Journal Article

DIVIDED LOYALTIES, CHANGING LANDSCAPES: WILLIAM M<span class="smallCaps">c</span>ILVANNEY'S LAIDLAW NOVELS

James Peacock

in English: Journal of the English Association

Volume 62, issue 236, pages 69-86
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0013-8215
Published online March 2013 | e-ISSN: 1756-1124 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/english/eft001
DIVIDED LOYALTIES, CHANGING LANDSCAPES: WILLIAM McILVANNEY'S LAIDLAW NOVELS

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  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)
  • Literary Studies (American)
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This article looks at the three William McIlvanney novels featuring detective Jack Laidlaw – Laidlaw (1977), The Papers of Tony Veitch (1983), and Strange Loyalties (1991). It examines the shift from third-person narration in the first two books to first-person in the third and sees it as part of a changing perspective not only on the character of Laidlaw, who, it is argued, retreats into a personalized mythologization of his community and his country, but also on the Scottish landscape. Laidlaw's return to Ayrshire in Strange Loyalties leads to a flowering of organic but essentially static metaphors of soil and national identity. These metaphors, ultimately, are atavistic and exclusive of that which Laidlaw considers outwith his personal vision of Scottishness.

Journal Article.  7482 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature) ; Literary Studies (American) ; Literary Studies (British and Irish)

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