Editorials

Volume 1 – Issue 3 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

“God have pity,” wrote the American poet John Crowe Ransom, “on the poor sinner who must write with no dinner, no gravy and no grub, no pewter and no pub, no belly and no bowels, only consonants and vowels.” His is the spectre of the writer as wretch, nourished and clothed by nothing more than...

Volume 1 – Issue 2 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

RECENTLY, Stuart Cosgrove, a television executive, bemoaned the miserabilist tendency of our national culture. In his opinion our writers, artists, musicians and, in particular, film-makers, are stuck in the doldrums. “Dismal, dreary, depressing”, ran the headline in the Observer’s Scottish edition,...

Volume 1 – Issue 1 – Editorial

October 28, 2009

AS the First Minister, Jack McConnell, reminded us at the opening of the Holyrood parliament, we are a disputatious nation. Argument comes easily to us. There is something in our psyche, something deeply rooted in ours souls, something in the pugnacious northern air, that propels us to take issue, dispute,...

Volume 3 – Issue 2 – Editorial

October 22, 2009

A recent report in the Washington Post told of a library in Fairfax County where the librarians have been weeding out underperforming books. Included among the authors removed from the shelves were Aristotle, Hardy, Kerouac, Pasternak, Proust, Maya Angelou, the Brontes and Solzhenitsyn. A librarian...

Volume 3 – Issue 4 – Editorial

October 21, 2009

THERE was a time, if we are to believe William Smellie, co-founder and, in large part, author, of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, when one could stand at the Cross of Edinburgh and, within the space of a few minutes, “take fifty men of genius and learning by the hand.” The original...

Volume 4 – Issue 1 – Editorial

October 20, 2009

THERE was a time, if we are to believe William Smellie, co-founder and, in large part, author, of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, when one could stand at the Cross of Edinburgh and, within the space of a few minutes, “take fifty men of genius and learning by the hand.” The original...

Volume 4 – Issue 2 – Editorial

October 19, 2009

IN THIS ISSUE of the Scottish Review of Books we are privileged to a publish a diary by Candia McWilliam, in which she describes how she is coping with a disease called blepharospasm. Defined byChambers as “spasm of the eyelid”, it sounds relatively innocent. It is not. As Ms McWilliam explains,...

Volume 4 – Issue 3 – Editorial

October 19, 2009

THIS EDITION OF The Scottish Review of Books takes its lead from First Minister, Alex Salmond, who is eager that we engage in a national conversation. Not content, however, simply to talk to ourselves we have engaged in a dialogue with our Irish cousins. For facilitating this we are grateful to the...

Volume 4 – Issue 4 – Editorial

October 15, 2009

As the year ends, we find ourselves reflecting upon how 2008 will be remembered. The financial black hole which almost sucked in the global banking system and everything else with it – and who knows, may still do so – will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment, as will the historical election...

Volume 5 – Issue 1 – Editorial

September 14, 2009

Volume 5 Issue 1 Editorial Between our last issue and the one you hold in your hands, Harold Pinter died. There are many things we could mention at this point to honour his memory – the plays, the poems, the screenplays, the Nobel Prize speech – but one in particular comes to mind in these...