Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry and Politics of Place

Imagining a Scottish Republic

Scott Lyall

Ebook (PDF) i

Gives unique focus to the politics of one of modern Scotland's major cultural figures

By examining at length for the first time those places in Scotland that inspired MacDiarmid to produce his best poetry, Scott Lyall shows how the poet's politics evolved from his interaction with the nation, exploring how MacDiarmid discovered a hidden tradition of radical Scottish Republicanism through which he sought to imagine a new Scottish future. Adapting postcolonial theory, this book allows readers a fuller understanding not only of MacDiarmid's poetry and politics, but also of international modernism, and the social history of Scottish modernism

Key Features
  • The first full length study to focus on MacDiarmid's politics
  • Reveals, for the first time outside of government files from the National Archives, that MacDiarmid was watched by the Security Services from 1931 to 1943
  • Draws uniquely on Carcanet's multi-volume MacDiarmid 2000 series
  • The first critical book to use the 'Red Scotland' typescript in the National Library of Scotland and have access to the recently rediscovered poems collected as The Revolutionary Art of the Future (2003)
Introduction: Imagining a Scottish Republic
1. 'Towards a New Scotland': Selfhood, History, and the Scottish Renaissance
2. Debatable Land
3. 'A Disgrace to the Community'
4. At The Edge of the World
5. 'Ootward Boond Frae Scotland': MacDiarmid, Modernism, and the Masses
Given that MacDiarmid may well be the most influential but also the least understood of twentieth-century Scottish intellectuals and nationalists, Lyall's book plays an important role in explaining how a key moment in Scottish history may yet become part of a more usable past...[an] earnest and insightful study.
Scottish Studies Review
This is the first book I've read which takes a patient, detailed, cautious yet essentially humane evaluation of what MacDiarmid's politics were, how they came about and what their lasting significance might be...There are real insights into the poetry and literary practice of the man, and the literary, political and personal milieux of his life.
Professor Alan Riach, University of Glasgow
Scott Lyall is Lecturer in Modern Literature at Edinburgh Napier University, having taught previously at Trinity College, Dublin, and Exeter University. His Hugh MacDiarmid’s Poetry and Politics of Place: Imagining a Scottish Republic was published by EUP in 2006.

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