Милена Каличанин

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The paper deals with the Scottish literary revival that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. The leading theoretical and artistic figure of this movement was Hugh MacDiarmid, a Scottish poet whose main preoccupation was the role of Scots and Gaelic in shaping modern Scottish identity. Also called the Lallans revival – the term Lallans (Lowlands) having been used by Robert Burns to refer solely to the notion of language, the movement’s main postulates included the strengthened cultural liaisons between Scots and Gaelic (and not Scots and English as was the case until then). In the preface to his influential anthology of Scottish poetry, The Golden Treasury of Scottish Verse (1941), MacDiarmid bluntly stated that the prime aim of Scottish Literary Renaissance was to recharge Scots as a stage in the breakaway from English so that Scottish Gaelic heritage could properly be recaptured and developed. Relying primarily on MacDiarmid’s theoretical insights, it is our purpose to track, explore and describe the Scottish Literary Renaissance’s contemporary echoes. The paper thus focuses on the comparative analysis of Hugh MacDiarmid’s poetry, on the one hand, and the poetry of its contemporary Scottish creative disciples (Tom Leonard, Edwin Morgan and James Robertson). By comparing and contrasting the selected poems of the aforementioned poets, the main goal of the paper is to emphasize the validity, relevance and actuality of MacDiarmid’s movement for the present moment in Scotland.


Scottish Literary Renaissance, Scots, Gaelic, the Caledonian Antisyzygy, Scottish identity

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