’ to do ‘as they wished’ with and no further English literary ‘imperialism’ was to be tolerated. The whole project is rancid and embarrassing."

Allan Ronald

Thank you for that. It is disgusting and alarming. As you say, the antisyzygy runs through our literature and no writer should be (or could be if people were aware of what was in their work) recruited for a political purpose, 'deeply contradicted or self-doubting' as you aptly put it. Scott has always been a favourite of mine but I imagine he is dismissed as a Tory unionist (which he was) and his fierce Scottish patriotism just overlooked as inconvenient. Undemocratic centralism is the SNP MO with regard to localism and I'm deeply concerned by their extending it in the universities.

Allan Ronald

I've just read the comments at Shiraz and they are, while dispiriting in content, among the best informed BTL stuff I've come across. The point about Muir is very important because, like the 15th century Makars, he was an internationalist, as were Scott and RLS (and, lest we forget, le Bon David--Mr Hume). I should add here, as a sort of amateur Latinist, that so too was the Latin tradition in Scottish literature---especially George Buchanan. I also agree with the statement that Bissett and his compadres are third raters who see the chance of their work being boosted because of their political affiliation. Like so much to do with the SNP it is all looking very Stalinist.


It's depressing to think that the work that has most influenced modern Scottish nationalism is the ridiculous Braveheart.

At least the Jacobites had some excellent songs.

Where's the sceptical spirit of Billy Connolly when you need him? He's someone that took the particular and made it universal.

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  • Rosie Bell

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