Spark contra Spark

Michael Gardiner

in From Trocchi to Trainspotting

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748622320
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653393 | DOI:
Spark contra Spark

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This chapter suggests that Muriel Spark was a key figure in rethinking many of the central ideas of Enlightenment. It notes that Spark was often described (in the days before Easy Jet) as the classic ex-pat writer. Her work as a whole has a Scottish ring, and carries within it a powerful critique of the Edinburgh morality of the literati of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It further notes that Ian Rankin found some kind of reference to Scotland in every one of Spark's novels, and suggested that ‘Edinburgh to her means rationalism’. It explains that the rationalism of the Edinburgh Enlightenment can be described in terms just as ambivalent as those of the French one. It further adds that Rankin, a professional crime writer, has been one of a few who have so far noted Spark's early French connections, which are vital in this context.

Keywords: Muriel Spark; Edinburgh morality; Ian Rankin; Scotland; rationalism; Edinburgh Enlightenment; French

Chapter.  11684 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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