Reviews

Report Card

October 14, 2009
by Owen Dudley Edwards

SIR KENNETH CALMAN introduced his 15-member Commission’s ‘Final Report’ with no misgivings as to its claim to discuss ‘Scotland and the United Kingdom in the 21st century’. Yet any realistic student of 21st century Scottish politics will find the subject incomprehensible without considering...

From Calvin to Calvino

October 14, 2009
by Pat Kane

If you don’t know about Momus, aka Scottish musician, writer and con-ceptualist Nick Currie, then you need to know about him: for me, he’s one of the most challengingly brilliant Scottish minds of the last twenty years. On the trivial, arts-page level, his CV is impressive. Momus was an early star...

The View from Castle Rock

October 14, 2009
by Magnus Linklater

AS A CHAMPION of Scottish literacy, intellectual rigour, profound thinking and weighty criticism, Francis Jeffrey stands as a non pareil. His editorship of the Edin-burgh Review in the early nineteenth century, made it a model of what a literary journal should be, at a time of political and cultural...

Volume 5 – Issue 3 – Gallimaufry

October 14, 2009
by Theresa Munoz

Little Hut of Leaping Fishes Chiew-Siah Tei PICADOR, £7.99 pp320, ISBN 9780330454391 A graduate of Glasgow University’s creative writing programme, Chiew-Siah Tei has emerged with a debut novel that eschews tricksiness for tradition, and the gentleness of her prose may incline some to think she has...

Memento Mori

October 14, 2009
by Alan Taylor

WHEN IN THE MIDST of the Second World War Muriel Spark divorced her husband she did not revert to her family surname of Camberg. Instead, as she acknowledged in her autobiography, Curriculum Vitae, she decided to retain her husband’s name. Her reason, initially, was so she could share the same name...

Ten Years Hence

October 14, 2009
by David Torrance

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM, particularly in a Scottish context, seems to produce quixotic aspirations. In 1885 the much-lobbied for post of Scottish Secretary was created amid expectations of a national revival; in 1999 a Scottish Parliament was created with widespread anticipation that it would become a...

Opportunity Knox

October 14, 2009
by Hugh MacDonald

THE GROWLING BEAST of revolution is often just the mild-mannered man of reform with a drink in him. What starts with the merest sense of grievance can escalate quickly, gaining a momentum that is fuelled by blood and increasing resentment. Revolutions do not start with gunfire and death, but with a...

A Life in a Year

September 14, 2009
by Alan Taylor

A Life in a Year – Alan Taylor IN 1786, BY WHEN he had reached the age of 27, Robert Burns was already a man with a reputation as a rake. His girlfriend, the woman he wanted to make his wife, Jean Armour, was pregnant with what would be their twins. Not surprisingly her father was appalled...

Mayday!

September 14, 2009
by Christopher Harvie

Mayday! – Christopher Harvie I ask myself, is it just a matter of a few dozen passengers, or do I watch the whole human race over there, haphazardly hanging on to some run-down cruise-liner, fit for the scrapyard and headed for self-destruction? I cannot be sure. I am dripping wet and I listen....

Volume 5 – Issue 1 – Gallimaufry

September 14, 2009
by Theresa Munoz

  Gallimaufry – Lesley McDowell and Theresa Munoz Scotland: A Very Short Introduction Rab Houston OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, £7.99 pp140, ISBN 019923079X Racing through Scotland’s history in a hundred and forty pages isn’t an easy task: although a rare exception is made for Mary, Queen...