Scottish Literature

‘This is not about me’ by Janice Galloway

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  I have a long connection with Janice Galloway, author of The Trick is to Keep Breathing the Scottish Text for Higher English, even though she doesn’t know it. At a book reading twenty years ago I asked her a … Continue reading

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Chip on my shoulder about Scottish classics? Probably! – James Hogg and The Three Perils of Man

Perils of man

It was once said about Linford Christie, the sprinter who ran for Great Britain, that he was perfectly balanced with ‘a chip on each shoulder’. I don’t know if I have developed a chip on each shoulder yet, but I … Continue reading

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It’s time James Hogg was given his rightful place at the peak of Scottish Literature

The Three Perils of Man

I’m reading James Hogg’s The Three Perils of Man. Unlike Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, it is not very well known. Thanks to Andre Gide’s introduction to the 1945 publication Hogg’s portrayal of a man … Continue reading

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National 5 English Scottish Texts – Selected Poems of Norman MacCaig and my new change of attitude

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I’ve had a difficult relationship with Norman MacCaig. To me as a high school student, reading MacCaig was to open the doors to a world of dreariness that I did not understand. His poetry lacked the tightness, metrical regularity and … Continue reading

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National 5 English Text – Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the texts selected by the SQA as a Scottish text for the new National 5 English exam. I thought it might be a good idea to read it so I could pass … Continue reading

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National 5 English – is The Testament of Gideon Mack a suitable text?

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The Testament of Gideon Mack is a novel by James Robertson that has deservedly found its way onto the Scottish Texts list for National 5. It is a novel that raises many issues about modern Scotland as it does about … Continue reading

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John Galt – forgotten writer of Scottish Literature

The Scottish Qualifications Authority is looking for novels, plays and poems by Scottish writers for the ‘Scottish Question’ that will comprise part of the new English Higher examination. Most of the names on the list up for consideration so far … Continue reading

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