Introduction: Imagining a Scottish Republic

Scott Lyall

in Hugh MacDiarmid's Poetry and Politics of Place

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623341
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652167 | DOI:
Introduction: Imagining a Scottish Republic

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International conflict, the inhibiting of Scottish self-determination and class discord – each of these lineaments of power relations informs Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem and Alasdair Gray’s novel. MacDiarmid’s idea of a Scottish Republic may seem to necessitate at least an element of wish fulfilment in order to have electoral plausibility in a nation that stubbornly adheres to the Union, and gives continued allegiance to the ‘glamour of backwardness’ which Tom Nairn describes as the most distinguishing feature of Ukanian royalism. MacDiarmid deplores Scotland as a stateless nation subsumed in a multinational state governed by London’s metropolitan monetarism and addicted to pledging political allegiance to monarchical British Labour Unionism. The chapter then reviews the fundamental bond between MacDiarmid’s poetry and his drive to create a modern, internationalist Scotland. This book posits MacDiarmid’s politics of place as a major component of what James Young calls ‘Scotland’s hidden cultural history’.

Keywords: Scottish Republic; Hugh MacDiarmid; British Labour Unionism; Scotland; politics of place; Alasdair Gray

Chapter.  9343 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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