Five interview-based essays celebrating Sorley MacLean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Norman MacCaig and Edwin Morgan. Illustrated with portraits of the 'Fivefathers'.
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Fivefathers offers a reassessment of Scottish writers who produced significant work during or shortly after the Second World War, on their way to earning international reputations. Combining material from interviews with readings of the poetry, Colin Nicholson argues that conventional assumptions about transitions from literary Modernism into the contemporary do not adequately account for the work he discusses. These writers were declaring, occupying and developing an imaginative independence for territory that was denied political autonomy. Fivefathers suggests that by the second half of the twentieth century a poetics of autonomy was already celebrating Scottish particularities, and making global connections of its own.
1.Sorley MacLean: Against an Alien Eternity
2.Iain Crichton Smith: To Have Found One's Country
3.Norman MacCaig: Such Clarity of Seeming
4.George Mackay Brown: Unlocking Time's Labyrinth
5.Edwin Morgan: Living in the Utterance
About the author
Colin Nicholson is a Professor of Eighteenth-century and Modern Literature at Edinburgh University, where his teaching includes a seminar in Modern and Contemporary Scottish Poetry. During the 1990s he edited The British Journal of Canadian Studies and has edited collections of essays on Margaret Laurence and on Margaret Atwood. He has published widely in Scottish, English and Canadian Literature and is the author of Writing and the Rise of Finance: Capital Satires of the Early Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), and of Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity (Manchester: Manchester University, 2002).
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