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Lewis Grassic Gibbon$
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William K. Malcolm

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620627

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620627.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Distant Cousin Lewis Grassic Gibbon: A Scots Quair (Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite) and Scottish Scene

Distant Cousin Lewis Grassic Gibbon: A Scots Quair (Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite) and Scottish Scene

Chapter:
(p.69) 7 Distant Cousin Lewis Grassic Gibbon: A Scots Quair (Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite) and Scottish Scene
Source:
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Author(s):

William K. Malcolm

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789620627.003.0007

A quarter of this monograph is devoted to Gibbon’s masterpiece, the trilogy A Scots Quair, approached as a strategically integrated volume. This chapter places the book within its contemporary context, using original research to focus authoritatively on the aims and ideals that shaped its social, political, cultural and philosophical achievement. Sunset Song garners greatest attention for its bespoke narrative techniques and for the eclectic deployment of literary influences from Scotland and elsewhere. The nostalgic power and moral impact of this first novel as a compelling bildungsroman and an elegy for the crofting society destroyed by the war feeds into the more overtly political character of the remaining parts of the trilogy. The revolutionary political perspective at the heart of the work is convincingly based on the author’s ready identification with the subaltern classes, marking it as the highest form of littérature engagée. The Gibbon contributions to Scottish Scene are considered in relation to the central achievement of the trilogy, with the Scottish stories replicating the author’s signature style and, in ‘Forsaken’, successfully carrying it to a more sophisticated level of stylistic experimentation. The polemical essays are welcomed for shedding light on the author’s ideas and beliefs, about literature, politics, history and religion.

Keywords:   A Scots Quair, Scottish Scene, eclectic literary influences, bildungsroman, elegy, revolutionary political perspective, subaltern classes, littérature engagée, stylistic experimentation, polemical essays

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