Volume 6 – Issue 3 – Editorial

August 12, 2010

Whenever a writer we know walks through the door of a bookshop he gets the willies. So many books, so many of which he has not read and is unlikely ever to read, ranked on the shelves do not for him reek of temptation. What he feels, he says, is a sense of panic, of reproach, of inadequacy. Then comes...

Volume 6 – Issue 2 – Editorial

May 12, 2010

WRITING IN THE immediate aftermath of a general election, the result of which we know but the ramifications of which are still uncertain, is weird. Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. In this inchoate political situation, while one party barters with another, with much of the media blaming...

Volume 6 – Issue 1 – Editorial

February 17, 2010

WHETHER or not Montaigne was the father of the essay it was surely he who christened it, describing the pieces he wrote in the latter part of the sixteenth century essais. In French the verb simply means to try. As Sarah Bakewell writes in How To Live: or A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty...

Volume 5 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 10, 2009

WITH this, its twentieth issue, the Scottish Review of Books takes its first tentative steps in cyberspace. As of now we have a website – scottishreviewofbooks.org – which you may visit at your leisure and on whose contents you may comment as you see fit. While not quite in the one giant leap forward...

Volume 3 – Issue 3 – Editorial

November 9, 2009

Occasionally, just occasionally, usually on doctor’s orders, we lift the hatch and haul our fibrous limbs into the sun just to see what’s happening in the world. Recently, we took ourselves off on what was billed as a ‘Robert Louis Stevenson walk’. Organised by the same team...

Volume 3 – Issue 1 – Editorial

October 29, 2009

IN Mediated – How The Media Shape The World Around You, Thomas De Zengotita remembers a moment in his daughter’s childhood when she asked who he admired. Wittgenstein, he answered, before proceeding to explain why with obvious difficulty. Intuiting something “stern and forbidding” about dad’s...

Volume 2 – Issue 4 – Editorial

October 29, 2009

RECENTLY a cage-rattling newspaper columnist predicted the demise of public libraries, deeming them past their sell-by date, irrelevant, costly, and as redundant as chimney-sweeps. Her argument – if we may dignify it as such – was twofold. First, fewer people appear to be using libraries. This...

Volume 2 – Issue 3 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

“I’M SICK OF THESE murder people, every book has to have its murder. It’s ridiculous. Why is it so unpleasant to people, to consider reading a book actually about life, as close as one can get to it, to what things are really about? Why is that so horrible, whereas reading a million gory murder...

Volume 2 – Issue 2 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

THE FATALITY RATE among literary magazines is alarmingly high. Like Burns’s snowdrops too many of them are here one minute and recycled waste paper the next – “a moment white then gone forever”. We sincerely hope this will not be the case with the Scottish Review of Books which first stuck...

Volume 1 – Issue 4 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

GARRISON Keillor, the droll Minnesotan raconteur, once wrote a story called ‘Jack Schmidt, Arts Administrator’. Schmidt’s job is to administer a plethora of arts organisations, his principle task being to find funding. By his own account he is phenomenally inventive and successful. “I got the...

Blog / Discussion

Jane Haining’s Letter from Auschwitz

by Alison Metcalfe, National Library of Scotland

Rusticated… (VI)

by Brian Morton

Spring Fever

by Rosemary Goring


by Alan Taylor

Coming and Going

by Alasdair McKillop