‘A Disgrace to the Community’

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:
‘A Disgrace to the Community’

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This chapter focuses on Montrose, which is important to the creation of Hugh MacDiarmid’s poetry and politics. MacDiarmid’s modernist poetry in Scots and his espousal of a radical Scottish politics at a local and national level were crucially stimulated by his daily engagement with the Montrose community. He had two spells in Montrose. MacDiarmid’s work as a councillor in Montrose gives the lie to his own (borrowed) statement that he is ‘interested only in a very subordinate way in the politics of Socialism as a political theory; my real concern with Socialism is as an artist’s organized approach to the interdependencies of life’. A Drunk Man universalises Scotland from the provincial locality of Montrose. MacDiarmid’s direct involvement in the community through his work as a journalist and councillor was a pivotal influence on the evolution of his poetry and politics.

Keywords: Montrose community; Hugh MacDiarmid; Scottish politics; poetry; councillor; journalist; Socialism

Chapter.  14732 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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