Lines of Defence

Louisa Gairn

in Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780748633111
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653447 | DOI:
Lines of Defence

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This chapter demonstrates that John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie, and Alan Warner were not only reviewing human relationships with nature, but also the role that writing has to play in exploring and strengthening that relationship, helping to determine the ecological ‘value’ of poetry and fiction. It argues that contemporary poetry and lyricism in Scotland constituted an ecological ‘line of defence’, providing a space in which reader and author can examine their relationship to the world around them. It notes that while these writers do not form a conscious ‘school’ or affiliation, they share in common a lucid and intelligent lyrical vision which seeks to re-centre and redefine concepts of nature and rural environments — an outlook which is crucial in an age of growing ecological crisis.

Keywords: John Burnside; Kathleen Jamie; Alan Warner; human relationships; nature; fiction; contemporary poetry; Scotland; ecological crisis

Chapter.  15724 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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