Chapter

In Tending Scotland

Cairns Craig

in Intending Scotland

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748637133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653478 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637133.003.0001
In Tending Scotland

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This chapter tests the development of contemporary theories of the nation and of national identity — such as Benedict Anderson's concept of ‘imagined communities’ — against Scottish experience. It attempts to tend forgotten elements of Scotland's cultural past, and to do so by focusing, in part, on the prominent place of intention in the development of modern Scottish thought, and on the nation as an outcome of intending. It interprets the models of gardening to which Ian Hamilton Finlay's work is connected which were always ‘elsewhere’ — that this was a Scottish garden tended by a ‘Scottish’ gardener, as incidental rather than fundamental; and if, as Finlay insists, ‘Garden sculpture ought to have roots, as garden plants do’, Finlay's own roots must be envisaged as reaching tentacularly beyond Scotland through European culture to classical sources rather than being rooted in Scotland itself.

Keywords: contemporary theories; national identity; Benedict Anderson; Scottish experience; Scottish thought; Ian Hamilton Finlay; Garden sculpture; European culture; Scotland

Chapter.  25344 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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